College. During a pandemic.
Brand new year. Brand new me?
- I'm also introducing a new thing on my blog where I publish more free-write, 'this-should-probably-be-in-my-personal-diary' type of post, so please enjoy my thoughts -
It's been an eventful past couple of months. I finished my first semester of college, which (in my opinion) wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. Academically speaking, I thought I'd drown in homework and stress, but this semester I took it to task to manage my time and to not procrastinate, which has helped me so much. I discovered so much about myself in only my first semester.
Discovery #1: I am a people-person, but ?not really? This one's hard to explain.
I used to think that I was extroverted because I had a lot of energy to be social and talk to others. Considering I grew up with many of my peers from elementary to high school, 'friend-making' wasn't necessarily on my agenda. I was comfortable enough to be loud, to hang out and be social, it was familiar. However, here at college is a different story. Over the course of this first semester, I personally struggled with making connections because I was really shy to put myself out there. Despite attending school events and trying to introduce myself to new people - the connections just didn't work out. There even came a point in time where I tried forcing a bond with a friend group and in the end - it didn't go as I planned. I expected myself to have it all figured out by the first 3 weeks of school, but it's been about four-ish months since I've started college and I barely even have friends.
Adjusting to this new environment has not been easy, which is relatable to a lot of incoming freshmen or to anyone starting out in a new space. I thought of my situation as an 'academic-only' student (not a student on a sports team, or any team of that sort) as a disadvantage because everyone had their own friend groups formed from it, and essentially knew who was who on campus. I felt like people knew me as that unknown girl who would stay at the lounge/library for hours on end doing homework, nothing more and nothing else. It dawned on me at moments... that maybe this wasn't where I was supposed to be after all.
I'm trying to learn from the mistakes I made in the past. I realized how much of a push-over I can be, because I allow it to happen without even noticing that I'm setting myself up. I've been a lot more selective with who I choose to hang around because I don't want to get caught up with the wrong crowd, and I don't want to be taken advantage of. In a weird way, I'm happy I don't have a lot of friends. I've come to terms that I may not even have the biggest circle as I used too, and that's okay. At the same time, I do want to get to know people. Isn't that confusing? I confuse myself.
Here's the blessing though. Despite my struggle in making friends (which honestly isn't the most terrible thing , like... there's worse events/news/situations happening in this world, but here's what I've been at ends with), the small amount of friends I have made have been some of the most encouraging, genuine, and amazing people I've ever met. Take my roommate (shoutout to you, Rebecca! I appreciate you.) for example. It's been so nice to have someone so refreshing to live with, especially in college. We have the same type of vibe and she pushes me to do things that I've never done - like sports. Anyone who knows me well enough would know I've never liked, or done sports. That in itself speaks volumes about how wonderful the people I've met are. My Bible-study small group has allowed me to connect with some high-quality sisters-in-Christ. Connecting with my small network has been some of the best highlights of my college life thus far.
Discovery #2: I really like note-taking.
This seems like an uninteresting fact about myself, but I would've never thought that note-taking were one of the joys in my life. Maybe that's why I want to be a journalist, haha. Not to sound like such a freak - but I'd take notes about 3 times. First as chicken scratch, next on a word document, then neatly on paper. Sometimes I'd rewrite it a fourth time if I'm not happy with the way it looks. Not convinced I'm crazy? I have a whole drawer + 2 pencil cases full of more pens, highlighters, and pencils. I bought specific notebooks because I want my notes to look a certain way. My notes have been CARRYING ME throughout the semester. It also makes me more inclined to read it again and again, because it looks so pretty. Here's a snippet page of notes I've took in one of my classes as evidence - it's a work in progress with my lettering and all, but I'm proud of it.
Discovery #3: I needed to take a chill-pill with politics.
In my last published article, I wrote a narrative about my beliefs as a conservative, as a Christian, and my support for President Trump and his administration (which my support still stands, by the way). Since that article, it's been interesting to see how people who differed in opinion/beliefs have interacted with me whenever I spoke out about something politically charged. On my personal social media accounts (which I must stress, *PERSONAL*) my purpose of sharing conservative values is to promote discussion. In no means do I ever intend to argue with people, and I hate for discussions to lead up to that. By God's blessing, I've definitely learned (and am still learning) to handle heated topics like abortion, homosexuality, and social justice issues with a lot more poise than I used to back in the day. I think it's important as someone with unpopular opinions to be open with the popular ones, to understand where they're coming from. It's like the golden rule... do unto others as you would have them do unto you - and yeah, it's golden for a reason. I've had more people become open and receptive towards my thoughts, asking about what the Bible says about particular things or my perspective on issues as a young conservative. It's so cool to be able to people that I otherwise wouldn't have, let alone talk about Jesus to friends who don't know who Jesus is. My heart flutters just writing about it.
As for the elephant in the room, yes. We have a new president now. Was I disappointed, crushed, furious? yes. Am I worried about it now? no. God is still in control, and although things are inevitably about to get CRAZY, I'm not stressing out about it anymore. I've learned to 'chillax' about politics. God's got this. My eyes are fixed on the prize - HEAVEN! Spending eternity with Jesus. I really, really, really, really, really CAN'T WAIT for that day.
No doubt, I still get heated seeing things on social media, and with the current administration I've had a couple face palms lately, but I forget that at the end of the day, we're all sinners. This serves as a constant reminder that we live in a fallen world where sin runs rampant, but Jesus came to redeem us from that. It's all the more reason for me to pray for the salvation of souls to Christ -- I shouldn't be relying on the current government administration, rather any human-lead administration, to save the people at all. Despite the craziness that world is going through, or whatever I'm going through - God reigns above it all. It puts me at peace knowing that it's not in my hands and that I can leave it up to the one who created all things. Thank you Jesus.
Discovery #4: Future starts now.
It's mind-boggling to me that I'm turning TWENTY next year. TWENTY. It's been driving me insane to think I'm on the training wheels of adult-hood right now and in just a matter of years I'll have my own bills to pay. To say I'm not ready is an understatement. I'm ABSOLUTELY not ready. This semester I'm starting to turn the gears more towards pushing for my future goals, praying more about what God has in store for me, and taking the opportunities that come my way.
I remember someone telling me that college encourages you to dig deeper with your thoughts, and it for sure has. I'm not sure if it's the fact that I have way too much alone time, but I'm definitely grateful for my first-year experience.