A Reflection on the Past Four Years
This weekend, my undergraduate experience came to an end as I celebrated my graduation with friends and family at my side. After four years at Scripps College, a small, liberal arts women’s college in Los Angeles, I couldn’t be more excited (and nervous) to see what the future has in store for me. Looking back, I know that these past years have molded me into the young woman I am today more than I ever could have thought possible. Even though it wasn’t always peachy-keen, I am so grateful for everything I experienced, because I discovered my passions and what I need to feel and do my best.
First, there was my sophomore year of college when I plummeted into the world of disordered eating and exercise. My body confidence (and therefore overall confidence) decreased dramatically. I was always worried about what others thought of me, both in appearance and persona. But while these months were horrible and I thought no matter what I did that the pain and insecurity I felt would never end, I overcame. Two years later, I am in a much better place- not a perfect place, which is hard to even fathom in the first place because I believe we are all constantly learning, shifting, and growing, but a good place. A place of which I am incredibly proud. And I wouldn’t be here, writing on this blog if it wasn’t for this period of my life. So thank you past Olivia, for not only being vulnerable, but taking the risk to turn that vulnerability into something positive and empowering.
From this period of my life, I learned how to listen to my body. What at first pertained to simply food grew into exercise, sleep, interests, and basically everything else I needed to feel my absolute best. I learned that yes, exercise makes me feel my best, but sometimes I need to cut myself some slack. Sleep is essential to my mood, my appetite, and my productivity. I would 9 out of 10 times prefer to stay in on weekend nights, reading a book or watching a movie before hitting the hay at 9:30. I always will choose daytime over nighttime, brunch over lunch, oatmeal over pancakes, and ice cream is my absolute favorite treat to end the week with. My interests don’t align with those of most college students’, but that is more than okay. I’ve learned to embrace and cultivate these instead of feeling the need to act the opposite just to feel accepted. And because of that, every day I wake up with the eagerness and energy to see what the day brings. So, thank you my past and current Olivia for taking the time to explore who you are and listen to what your body, mind, and soul each and every day.
Finally, I could never forget to mention my education- that is a huge part of college, after all! My English classes only furthered my love of words. I believe words and writing have the power to change people, to provide comfort and help people build their opinions and beliefs like no other form of media can. My love of words fuels this blog, just as my passion for health and wellness does. The two go hand in hand. My leadership classes have helped me better understand what it takes to be brave and to be a person people can look up to. Openness and inclusion are at the root of all these lessons. My time at an all women’s college empowered me, helped me realize the power of women and how amazing we are (and how we deserve everything and anything we put our hearts and minds to). I grew confident to speak my mind in any room, to stand up for my beliefs, and how while we have made progress, there is so much more to be made. My passion for women shaped my passion for body positivity and self love. Every single human has the right to be proud of themselves and love themselves. My time at a liberal arts college opened my eyes to my privilege- privilege that allows me to write this blog- and how I can use this to aid those who do not. My history is not your history or her history or his. My history is my own, but maybe, just maybe, something in it can help you feel not alone.
My four years of college may now be over, which is undeniably one of the odder feelings yet, but I know the lessons I learned will carry on and that more lessons are yet to come. Like I said, I know I will keep growing and changing, and I hope that in this progress, I continue to further my sense of who I am. You can bet that I will do my best to update you along the way- after all, you all are my inspirations and this blog wouldn’t be anything without you.
What have you learned over the past few years that has changed you and helped you become yourself? I would love to know!