Going into my first semester of college, I was terrified. I had never lived so far away from home before. I wasn't used to being on my own, and I none of my friends from high school were going to the university as me. I was so nervous that I would never make any friends, or that my classes would be too hard, or that going to college would change me. But I did make friends. And my professors were more than happy to help me if and when I struggled. And while college has changed me, I fully believe that it has changed me for the better.

This semester taught me that I can't always be the best at everything, and that's okay. When I was in high school, I had an almost obsession with being the smartest, the most involved. I wanted to be someone people would remember after graduation, and I believe that I am. But I can see now that having everyone know you doesn't really matter. Having everyone remember you doesn't really matter. What matters is that you make time for the people who really care about you, and who you really care about. Because in the end, people aren't going to remember that you were involved in every club or good at every subject, they're going to remember how you treated them.

This semester taught me that God will never ever leave me alone. I prayed and prayed for God to send me someone at college that would accept me for me. I was so terrified coming into college that I wouldn't make any new friends, and that my friends at home would forget about me. Neither of those things turned out to be true. My prayers were answered. I've met so many amazing, strong, Godly young women this semester, and I am so incredibly thankful for each and every one of them. I know that no matter what, I can count on them. They love the woman I am, and they love the woman I am becoming.

Most importantly, this semester taught me that when people say college changes you, they aren't wrong, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing. College does change you. It teaches you about yourself. It tests your morals, your willpower, your patience. It causes you to question things you thought you were absolutely sure of. But it doesn't have to turn you into someone that you don't want to be. It doesn't have to break you. It didn't break me; it made me stronger. And for that, I am so thankful.