My year in review project is a collage of my favorite photos taken during my freshman year at UC. My first year was eventful, overwhelming, and absolutely incredible. I made so many new friends and got used to living independently away from my family. That's not to say there weren't hard times, though. I did get homesick a bit, and I missed my friends back in Kentucky. The hardest challenge to overcome was when I didn't get in to the drama program at CCM. Even though acting is something I love and want to continue to do, I need to be able to do that independently of school. This rejection did influence me to find a different agency in Cincinnati that can help me and it made me more motivated to succeed.
I also had a lot of opportunities to give back this year, primarily in two experiences during the spring. First, I attended Workfest over spring break. I loved being able to work with people from other schools and that we were coming together with a common goal. I also had the opportunity through one of my honors seminars to go to Buckhorn, Kentucky and help out at their facility. The kids there had all faced abuse at some point in their lives, so it was an eye opening experience to connect with them and learn a bit more about their circumstances. We also got to paint bedrooms for some of the girls, and I loved seeing how excited they were about our work.
Moving forward, I can definitely say I am excited about the upcoming years. I need to remind myself to not try and stretch myself too thin or do more than I am capable of doing. I also want to continue working on being my best self. I have new views of myself after living independently for a year, and I feel more confident in myself to be an independent person. I am also much happier and more comfortable with who I am, and I plan on making it a priority to remain that way. In the upcoming years, I am definitely going to continue giving back. In November, I will be doing a self-designed honors experience traveling to Nicaragua with the charity Random Acts to build a high school. I am also looking ahead and thinking about what I can do in the spring to give back as well. This past year has been incredible and I am going to make sure my second year is the same way.