Park Ridge, IL


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About Me

Junior Year: In Review

April 29, 2017

This year has tested me in a lot of ways. I experienced many moments where I couldn’t imagine being any busier than I was. And then, a week or two later, I was busier. Yet, in saying that, there were all kinds of busy: trying to make time for school, for clubs, for friends, for hobbies, for the job search, and—of course—for rest. Now, being on the back end of it all, I can say I’ve grown a lot, too. Such is the way with challenging times: you come out the other side stronger and with a lot to feel accomplished about.

Throughout the year, I wrote some of the best essays I’ve ever written, became even closer with my good friends (and made some others, too), secured an internship, spent many hours on group projects that spurred on moments of both hysterical frustration and of grand accomplishment, confirmed my fascination with my major, and produced maybe my best fiction story to date.

It was also a year marked heavily by growing nostalgia for college (although at a level that I’m certain will shrink in comparison to my senior year). I’m three-quarters done with college and, in saying that, I realize how quickly it’s gone and how fast it will continue to go. I can recall a number of nights this semester where my and friends I were silenced by that recognition. Knowing that years can fly by is one thing; everyone understands that by this age. Yet, seeing how accelerated the college timeline really is can be a flooring thought. College is a place unlike any other and it’s why students are often itching to come back while on breaks from school.

So, if I had to characterize junior year in a short description, it would be that it is a time of sobering realizations. Junior year, when you finally feel fully settled in to college life, allows for a lot of reflection. In the absence of any need for acclimation to your environment, you begin to solidify what you value—both what you believe to be a worthwhile mode of spending time in college and what outcomes you hope to have achieved by the time it ends.

I can’t say exactly what next year will hold, but if I had to guess, much of my time will be used attempting to ensure that those desired ends are met. Or, at the very least, ensuring that I enjoy every moment to the fullest extent, sharing those instances of challenge and of satisfaction with the people that have made the first three years memorable in more ways than one. 

My name is Joe. I am currently a freshman at the University of Richmond. I plan to major in Business (concentration undecided) and to minor in Creative Writing. I consider myself a man of diverse interests. I find just as much enjoyment in playing basketball as I do staying home to read a book. In terms of music, I'll listen to most anything, whether it's Frank Sinatra, today's top 100 hits, old school rap, or anything in between. Same goes for movies. New movies, old movies, black-and-white movies, action movies, romantic comedies, serious dramas. It doesn't matter; I'll watch them all (and often choose to). Aside from that, I'm simply excited to be at UR and to be able to share my experiences with prospective students, fellow classmates, and anyone else who may care to follow along.

Why UR?

A simple answer to the question "Why UR?" would be to say that it just felt right. Though, whereas that isn't inaccurate, I know how vague and frustrating an answer like that can be for readers. So, I will try to explain myself. The University of Richmond, as I researched it more and more, became continually more appealing. Every new thing I learned became another reason to attend. (That certainly was not the case with other schools.) I didn't have to wrestle with thoughts like, "I guess I can live with that" or "Maybe it won't seem like that when I'm actually there." In fact, even viewing the university with a critical eye, it was difficult to find something bad to say about it. That may sound like I'm simply affirming my final decision, but it's not easy to answer that question without directly showing someone what I'm trying to articulate. UR is a place that, although ripe for descriptive writing, must be experienced firsthand to truly understand. That, I believe, says more than any list of reasons ever could.