The Start To My Redshirt Junior Year

Updated: Mar 3, 2020

A “redshirt junior” is a term used in football to indicate a player that is a senior by academic standing but a junior by their eligibility to play.

Before everything happened, I would have been a senior this year. I should still be a sophomore since I left at the very beginning of my sophomore year and didn’t finish any classes. But I’m a junior by credits, since I was already pretty ahead and managed to take a couple of classes at the beginning of this year.

So I’m referring to this year as my redshirt junior year. :)

I’ve experienced so much joy, but also so much pain, both physically and emotionally, in the first three weeks that I’ve been back; so here’s the good, the bad, and the ugly…

I had the best time during sorority recruitment. I felt, and still feel, so loved and welcomed and supported by all my sorority sisters that it was just overwhelming. It was so good to be there with everyone and finally be a part of something again.

I was able to share some of my story during round three of recruitment and I got lots of really good feedback on that. I’m happy that I got to share how much Phi Mu has meant to me and done for me, and I’m happy that the new pledge class already knows a little about me.

The whole process is exhausting and definitely takes a toll on you. Luckily, they were able to take my health into consideration, so my days were shorter, but it was still hard on my body.

I’m learning more how my autoimmune condition affects me on a daily basis. On days where I go nonstop or stay up later than usual, I start to have lots of pain. The pain sucks, but it forces me to stop what I’m doing and go to bed, so I guess it’s kind of preventing anything worse from happening.

I’ve loved being back, but it’s been really hard knowing that a lot of my friends are going to graduate in May and leave me behind. This is something that’s weighed on me since I had to leave UF, but now, being here and hearing everyone talking about being seniors and graduating and their plans for after college, it’s really hard.

I’m happy to be making new friends, but it’s still hard to feel like I’m being left behind.

Lassie’s been adjusting really well to college life, better than I expected! She’s adjusted to her new schedule and new surrounding, and is trying to adjust to the new creatures (lizards).

Lassie in her Phi Mu bandana!

I left her at home in her kennel for the first time the other day, but that didn’t go as well as I had hoped. She howled most of the night, which means I was stressed out all night. I’m worried that she’s disturbing the people on my hall, but I’m hoping that she’ll get used to it soon. I’ll occasionally need to leave her at home, and I hope that I won’t have to worry about her the whole time. I felt like a mom leaving her kid with a babysitter for the first time haha.

First day of class!

Class has been going really well! I’m just taking two classes this semester so that I don’t overdo it while I’m adjusting to everything else. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to take a full load, due to my fatigue and learning issues, but I’m hoping to take three classes next semester, and every semester after that (including summer), and maybe graduate Spring 2021, just one year late!

I’m taking Principles of Management, which is mostly online, and Public Speaking. Public Speaking is something I would’ve been terrified of a year ago, but now I feel like I’ve had enough experience that I’m prepared.

My professors have been very accommodating and kind so far, so I think it’s going to be a good semester!

I’ve made it to the gym here a couple of times, and that has been great! It was so much more accessible and easier to use than I expected! They had a hand bike which is a great way for me to get cardio, the cable machines were easy to move around, and they even had an elevated mat, so I can easily transfer onto it to do abs, pushups, etc.!

I also tried transferring onto some of the other machines so that I can use more weight, so I’m excited to try out some new exercises and increase the weight I lift!

I’m wanting to try out Hip Hop Fitness again, which is something that me and my friends used to always do. I’m hoping that I’ll still be able to participate and have fun, so I’ll keep you updated with that!

As much as I hate being here under these new circumstances, I’m glad my friends are learning about accessibility and how it really impacts me. It’s something I never even noticed or considered, but now I have to think about it everywhere I go.

We were somewhere that was definitely less than accessible, and one of my friends asked me how I don’t get so angry when places are inaccessible. Yeah, it makes me mad, but I have my friends to get outraged for me and try to do something about it, and if I got mad every single time, I would just be angry all the time.

So that’s meant lots of piggyback rides and bumping up and down the stairs, but I am SO thankful for my friends who are more than willing to get me where I need to go. <3

That’s all for now! I’m trying to stay caught up, but life gets crazy from time to time, so thank you for your patience this week! All in all, things here are hard at times, but I’m so happy to be back and with my people living life again!

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