Y’all. What a year this has been. College is a crazy experience, but it’s also an amazing experience.
I’m not really sure if I have the words to sum up this year. It was definitely a roller-coaster, to say the very least. Keeping up in classes, missing my family, and trying to do “adult things” has been stressful, but they don’t even compare to the good times. I’ve met my absolute best friends this year. I should have listened when everyone told me I would make life-long friends in college. I’ve gained so much experience about learning and teaching others at my job at UTC Outdoors. And most importantly, I’ve grown so much in so many ways.
It’s actually kinda funny.
The other night at the House, my campus ministry, Jason, the preacher, was telling the audience about a lesson he remembered hearing in college. He told us that this girl, who was about to graduate, was giving a single word to sum each of her years in college. He thought this was crazy, to only give an entire year ONE word. It doesn’t feel like it gives the year justice. So many things have happened this year, so many opportunities for growth and self-discovery that it seems impossible to pick only one word. But I guess if I had to pick a word to sum up this year, it would be growth, as cheesy as that sounds.
My precious friend Abby and I were eating dinner one night before she left for Ethiopia (that’s a whole different story), and we were reminiscing on our first year.
“I don’t really feel like I’ve changed much this year,” I told her. “I still feel like the same ole me that moved here back in August.”
She actually started laughing. “Oh I know that I’ve changed so much. I’m definitely not the same person and I never will be again.”
It really got me thinking, have I changed more than I realize? Duh. I can’t imagine anyone moving to a new city for eight months, being introduced to a brand new level of busy, making a new group of friends, having an unimaginable amount of freedom and not growing.
As I look back and actually think about how things were when I started college, I realize that I’ve grown in ways I never even imagined. It’s funny how life works like that.
Nothing will ever be the way the way that it was before I started college. Nothing will be the same as it will once I finish this year of college. Nothing will ever be just like it is right now. And that’s okay, scary, but okay.
One of my new favorite quotes by Heraclitus is, “No man will ever steps in the same river twice, for its not the same river and he’s not the same man.”
Life is a really cool thing.
The most current book I read was by Lavinia Spalding, called Writing Away: A Creative Guide to Awakening the Journal-Writing Traveler. Which was AWESOME. I’ve never wanted to travel AND write more than I have while I was reading that book. In it, she talks a lot about why it’s important to keep a journal while you’re traveling, but also why it’s so also important to keep a journal in of your “everyday” life. The last words of the book are:
“How do you intend to enter this chapter of your life? With your eyes wide open, welcoming yourself to each moment, aware that today is a time in your life that will not come again? And what will you pack to bring with you, as you travel to this ‘center of the world’ that you call home? If nothing else, bring a journal, a pen, an open heart, and your sense of wonder.”
It made me realize that whether I’m on a cool adventure, going to classes and studying everyday, or at home with my family that each day is an adventure and it should be treated like one.
I thought this was a pretty neat to thing to read as I’m finishing up my first year of college and getting ready to start a new chapter this summer. I’m excited to see where my sense of wonder takes me and what God has planned for me.