A New Years Reflection Ellen Arvidson Project Wednesday Holly Pilcavage

A New Year’s Reflection

When I leave school to head home for the holidays, there’s a certain type of bittersweet feeling to the car ride. The hours fly by, and the mountains fade away as I approach Connecticut. By the end of the school semester,  of course I’m ready for a break and miss being with my family, but I also get just a little bit sad about closing out another semester and being away from my friends for a month. While I still find it hard to make the transition back and forth from school to home and vice versa, I’m becoming aware of how incredibly lucky I am to have not just one, but two places that I consider my home.

I’ve always been a person who takes a little while to warm up to new people and places, which is why the idea of going to school far from home was scary. My house is where, like many people, I feel most relaxed and naturally I was nervous about not having that support and comfort to come back to at the end of a difficult day. I wondered if I would be able to do it. I didn’t give myself enough credit, I didn’t see myself as someone who could adapt to a big change like moving away. Now, a year and a half later, I wonder why? Why did I assume the worst? So many other people are able to go away to school, yet here I was doubting myself. Endless worrying flooded my mind in the weeks leading up to move in day, and yet, only a month into my first year I had found a solid support system and group of friends that I loved being around. And now? I’m still surrounded by the same group of wonderful people, in a place I love, and taking classes that I genuinely enjoy.

Going into 2019, I simply want to reflect on how grateful I am to have both a family at home, and a family at school. Being away from home is still difficult at times, but it’s made so much easier by the fact that I get to be in a place I love with people I love even more. With the stress of work and busy schedules, I can find myself becoming frustrated and oblivious to the fact that I am so incredibly lucky. When I keep that in mind, everything else just doesn’t seem so important anymore.

While being aware of how fortunate I am has the power to improve my outlook, it’s also taught me not to doubt myself and to get rid of irrational thoughts. I had this idea before I left for school that I was someone who would struggle with the transition. I was essentially creating a problem for myself that didn’t even exist, setting myself up for failure and becoming worried about something that only existed in my mind. If only I had known what amazing things the universe had in store for me, it could have been avoided completely. But the truth is I’m never going to be able to see into the future, and I’m always going to face uncertainty throughout my life. All I can do is have a little more faith in myself, and a little more belief that everything will work out, regardless of how much I worry about it. The universe has been ridiculously good to me and it’d be a shame if I didn’t start giving it some more credit.

Ellen Arvidson

Originally from Connecticut, Ellen is currently a freshman English major at Saint Michael's College in Burlington, Vermont. In addition to Project Wednesday, she writes for her school's HerCampus chapter and help in editing our literary magazine, The Onion River Review. When Ellen is not writing, she loves running, hiking, skiing, and anything to do with her dog and/or Broadway musicals.

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