It’s just a wave

PXWC2948.jpgFreshman year, the best of times, the worst of times, and then of course, the quite literally everything in between of times. Today, I took my last exam, packed up my teeny room, and said good bye to the once unfamiliar white cinderblock walls that I can now look at and call home. Today, I remembered exactly how I felt on move- in day; anxious, unsure, terrified, yet so incredibly excited. I remembered the strange, unshakable feeling of uneasiness inside me that came with knowing that nothing was going to be the same anymore. I remembered the thrill in going two floors down to see my best friends, the joy in having campus as my view outside my window, and the sense of independence I felt as my parents officially left me to be on my own. But oh man, I had no idea what the next eight months had in store for me. Absolutely none.

These last few weeks of the semester have been some of the most challenging ones of my freshman year thus far, and for a variety of reasons. People say “it gets better” and “give it time” but I do not believe in that. Freshman year, and these last few weeks in particularly, have taught me that no amount of time can prepare you for certain experiences. No one person can assure you that life gets easier, not in fact harder. No matter what stage of life you are in, what trial you are pushing through, or what victory you are celebrating, it is all about a matter of perspective. It is all about knowing where your trust lies, and where your mind is set; inevitably in our maker and above earthly things. Ultimately, you have to choose to make the best out of any situation you are in, not just “wait” for it to get better.

About three months ago, John Mayer released a song entitled “emoji of a wave”. If you know me at all, you know that seconds after this song was released I was listening to it and analyzing his every word. After I got past the weird title, I fell in love with the song and its meaning. The “wave” he sings about actually symbolizes the hardships in life. The things that are way beyond our control and the things that seem to completely sweep us off our feet. The unpredictabilities in life that he then (and we) choose to cling to are out of fear, out of not knowing.

Cliche as it may seem, John got it pretty dang right with this one (even though he actually gets it right with every one). What people won’t tell you is that freshman year is hard– really. freaking. hard. I do not mean that academically either. I mean that emotionally, physically, and honestly, in every other possible way. Of course it is an absolute blast, but it really does test you like never before. I experienced emotions I had never felt before, and faced situations I had never dreamed about being put in. No matter what feeling or experience I was dealing with though, I always had to remind myself that it really was just a wave. That given circumstance was going to pass, and I had way too many reasons to make the most of my situation rather than the opposite. I was not going to let the wave crash over me, rather I was going to ride it. It took me a while to do learn that, but I did, and my biggest tip to incoming freshman is to do the same. People you are close with now, people you will become close with, they will disappoint you. Do not let those people define you. Do not let the mistakes you make take power of you, because you will make mistakes, we all do. Just because one day, one week, or one month is hard, does not mean it always has to be. God is so good, he will provide, he will totally surprise you, and he will leave you feeling so filled.

I honestly do not know how to sum up my freshman year. I think in reality it is an impossible task, but I am okay with that. This year I grew in so many ways, I made so many dear friends, and I lost some too. I cried, a lot, but I laughed and smiled a heck of a lot more. I made memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life and created stories that I can one day share with my kids. I can hardly even imagine what life was like for me a year ago because of how different it looks now, but I know that I would do this all again if it meant I would know what I know now. I am not sure what sophomore year, or even this summer has in store for me, but I am so ready for it (well, I think). More so than ever before, I am ready for the experiences and the hardships to come my way because all I have to remember is that really, it’s just a wave.

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Totally content

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I do not know about you all, but this spring weather has me feeling just giddy about life right now. Like most, today was my second day back on campus from an incredible (and much needed) week long spring break. Fully rested and ready to take these last six weeks of classes head on, I left my dorm this morning with a little more pep in my step and an extra sense of eagerness for the day ahead of me.

I had the opportunity to spend my break with 27 of my closest sorority sisters in one of my very favorite towns– Seaside, Florida. The beach is a place that has always been near and dear to my heart, so getting to experience going here like never before was just too much fun. We all stayed in one house and as chaotic as that may sound, I actually ended up having a lot of time to reflect on myself, my relationships with others, and the first half of this semester. It was so nice to be able to process life at a slower speed than normal, and to have the chance to process it with girls just like me. I had some of the most intentional conversations with some truly genuine girls and it made my heart so dang happy.

I also got to spend time reading, which is a rare but very much enjoyable leisure of mine due to my busy schedule. I read three different books and loved them all, but specifically Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, quickly became my favorite. In fact, it became my favorite book that I have ever read. Not kidding, it was that good. I could write SO much about it, but I will just highly suggest it for every girl that is pursuing her walk with Christ to read at some point in her life.

