So much change in such little time

In the time between the end of freshman year and now I feel like a much different person

More stories from Hailey Novak


“A lot can change in a year” is a phrase typically used in an attempt to give some sort of perspective and I usually brush it off. Until now.

As I finish my sophomore year of college and look back to where I was at this point in time last year I realize it may be cliché to say but it’s undoubtedly true.

There’s something about packing up everything in your dorm room freshman year that brings about a weird mix of emotions. One part of me couldn’t get out of there faster, the part of me that was excited to be back in my hometown for the summer with everyone I had just spent the last year apart from.

Another part of me though, stood in my wing all alone, being the last one to leave and I felt weirdly compelled to stay.

I had mixed feelings about how the previous year had gone. On one hand I made more new friends than I had originally anticipated and I was truly sad to spend a whole three months apart from these people I had grown so close to.

On the other hand, I was left feeling like I hadn’t quite lived up to the expectations many people have for your first year of college and I wanted more time to make it live up to the image I had in my head about the way it should have gone.

At this time last year I was going home to a guy I expected to spend the summer with, friends I had tried to keep in touch with during school and my old job.

Looking at the mess of packed up boxes strewn about my bedroom in my apartment right now, it’s impossible not to realize how much has changed since then.

I’m still moving out just like I was last year but this time it’s only a mile away, into an apartment I’ll share with my best friends for the next year.

I’m still going home too, not to my hometown but to a place that has arguably become more of a home for me in the past year.

The boy and the friends that I was so excited to go back to last year aren’t in the picture this time. Not only can a lot happen in a year but in that time many people will come and go as well.

We may paint a picture in our heads about how we think our lives are going to go but the truth is life’s unpredictable. I never would have expected to be standing here now feeling like a completely different person after just 12 months’ time.

For this though, I’m thankful. It’s been a year filled with change, new friendships and a few necessary cutting of ties.

I’ve learned a lot about myself during this time and it’s allowed me to be able to stand here and look back at the last year with very little regrets.

As the campus gets ready for move-out season I’m left only with excitement for the summer to come and I couldn’t imagine spending it anywhere else than right here in Eau Claire with the friends who have become my family and a place that I can easily call home.