This year was marked by harsh epiphanies, character growth, and new discoveries. I cannot deny that this year was perhaps the deepest I have ever reached inside of myself to discover the cracks and crevices of my heart. I have been faced with the hard reality of my limitations, and embraced them with open arms. I have faced a fortress of emotion that I have turned into a glade of acceptance, having faced them head-on. This year was rough academically. Emotionally, it was even more difficult. But this year taught me lessons and reminded me of how very human I am. 

I entered sophomore year optimistic and fresh out of a two-month excursion across eastern Australia and southern New Zealand. Freshman year had ended with me feeling triumphant and thirsty for the knowledge and adventure that awaited me at UMass Boston. Freshman year, for all its various transitions and new adjustments, was a very successful achievement for me, academically. Little did I know that this would take a turn at the dawn of sophomore year. I had no idea of the difficulties that presented themselves as classes became more difficult, and I found myself struggling to balance my work and academic commitments. 

This is an often forgotten truth of college; as I found myself immersed in work, romantic attachments, and organizational commitments, I forgot that I am at college for one purpose only: to get a degree. I started losing focus of this truth and found my grades slowly dripping down. I found my mental health deteriorating in conjunction with my grades. 

And so I took a step back this semester. I choked on my pride, and I disintegrated the rendition of Farrin that was capable of juggling so many commitments. It was a slow acceptance, one I am still struggling with, to finally realize that I have my limits, and I while I am capable of more than I give myself credit for, I also deserve a break. I released some commitments, went deeper in others, and am still trying to find a balance. 

Through finding this balance, navigating this landscape of uncertainty and new discoveries about my capabilities, I have grown. I have been faced with my flaws, and have striven to make better of them. I have witnessed as I make mistakes, and I can only hope to learn from them. I was taught innumerable lessons this year, and I am an active student of them. 

Another aspect that I have newly explored of myself is my relationship with my emotions. It has always been a tug of war, with my emotions demanding I confront them, and me always waving them away in order to focus on something else. This has created both a void and chaotic tumble within me, and it is only recently that I began to unravel this, piece by piece, in order to make sense of myself. I always have underestimated the impact of my emotions. Confronting this part of myself was a catalyst to my growth, and I find myself both confused and freer for it. I am bound to feel confusion in the midst of releasing pent up emotions, and I have accepted this, as it is just another facet of my growth.

Sophomore year held hard lessons for me, and I can only hope to grow from them. It was a year where the sky turned from the blue of tranquility to the indigo of new revelations. I found constellations that I did not realize were etched into me, and I have gazed in awe at their intricacy. It was a year of both discovery and heartbreak, dusty dreams and harsh realities. But it was a teaching year, nonetheless. 

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