Although this trip was everything and more that I could of asked for, I still often found myself not feeling fully content. Some days we went into different towns to shop around and I was constantly wanting certain materialistic things that I definitely did not need. Even though a new t-shirt or hat may not of seemed like a huge deal at the time, those items would then lead to a new sweatshirt, or a new pair of shoes. It became a process that seemed un-ending, especially with 27 other girls who seemed to have it all. I found myself starting to compare and not being content with what I had, and for heavens-sake, I was the beach!!

Today, the girl who disciples me sent me a text asking how she could specifically be praying for me right now. I thought about it for a second and then asked her to pray that I have a heart of contentment. Not just for me to feel that way financially or socially, but whole heartedly, that I may continually feel content. Content with my singleness, knowing that I have no need to question the Lords plan for me and another guy someday. Content with my grades and understanding that my GPA for a semester does not define the rest of my life. Content with my appearance, recognizing that God specifically designed me just the way I am, and honestly, how cool of a thing is that to think about.

I realized that these last six weeks of school, much like this year as a whole, are going to fly by. Instead of wishing them away which I tend to do, I want to embrace them. I want to take each day and be content with it, even more than that, I want to be thankful for it. There are only so many days until summer starts and often in the spring, the idea of summer is the only thing that is getting us through the last grueling couple of weeks. So, as the spring trees bloom and a new season of life begins, let us be more than just okay with where we are all at in life. For once, let us be totally content.

All you need is love– and a whole lot of girlfriends.

It has been a while since my last post, but you know how life is, it gets in the way and it happens. Well, since my last post, I went skiing for the first time (it was as scary as it sounds), went on a 10-day mission trip to Belize, started my second semester of classes, committed to a summer in Destin with KALEO, ended a year and a half long relationship, chopped my hair off, and bought John Mayer tickets to his concert in two months. AH. I know right. If you’re anywhere close to feeling like you are standing in the midst of chaos, know that you are not alone.

As much as I would love to write about the quite literally thousand emotions I have been experiencing in the past month, I will save your time and instead write about the people that deserve to be written about. I have talked to countless people since my time back on campus about countless things. If there is one thing I learned over my break, it is the need for a solid spiritual community in every persons life. Even if you are one of those people who prefer to watch Netflix alone and talk about how much you hate everyone– you still need strong people in your life.

I have recently gone through one of the hardest stages in my life, and that has been experiencing the pain of true heartache. It sucks. There is no other way to say it really. The only way I am getting through it is through the people I have been choosing to surround myself with, and that is with a lot of awesome girls, all of the time. Girls: no matter how in love you are with that guy in your life right now, know that it is so likely that he will one day become a stranger. Which is weird and scary and if I would of read that six months ago I would of ignored it, but it is just a fact of life. However, your closest girlfriends, they will not become strangers. My point is, keep your girls close at all times because they are the ones who will help you heal and help you reinvent yourself, they will be there when that guy is not. If you feel so un-loved by someone right now, know that there are SO many people out there who do love you. Surround yourself with those people, because those are the people you need in your life.

College is so weird. It changes people so much and it happens right in front of your eyes, and sometimes there is nothing you can do but just watch. Change is hard, but sometimes it is necessary. Our God is so abounding in grace and love and he knows exactly what is happening in our lives, especially when we cannot even begin to understand it. He also wants us to be in community with one another, in fact that is the beauty of the Christian life. We all get to take on this crazy thing called life together and try our best to do it right. My girlfriends are truly incredible. They will cry with me for no reason at all, they will make me go out and have fun and love it, they will pick me up and drive me around and eat ice cream with me until we get lost. They comfort me, and every girl needs comfort in her life. My girlfriends, they do these things, and sometimes I  do not even fully understand why. I do not deserve these things, half of the time I do not even ask for them. They do them for me out of love, and they know that I would do the exact same for them.

I could shout out literally 20 different people right now, but if you are one of those girls and you’re reading this, you know exactly that I am talking to you. I hope you know that you have kept me sane, and that I love you. To every girl reading this, do not feel weighed down by someone who is not deserving of your time. Go do your thing. Cut your hair, be spontaneous with your girlfriends, plan a trip for the summer based on what you want, not anyone else. Do these things because you can, and you only have so much time to do them.  So my dear reader, if you are in high school or if you are my age, or four years older than me, you may or may not know that in life, all you need is love– and a whole lot of girlfriends. Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

To my first semester of my freshman year: that’s a wrap.

Today I finished my last day of my first semester of college. I took my last exam, packed up my dorm room, and moved back home for the holidays. Seems like such a small step when you look at it from the span of four years right? Oddly enough, it felt like such a big one. Everyone knows the expression “time flies” but to college kids, this phrase acts like a red flag– just waving around counting down the days till adulthood. Because in college, time goes by ridiculously, almost painfully fast.

