For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Jan 18 2017
by Sophia Blake

The Phases of Freshman Year as Told by the Phases of the Moon

By Sophia Blake - Jan 18 2017

The dark has always frightened me. Since I was a little girl and up until now, I feel uneasy in the dark. Even so, the night sky has fascinated me. Though the darkness of the sky seems to engulf the earth, the stars act as little glimmers of hope. But the most prominent source of light in the dark, is the moon. No matter where you are or what time it is, the moon is always there. There are many times in life and especially in freshman year of college that times get hard. Sometimes, it seems like there’s no hope and that nothing will ever get better. But, just like the moon, life goes in phases.

Phase: New Moon

A new moon is the phase in which the illuminated side of the moon is facing away from the earth. Though the moon is there, this is the phase in which the moon’s light is darkest. Just like in life and many times freshman year, there will be little-to-no light. Bad things are inevitably going to happen regarding academics, social life or relationships. A new moon is a dark moon surrounded by more darkness, just like someone might feel at some point where it seems like everything is going wrong. But quickly, the new moon changes, and a new phase begins.

Paul Volkmer via

Phase: Crescent

The crescent moon is the first sliver of light that the moon begins to give off on its way to full moon. This is the first glimmer of hope. This will come. No matter how down you are or how bad your luck might seem, a sliver of light will eventually appear. It may be small and it may seem insignificant, but it is a sign that better times are on the way. Perhaps you get a terrible grade on an assignment that you studied ridiculously hard for. You may think that all chances of you doing well in that class are gone, but then, the professor offers an extra credit assignment. Something will always break through the darkness and show a sign that, in the end, it will be okay.

Nousnou Iwasaki via

Phase: First Quarter

At this phase in the phases of the moon, you can see half of the moon illuminated in the sky. This phase is representative of how everything will slowly start to come together. Sometimes only half of the solution is present, and that’s okay. Everything takes time. After you’ve been down for a while, piece-by-piece, everything will begin to come back together.

Dean Hayton via

Phase: Waxing Gibbous

The waxing gibbous is the phase where almost all of the moon is full and illuminated. This is a sign that the moon is almost full once again. As the various pieces of what was once broken finally begin to come back together again, this phase shows how far something can come that was once hidden in the darkness. There are so many times, especially freshman year, when everyone is still adjusting to this completely new and crazy life that it will seem like everything has gone dark. But just like the waxing gibbous, know that it takes time before you can get back to full light.

Wes Carpani via

Phase: Full Moon

This is the complete phase of the moon. The phase that everyone goes outside in the cold, dead of night to look at, as the full moon illuminates complete darkness into light. Freshman year and life in general is not all downs. There are so many moments that will make your life feel full again. Maybe you meet a new friend or find a relationship. Maybe you get an A in a class you thought you would barely pass. Maybe you join a new club or organization that turns the bad around for you. All of these little moments are the full moons of freshman year. Just as a full moon is admired, take every glimmer of light and cherish it with everything you have.

Fabian Oelkers via

Phase: Waning Gibbous

You have to cherish the full moon, because eventually, the full moon will turn into the waning gibbous. The waning gibbous is when the moon begins to lose its full illumination. You will reach highs in your freshman year, but you will also reach lows. Eventually, the phases have to pass, and the full light in your life will start to dwindle. Be patient, it is just a phase.

NASA via

Phase: Last Quarter

The moon has now gone from almost fully illuminated to half illuminated. Sometimes, like now, the glass looks half empty. Do not be fooled. Just because the light is slowly starting to disappear, does not mean it will never return again. Everything is a cycle and must have its lows to have its highs.

Angelina Litvin via

Phase: Crescent

The last phase before the moon goes back to be hidden in darkness is the crescent. Though it seems as though this phase is a negative phase, it is not. It is simply a sign that the cycle is beginning to start over once again. Once you reach this phase, whether it is a bad grade, homesickness, a fight with a friend or just confusion about where you are in your life, the full moon is just around the corner. You just have to wait out the other phases.

Nousnou Iwasaki via

The thing about the moon is that no matter what phase it is at, it is always regarded as beautiful. The moon is constantly admired from full moon to the final crescent to the new moon. No matter what phase you are at in your life right now, remember the phases of the moon. Each thing that happens, happens for a reason and is there to guide you towards the next phase. Life is a never ending cycle of light and dark, so next time you are engulfed in the darkness, just remember the moon.

Lead Image Credit: Jake Hills via Unsplash

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Sophia Blake - University of Maryland, College Park

Sophia Blake is a sophomore at the University of Maryland-College Park and is a Communication major. She loves singing and music, is a Chipotle-enthusiast, and loves books, coffee, and naps

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