A Semester in Review: Fall 2023

Wow. Not my best, but not my worst.

Photo by Ehud Neuhaus on Unsplash

My first semester of junior year didn’t go to plan- mostly because my plans are unrealistic. One thing I need to work on is preparing for the worst-case scenario, not just the expected one. 

Since this is all about my own personal reflections, I’ll try my best to leave grades out of it- I think that grades are good quantifiers and touchstones to talk about, but I want to focus on my own emotional growth. Also, I don’t have them yet. I think I did how I usually do though. Future Asha, I hope you got finals all figured out.


Things that brightened my day/semester! In no particular order.

  • My Photo Essay Character Study

This was an unexpected but nice moment. One day, I was struggling with photography, this time because our assignment was a photo essay. I had taken a few photos of squirrels running and jumping, but most of them came out blurry or uninteresting. I met a man playing both a harmonica and a weathered guitar, at the same time. I asked him if he would be willing to stop and let me take some photos of him. He was very friendly, and continued to play as I did so. For him, music was what made life fulfilling-particularly all of the moments of creativity and connection, like when passers-by would stop and dance as he played. He told me that life flowed like water, all the moments of connection were what would merge together to create something meaningful.

 Often, I worry about interacting with others, about connection. But the fact that I worry about them shows their worth. If I hadn’t talked to the man, I wouldn’t have fully understood that. It’s one thing I’ve been told many times- that true connection, not wealth, reputation, or career success, is the true determiner of happiness. It’s one thing to be told that- but this man lived it, and didn’t regret it. So perhaps I could try to focus on connection as well.

  • Chatting and Commiserating 

I’ve never been the most social. This year especially- as a junior, it feels a little harder to put myself out there. But for those I do know and chat with in my classes (the SJMC is rather small and I can recognize quite a few faces!) are always very friendly and communicative. I marvel at their abilities, and sometimes they share tips. It’s also a little comforting to not be the only person confused or catching up on an assignment.

  • My Family’s Evolution

I wasn’t the only one changing over the course of this semester. My family have all been developing their own skills and careers- and I’m proud of all of them! My sister is working hard to learn Korean abroad, my mom is finishing up her first year in her new position, and my dad has been working on music and freelance gigs. We’ve all been in a period of transition, and now that period is coming to an end. This new year, we’ll all have learned and developed for the better. 

  • Supportive Professors

The people I should be thanking the most. None of this would be possible without professors! They’ve been pretty amazing this semester- and this blog and blog post wouldn’t exist without them. I’m a little excited for the next semester! 

  • Spotify Premium

I would’ve lost my mind if I had to listen to another 50 ads for every song. 

  • Frankie and Noche Photos

This point doesn’t need explaining- I’d like to see you survive a semester without a cute dog photo. You probably could, but it would be less enjoyable. 

Goals for the Next Semester 

  • Go to the Writing Workshop more often
  • Attend more University events
  • Try out more study spaces/strategies
  • Stick to what works. 
  • Continue journaling- maybe this blog, even. 
Photo by Jan Kahánek on Unsplash

That’s all for fall! See you in 2024.

Best Wishes,

Asha Geoghegan

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