Today marked the halfway point of my freshman year. Yeesh. I’m not even sure I know how to feel about it all yet. In the span of four months I moved away from my home (only 15 minutes away but still a big step people), started classes at the University I have dreamed about attending since I was a little girl, got a new job, joined a sorority, and well, you get the idea. A whole lot of change in an extremely short amount of time. It wasn’t anything like I expected either. Just like high school, you’ll come to find that college isn’t like the movies.

Of course college is exciting, it’s something new and different. But college is also hard. It can be lonely and even depressing at times, and then it can turn around and be the most fun you’ve ever had. It’s hard because there is a campus surrounding you of people who are completely and utterly lost. There are people there who you wouldn’t even know attend class. There are people there who do absolutely nothing but party. There are people there who find their identity and worth solely in guys, girls, alcohol, or their fraternity/sorority. Sincerity in people is something that is very rare to find in college, and it’s something I strive to look for in all of my relationships now.

I’ve come to find that dating in college is hard to. Finding time in each-others schedule is a nearly impossible task in itself, but then there’s also the fact that you’re both trying to figure out a lot about yourselves while simultaneously balancing your relationship on top of everything else in your life. Dating in college comes down to if the person you’re dating is someone who will end up being worth it it all in the long run. In college, you see people you knew like you’ve never seen them before. But you also meet people. A lot of really. awesome. people. Right now. you can call people you didn’t even know existed 6 months ago your best friends. Weird things like that are just somehow normal in college.

You eat a lot of junk food and look like a hobo 5/5 days a week. You have random dance parties in dorm rooms and bring stress to a whole new level during late night study sessions. You procrastinate. You drink a ton of coffee. You’re more broke than you thought was even possible. But most importantly, I think in college you learn how to appreciate the little things in life. Home cooked meals, fresh laundry, your bed being made by your roommate. You learn to appreciate time, and people, because time is short, days are long, and the people who you love the most won’t always be there. I’ve loved my first semester of college and I’ve definitely made memories that will last me a lifetime. But I’m so ready to see what these next three and a half years have in store for me. So, to my first semester of my freshman year: that’s a wrap.

Why wait?

Have you ever been so inspired by someone, something, or some place that you felt a burning desire to just do something about it? Maybe you just watched the Victoria’s Secret fashion show and felt so self-conscious about your body that you decided to create a new daily workout routine to improve your physical condition. But, days, weeks, even months of not attempting this routine go by, and that promise you once made yourself becomes a foreign idea. It happens to the best of us ladies– the reality of never looking like one of those angels eventually settles in.

Honestly though, I’m guilty of this. I’m guilty of wanting change, needing change, but often doing nothing about it. And I know I’m not the only one who’s at fault for this. Whether its due to fear, business, or a change of heart, that promise we make ourselves never truly seems to leave the back of our minds. Well, I’ve been telling myself since my Sophomore year of High School that I wanted to create a blog. I knew I liked writing and I learned from writing for the school newspaper that I liked it even more when others were able to read my work. I just didn’t know what to make my blog about.

I didn’t know where exactly to begin, or if people would even read it– if people would actually care to even read it. So, I didn’t do anything about it, until now. I remember picking up the books Not That Kind Of Girl by Lena Dunham and Yes Please by Amy Poehler a couple of years back and falling in love with each woman’s style. They expressed their innermost thoughts, their “been their done that” stories, and most importantly, they wrote to an audience of complete strangers as if these people were their most trusted friends. These women practically handed out a personal diary of their lives to a world of  people that don’t even know them, and it rocked. They didn’t care if what they said was politically correct or if it was going to offend someone, they just said it, and you either ended up loving it or hating it.

These books gave me an idea for my blog. They inspired me to write about my life. My crazy, messy, wonderful life. I am not a fashion guru writing about what my fans should wear. I am not a house mom suggesting products or recipes other moms should try. And I am definitely not someone important, just a person you can hopefully relate to. I’m an 18 year-old college freshman that wants somewhere to express my thoughts, dreams, desires and wishes. I want to create something that you can look at and laugh at, something you can read and feel good about, something you could even feel inspired by.

Today was just another normal day for me. Nothing special about it at all, but for some reason I decided to make this blog. I sat on my bed took out my laptop, journal, and pen, and I did something that I’ve been trying to get myself for years to do. And I can’t really tell you why, but I can tell you that it felt good. And I encourage you to try to do the same. Knock out that one thing on your to do list, that one thing that keeps nagging at you to accomplish. Why you may ask? Because you can, and you should. So, why wait?

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