Discourse / May 25, 2018

Reflecting on my first year at Knox

Going into my first year of college, I expected it to be difficult, but what I wasn’t prepared for was the level of difficult it would be. It is more than what they prepare students for in school — it is tiring and exhausting in every aspect of one’s health, in the best and worst ways.

While I struggled immensely throughout the year, what these exhausting encounters taught me were the important aspects of myself, my health, my education and how I want to move forward after this first year. A restless three trimesters brings a great deal of thinking and processing in the upcoming summer about parts of myself, and not just my education.

What I have learned is that college, especially Knox, truly provides the attendees the opportunity to pick their education. It allows the students to choose where they want to learn, grow, and create friendships. While I personally did not spend countless hours researching colleges and literally said “yes” to the one and only school I applied to, I feel so lucky to get a education that is not based off where I grew up.

I learned that I got the short end of the stick when it came to my public school education, and also the community I grew up in. To be immersed in such a interesting culture at Knox, I got thrown into a completely different environment than where I spent my childhood. This provided me with harsh realizations that I still have to process in the upcoming months. I am constantly thinking, adjusting and moving forward into more of the person I have always wanted to be.

Knox provides a lot of assistance in discovering a person’s identity. I didn’t even realize that I had more to discover about myself until the ideas were planted all around me. Some things that are talked about every single day at Knox were never even mentioned in my hometown. This realization makes me want to write more than I have ever wanted to, just to reach more kids like me in small towns with a low quality education.

Every day seems to issue me a new idea to think about, pulling me closer and closer to myself and the people around me. With Knox, I feel more equipped to understand what I want out of myself and my years ahead.

Overall, my first year at Knox — and at college in general — kicked my butt, and continues to do so as the year winds down. I feel emotionally and physically drained. I was literally thrown into an entirely new world that offers me insight that I never even knew I needed. I am constantly learning and growing. It feels like there hasn’t been one chance of a breather this whole academic year, and if there is time to sit still and reflect, I feel like I should be doing something to get me ahead. It has been both inspiring and running me thin every day.

I am wrung out, but it only makes me more excited for what I will learn next. I definitely am thankful for this year, and especially being able to write discourse for The Knox Student. While I may desperately need this summer break from the Knox environment right now, I am excited and curious for what the next year will bring. Each day here has made me a better person and I can only imagine what my second year will shape me into.

Sadie Cheney, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Sadie Cheney is a Gender and Women Studies major with a double minor in Journalism and Dance Studies. They started as a volunteer writer for discourse and then staff writer their sophomore year and was a mosaic editor in their junior year. They also have interned at The Times Indicator in Fremont, Michigan, The Register-Mail in Galesburg, IL, and OUT FRONT Magazine in Denver, Colorado.

Tags:  column discourse freshman Knox liberal arts reflecting

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