I didn't want to go. We had to pack for the flight, we had to get ready to go, and I did not want to add another choice into my head for college. I ended up applying to around 15 colleges, and adding more was not what I had in mind with a month and a half until decision day. But I went with my mom anyways.
Let me tell you how we got here.
I had been born in Ridgecrest California and always dreamed of living in California. Just like I had always dreamed of being a singer, actor, model, lawyer, or doctor as a child. 16 years after leaving California, I went back with my mom to visit Pepperdine University and the crash site. Two days before we were going to head back to Michigan, I was picking out a bathing suit. I had tried on at least 20 the day before, and did not like any. But the next day, we were in the San Diego area when I saw a surf shop, and wanted to take a look at the bathing suits in there. The worker was talking to me about why I came to California and I explained that I was visiting a college. He proceeded to tell me about this college not too far from where we were at the time. My mom took interest as I continued to shop around. The last day we were in California, right before we ate dinner, my mom searched up Point Loma Nazarene University and took us there. It was after the admissions office had closed and the date for applying had already passed. However, God always works in his timing.
My mom and I walked into the building to get a self tour guide and there was a man who started talking to us. He worked in the admissions office and would be willing to show us around campus because he had to work late anyways. His name was Kelby and he continued to tell us of his experience of being a student at Point Loma. As we walked around campus and I heard of what the college had to offer, I started to realize how much I actually liked it. Everyone we ran into greeted Kelby and was outstandingly kind and friendly. The buildings were beautiful, as well as the campus. The majors they offered were exactly what I had been looking for. I didn't think I was going to find a college that could offer the academic challenge I was looking for, a cross country and track team, and the majors I wanted. But it was right underneath me, literally, as I stood on the campus.
Throughout my college search, I didn't understand what people meant when they said they loved the college that they had chosen. I didn't know if I was going to find one to fit my desires. Nonetheless, I did. As my mom and I left to go eat dinner in San Diego, we could not stop talking about how much we were impressed with at Point Loma. In my heart, it felt right to choose PLNU. But in my mind, I wanted to stay close to home and pick the most practical option. I still had to apply, and if I was not accepted I knew where I was going.
I started the application and had some difficulties along the way, but whenever I did, Kelby called and sorted it out. That was one of the most shocking things. I had only ever had one other college call me to make sure the application was going okay.
The few weeks I waited for the letter to find out if I had been accepted or not was one of the most suspenseful and anxious times I've had in my life. Meanwhile, friends, family, my mind, and being home was causing me to doubt what I had felt at Point Loma.
Fast forward a few weeks, and I get a call from my mom as I am leaving physical therapy. A package from Point Loma had arrived and she wanted to open it. I said no. I opened it and I had gotten accepted! I started to think over what it would mean to choose Point Loma or my other option, the biggest drawbacks were cost and distance from home. If I were to choose Point Loma, I felt that I would miss my family. If I were to choose the other option, I felt that I would regret not going to Point Loma.
Two years ago, I was supposed to go to boarding school in California, and I had not done it because I was afraid of being far from home. Now, after talking with my exchange student, my mom, and praying about it, I feel at peace (for the most part) about going away from home for 8 months. I have stayed close to home for 18 of my years. I needed to branch out and do what my heart was calling me to do.
If I do not like Point Loma Nazarene University after a year, I can always transfer back home. That is the nice thing about college, you're not committing to stay for four years. But if I don't take this chance now, I don't know if I will ever be ready.
Through everything, deciding on a college has taught me a lot about myself and a lot about life.
I learned that I don't like exiting my comfort zone but I just have to trust God.
Even though I don't get along with my siblings all the time, I'm going to miss seeing them grow over the year. I will miss their basketball games, my brother's first year in high school, and my sister's last year of middle school. I won't be there when they get their heart broken or bullied. I won't have my sister to talk to or do my hair. My brother can't tell me about his video games and ask me to play with him. Not having my parents around through hard times or for big events will suck. I can't go knock on their door and cry on their shoulder. But I can call them or FaceTime. I can come home, and I will be home during the summer.
My oldest brother left the country and has been living on his own for over a year, my exchange student has only been home for 4 months out of the past 24. People travel and people follow their calling. Sometimes it takes us miles from home and sometimes it takes us right outside our doorstep.
Before I decided where I was going, I felt like a blinking cursor on a screen at the end of a chapter. Everyone else had already begun to write their next chapter and I was stuck with writer's block. Now, I am ready to begin the next chapter (after I graduate, of course).
If you're a student not sure of where you want to go, explore your options. If you're an adult wanting to travel, don't stay in one place.
Wherever your heart calls you, don't let the fears of comfort zones keep you where you are. That is not how life gets lived. Don't be just a blinking cursor waiting.
And right now, I think my heart has called me to Point Loma Nazarene University.