As the end of the semester is growing nearer, I have been reflecting on the highs and lows of my first year at good old Drew University. When moving into Drew on that scorching hot day for orientation, I could have never imagined how much this small liberal arts school could teach me about myself, independence and life in such a short amount of time. As cliche as it sounds, Drew is aiding me in finding myself and what is actually important to me. Despite the stressful nights of studying for exams, furiously writing essays and spending way too many points on Peet’s coffee, I would not trade this past year for anything.
PHOTO COURTESY OF DREW UNIVERSITY
If you know me on any level, you could probably guess that I have always been the type of student that is involved in a million clubs. Despite the personality trait of always putting too much on my plate, I was absolutely prepared to abandon my beloved extracurricular activities because I thought the academic work would be too time-consuming. Luckily, I have been able to take courses that I am genuinely interested in, which is leading me to do better academically than I could have ever imagined. Also, I honestly thought that everyone would judge a first year for wanting to be involved in clubs and would label me as an annoying freshman. To my surprise, all of the clubs were so open and the utter opposite of intimidating. Even if you are scared or hesitant to join something, one of the best lessons I have learned is to at least try. It is absolutely okay if you decide that the club or sport is not for you, but at least you put yourself out there.
Although each club and program I am a part of has significance to me, I have gained the most skills and knowledge from the Drew Honduras Project, The Acorn, the ChangeBuilder program and the politically affiliated clubs on campus. Thanks to The Acorn, my Women’s and Gender Studies course and the amazing support I have from my Drew friends, I have learned my most important lesson of the year: my voice matters. Before college, I was just as opinionated as I am now, but I never felt empowered enough to let my voice be heard because I was always labeled as bossy instead of called a leader. Undoubtedly, the fact that Drew has so many open-minded, intelligent and diverse students has helped me feel comfortable enough to voice my beliefs. So thank you to all of the Drew community for teaching me invaluable lessons and for showing me that I can sincerely call this campus my second home.
Victoria is a freshman with a double major in Political Science and Italian and minors in Women’s and Gender Studies and Law, Justice and Society.