Thursday, May 14, 2015

Freshman Year: Second Semester Reflections

At the end of last semester, I made a list of lessons I learned that semester. I was reading through it, and it is just funny to remember my life at the moment of writing it. First semester was a bit of a struggle for me, to put it lightly. This semester was quite the turn around, and I am so sad that it’s almost over. Now that my first year of college is coming to an end, I decided to make another list! I am a big fan of growing and seeing how far I have come. This year was a year of incredible growth and looking back, I feel like I am a whole new person, but in the best way possible. Here are my words of wisdom, if you can call it that. :)

1. Time flies. I really can’t believe that my first year of college is over. Every day flew by. Make the most of the time you have!

2. Spending quality time with a person is way more valuable than taking a nap, going to bed early, or studying in most cases. Don’t hesitate to drop what you are doing to be with a friend.

3. A closed door doesn’t mean your life is over. I think I witnessed more doors being shut in my face than doors being opened. For example, I think I applied for three or four organizations in search of a leadership role on campus, and I was denied every time. It was hard to see my friends and people I would have loved to spend more time with get into the programs I wanted, but then this semester I was given a head leader position through Young Life that I would have never expected and never even dreamed of being equipped for. I think that’s kind of how life works. I had been praying that God would open the doors to some leadership opportunities, and then just weeks later, I found my calling.

4. Find your community. Having a sense of community is crucial to your college experience. Having a group of people who love you, support you, and can cheer you on through life will make it infinitely better, whether it’s a church group, sorority, your dorm floor, or just a solid group of friends. I found that through YoungLife and I can’t imagine my first year of college without it!

5. Life won’t be perfect every second. You aren’t going to love every aspect of college, and it will get hard at points. But that doesn’t mean that the overall experience isn’t great. In fact, it will be amazing, despite the low points. There are so many wonderful things to be happy about!

6. Don’t compare yourself or your experience to other people. Especially their social media. No one posts their low points for the world to see – they post their highest, happiest, proudest moments. Just because one person looks like they have the perfect life, doesn’t mean they aren’t struggling with the same things you are. You are on your own journey and you are exactly where you are supposed to be!

7. You don’t have to be doing what everyone else is doing. I thought this was an issue in high school, not being your own person or blazing your own trail or whatever, but I have seen so many people that are too afraid of being different. Getting out of your comfort zone is so important!

8. If you don’t like something, change it. Now is the easiest time to change yourself. If you don’t like an aspect of your life, you can wake up tomorrow and be a new person. The great thing about college is there is so many people to meet, and reinventing yourself is a big part of college for a lot of people, including me! And that’s totally okay.

9. Being relentlessly pursued by Christ and in turn, relentlessly pursuing Him has changed my life and I am so happy I made the decision to devote my life to Christ and living His perfect plan this past summer. Having a purpose beyond my earthly realm makes life worth living even more. I learned this semester more than ever how important it is to pursue Christ first, and then everything else will just fall into place.

10. Being yourself is the best way to make friends. In high school, I felt like I was not who I was meant to be. I was chasing so many other things that weren’t me. This year I got to share my testimony, or “life story” and tell all my fellow College Young Life leaders how Christ changed my life. Now, I have made some forever friends and it all came from just being me. And that is the most rewarding experience!

11. Being alone isn’t a bad thing. I spent a lot of time doing something that I was alone in – but it doesn’t mean you’re antisocial or don’t have friends. You are totally capable of running to the grocery store alone or eating in the dining hall alone. And even more importantly, you don’t have to know someone in order to go to an event! I remember the first time I ever went to YoungLife in college, I went alone, and now some of my best friends are there! Being independent is a good thing.

12. College can offer you endless opportunities, you just have to look for them and be open to taking risks and opportunities. In the end, I think taking advantage of these opportunities is so crucial. Consider that spending money on experiences is far better than money on coffee or clothes or eating out.

13. It’s one of the most cliché statements, but you will never be as young or as free as you are in college, and the responsibilities increase as you go through college. Going along with #12, now is the time to be spontaneous and take adventures and any opportunity that is thrown your way.

14. Call your mom, and your grandma, and your dad, anyone you miss often. I regret not doing better about that! I love my family and being away has made us even closer, if that’s possible. Your mom will probably become your best friend.

15. Everything works out. It always does! Sometimes I wish I could tell my first semester self that when I was practically in tears every day the first few months. It always gets easier and it will work out. K-state is the greatest school in the country, I’m convinced. J

Hopefully you enjoyed this post and found it somewhat helpful. I picked up extra shifts at work this week so I wouldn't have to leave early in the week, but I will get kicked out of the dorms eventually. I’m sad to leave Manhattan tomorrow, but I know this summer will be a blast and it’s only a few short months until I’m back again! Until next time…



No comments:

Post a Comment