Junior Year: Making sense of the Halfway point


Jack Allsopp, Editor-and-Chief

Four semesters in the bag and four I still have to fill. What can I take away from the past two years and apply to the remainder of my college experience? I have come to realize that, at least for me, the first two years of college were spent finding a path of contentment; experimenting with all aspects of my personal, academic, and professional life. What decisions am I proud of? What mistakes can I learn from? What has made a profound impact on me? And what can I forget or put behind me? To me, going to college has been more than just continuing my education. Of course, I have learned valuable skills, taken classes I can’t recall anything from, and made great professional and academic connections, but the journey of college is what has stood out to me.

Freshman year is all about experimenting with everything, due to a new environment full of new opportunities, people, and educational avenues. During my time as a freshman, I learned what it means to find a balance in what I felt was important to invest time into and what I could cut out. As most freshmen do, I started headstrong, joining a bunch of clubs to see what caught my interest. After the first semester, it became apparent to me that dividing my time between three different organizations and classes was just too much, so I had to cut out the one that I knew didn’t have a fulfilling future in. The two other organizations I stuck with, Outing Club and Nor’easter News, I am now in a leadership position in, because I put in the work and got very involved. Now in my junior year, leading both of those clubs, I’m grateful to my freshmen self that I stayed involved and climbed the ladder. The other aspect of freshman year was establishing the relationships that would carry through my college career. Going into my junior year, I have a great academic advisory system because I used my resources that were available during my freshman year and build upon those.

Sophomore year was the year of building upon those decisions during freshman year, homing in on what I loved about my career decision and exploring my passions. During my time studying abroad, I took away how much I loved journalism and photography. I wrote a bunch of articles on my experience there and on the wonderful people I met. By teaching myself photography, I was able to understand my passion for it, being put into great scenarios to improve it. This led to me taking digital photography, which I am currently enrolled in and it is proving to be a valuable choice. After studying abroad, I was able to take look at the road ahead and sculpt my path in my remaining years at UNE. During the second semester of my sophomore year, I was able to start focusing on what I was interested in rather than continue experimenting. On top of that, I was starting to prepare to take on the leadership roles in my clubs as my junior year approached.

As my junior year is now underway, my path ahead seems a little more planned out and focused as I know what I enjoy and excel at. I know where I want my career to go now and am applying the lessons learned from my first two learns. I have room to grow into my leadership positions and know where I want more education when it comes to my major path. So for all those juniors out there feeling lost, and all those freshmen starting their journey. Take every experience in college learn something from it. Everything has a lesson to it. Nothing can be wasted because you learn to avoid the experiences you feel you wasted. Take every opportunity to try something new and remember to focus on enjoying the process, not just the outcome.