To The Non-Traditional College Kid
I have been contemplating for quite a while how to write this article. My college experience has been what many would call a mess, but looking back, I would not trade this adventure for the world. It has brought me closer to the Lord, further from what I had called home for so long, caused a tremendous amount of tears, and led me to a place where I know the Lord needed me.
To give you a little backstory, I did what most seniors in high school do and applied to every school that I would even remotely consider. After the annoyingly long application process was over, I waited and when that first acceptance letter came I felt so relieved at the fact that I WAS GOING TO COLLEGE. Whether it was that school or not, I would be somewhere and that my friends, was enough to satisfy for a moment.
Then time went on a little further and so did a few more letters and then decisions came and I believed that staying home for this chapter of my life was what I needed to do. So I decided on that, I felt that what I needed to do was go to a private school just minutes from my house.
Pleased with this decision, I was firm and immediately stopped looking into other options. My heart was content, I told my friends I was committing to a four-year university and things were how I thought they should be.
Just before commitment day (about 24 hours before) my plans for the school I thought I was ready for completely fell through. I was a mess, a complete disaster emotionally, and 100% at a loss for what the future would hold.
Soon enough, graduation came and went, my friends were on their way to other states and cities, and I was at home (just like I would have been if I had committed to the school I had planned on). But when the first day of school came, I headed to a local community college instead of the school that was minutes away. I was bitter that I ended up where I did while many of those I was close to were out rushing for sororities and meeting what seemed like an abundance of friends at welcome week.
Perhaps you are there now, or maybe you have been there, just lost confused and feeling completely out of place. Maybe you know in your heart you don't belong where you are. May I please encourage you by saying that your story does not end there. Your life is nowhere near as over as you think it is.
That first fall semester of college came and went, I made one lifelong friend, took tons of trips to Disneyland and visited my friends who had gone away. To be honest, I realized that this whole staying home for four years thing wasn't for me after all. Don't get me wrong, I was so comfortable at home, I had a steady job, I finally had that community I had been craving, but I knew that things fell through with school number one for a reason.
This realization led me to apply to one school out of state and I really thought, "we will just see what happens, if I don't go there next year, it'll be alright."
This school, however, was a lot different than the first, everything that needed to fall into place in order for me to go there did. It was one yes after another. I knew I needed to get out of the house and the hometown I grew up in and just see what this place was all about.
Friends, I had never been stretched like that before. I never thought I would need to lean on God like I did that first year of college. I never in a million years thought that in those 2 short semesters God would provide lasting friendships, a life-changing mission trip, and eventually what felt like a new beginning in a new state.
I am not writing this to just vent to you about my college experience but to let you know that the mountain you may be facing, though big, holds something on the other side. Unless you keep on going, you aren't ever going to see it.
That in between, lost, and out of place feeling is not where your story stops. Keep on trucking, keep on seeking Jesus, and keep in mind that it's alright to be in process. He makes beautiful things out of the dust. He is making something beautiful out of you.