- I graduate from high school, ready to see the world and experience life as an independent person.
- I get to college and talk to just about everyone I meet, quickly making friends and memories.
- Freshman year ends, and my set of friends completely changes (I hear this is normal actually?).
- I spend the last 3 years of college with friends that have now become like family to me.
- I'm having a hard time leaving my new little family of friends :(
You see, when I was in high school, I was not worried about not seeing my family when I went to college, because I mean, they're my family, I'm going to see them. In college, however, there's no guarantee that I'll see some of these people very soon again at all. These are the people that have been there through thick and thin for me. When I have a bad day, they brighten it up. When it's my birthday, they go over the top to make it incredible. When I'm sick or having a tachycardia episode, they drop everything and come help me. Without our real families around, we automatically become each other's families.
The other thing I've realized is that making these friends and keeping these friendships is hard work. If you aren't having to put effort into your friendships/relationships, then something is just wrong with them. I had it easy and already had a church and student ministry to go to because it was where my sisters went, but I still had to make my friends and establish myself in a new town when I got here. The coolest realization is that I did all of that by myself. The bad realization is that now that I am moving, I have to do it all over again, except this time I have to find a church on my own, and I'm feeling pretty nervous about that. I'm thinking: "Man I just did all this searching for friends and cultivating lifelong friendships thing. Why do I have to start again from scratch?"
I don't mean to be a downer about graduation, but my college experience was more about my friends and experiences than it was about school. Sure, I am graduating with honors, Magna Cum Laude. Sure, I received a SURF grant for research. Sure, I managed to get accepted to 4 physical therapy schools. But in the end, my college experience has been defined by the people I have surrounded myself with. I could've all of those same things shut in a cave for the past four years, but I didn't. I served on leadership, led Bible studies, went on national and international mission trips. I guess what I'm getting at is, I wish this didn't have to come to an end, because it's been some of the best years of my life.
Now let me be clear, I AM excited about moving to Conway and going to Physical Therapy school. If there is one thing that I have learned in college, it is that you never stand still, so if you aren't moving forward, then you're moving backward. Because of this, I know that I must move forward, and I know that there are many wonderful things in store for me in my future. God challenges me everyday to be more like Him and follow His call, so I am excited to see where He uses me as a future physical therapist. I wish it could be in Fayetteville, but I suppose that isn't faith if I'm putting God in a box like that. After all, He did send me to China and Australia already, and Belize on Sunday!
To finish this post off, I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who invested in me these past four years. I have had some incredible people in my life that have believed in me, pushed me, and helped me to see how God has been molding me over the past four years. If there is one piece of advice I can give after this time, it is to find a church with pastors that you fully trust and that you know truly cares about you. I was lucky enough to have that these past four years, along with numerous church family members that have made Fayetteville feel like it is my home. They love me and they are always there for me, and I know that isn't going to stop just because I move.
So, here's to Flashback Friday from Freshman to Senior year. Once a Razorback, always a Razorback. Go Hogs, and Woo Pig Sooie!
If you made it all the way down here, congratulations! This is the end! ;)
Next week I will be in Belize, but I'm working on planning some posts for you all while I'm away! Have a great weekend everyone!