The beginning of 2011 brought about changes much like the beginning of any new year seems to do. It is ironic that just changing the number we associate with the year can cause such dramatic changes in life because of our symbiotic relationship with time. I was beginning my second semester of graduate school and looking forward to enjoying a few more months of college with some of my best friends. Now life doesn't always work out the way you think but in the end I believe everything happens for a reason. I struggled with moving on in my life without my close friends always by my side. But I am so proud to be friends with each and every one of you in our unique relationships! The rest of the spring was a typical school semester with finals and the normal ups and downs of school.
|The SC wolfpack!|
Once back from the vacation, I began the summer at Purdue working on research. I was able to really get my hands dirty for the first time and begin interacting with other students and professors in the lab. I essentially used the summer to gain momentum towards my work in the next few years; learning my way around the lab and how the system works so I can just focus on the science of it now. Outside of lab, I spent the summer trying to find my new identity. I was at a crossroads in my life, a quarter-life crisis if you will. And so I made it a mission to challenge myself in every way I could think of. Socially, physically, mentally, I spent the summer stepping outside of my comfort zone and I can honestly say that I have grown as a person since then. Life isn't always easy or perfect, but understanding the big picture is important and I am much more confident person because of it. Between destroying "Droids" with the guys from MCUT to running around the state of Indiana with my pharm friends, I had a ton a fun with friends old and new! I challenge you reading this to step outside your comfort zone at least in the coming days. It doesn't have to be a large step but do something you normally wouldn't. For example, go visit a friend in another city on a whim with no set agenda or arrangements; or try a new cuisine with co-worker who you haven't connected with yet. Obviously anything that you feel is outside your comfort zone will work those are just a couple examples of the many things I did this summer. Remember, you only get one life to live so you should do the things you want, be with the people you want, and be where you want to be! Don't wait for tomorrow!
|Tough Mudder team! You all are so awesome!!! Hoorah!|
Overall, I enter the holiday season with a new perspective on life and myself. I am far from perfect (not that I thought I was before) but understanding this concept has led me to develop my confidence and expand my horizons. The take home message from this post is that in the course of a year, I have been on a roller coaster of emotions and experiences. But if you can open your heart, you can come out the other side with a smile and know that you are living life to the fullest. You can do anything you put your mind to!
Writer's Note - Obviously I couldn't fill in all my 2011 experiences into this post as it would get unwieldy. But I promise if you want to trade stories about your year I'd be happy to tell you about the rest of the shenanigans and professional experiences that I had this year! (Evil Laugh Here)