God Control Summer

I Hate Driving So I Let God Take The Wheel

With a lack of direction, I decided that this summer was the summer for God to come in and do whatever He wanted with my life.


At the end of the school year, I assumed that I'd be back in my hometown surrounded by family and working as a CNA (certified nursing assistant). I assumed that I'd spend my free time reading and sunbathing. I truly thought that I'd spend my last collegiate summer doing what I had been the other 3 times.

However, a month in and I am living in Charlottesville. I have a job at a garden center. The friend that I was planning to spend a lot of time with had to go home indefinitely. This is certainly not what I expected.

I really can't tell you why I decided to come back to Charlottesville. My parents weren't exactly happy, but I was set in my decision. At that point, I didn't have a job. I was literally coming back to do nothing. I had one friend left in town. I had never driven in Charlottesville before. Why in the world did I decide to uproot everything and leave my comfort zone?

I have no clue what is going on, but I know God is behind it all.

Once I arrived in Charlottesville to an empty house and nothing set to do, I panicked a little bit. What in the world did I just do? I have to cook for myself and drive places. I have to buy groceries. What do I do with my life?

Yet, during all this panic, I also had an unexplainable peace. With the lack of direction, I decided that this summer was the summer for God to come in and do whatever He wanted with my life. I prayed that He would point me to what He wanted me to do and to give me the ability to trust Him in it.

The first week was weird. I walked to Starbucks a lot. I did a lot of quiet times (with my new bible). I read a lot. I started watching "The Office." However, I was getting bored. I needed something more active to do with my summer.

It made sense to look for CNA jobs, but in my heart, that was the last thing I wanted to do. I decided to apply at Barnes and Noble (my bucket list job), but that was a dead end. While looking for jobs, I ran across a position for garden maintenance, and on a whim, I decided to apply. I had never gardened before, I had rarely found myself outdoors for the fun of it, and I had never heard of the place, but before I knew it, I had a job that I was slated to start in two days. Cool.

I've only worked there for a bit, but it's fun. It's hot and sometimes physical, but I get to be in nature, and I'm usually by myself (my introvert dream). I find myself getting to talk to God and really appreciate the world He made.

On days off, I frequent Barnes and Noble. I hang out with pals. I do my quiet times. I go to Book Club. I'm happy here.

I still don't know God's full purpose for the summer. I may never know. But I am living it, I am enjoying it, and I'm using the freedom from stress to figure out what I believe and what is important to me.

I don't like change, yet this summer, everything has changed. I've never gardened in my life, but now it's my job. I hate driving, but here, I drive daily. There's no way that I alone decided to lead my life in this direction.

This summer, I am consciously letting God take the lead. I am stepping out of my comfort zone and conquering my fears. I can't wait to see what all happens.

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40 Small Things That Make College Students Happy

It doesn't take much...

1. When class is canceled.

2. When the coffee shop you stop at five minutes before your 8 a.m. has a short line.

3. Coffee, coffee, coffee.

4. Open note tests.

5. Or even better, take home tests.

6. The unofficial assigned seating process that that takes place after the first week or so of classes.

7. Thursday nights. (because in college, Thursday qualifies as the weekend.)

8. Sales.

9. Or once again, even better, free things.

10. Specifically free food.

11. Dogs.

12. Dogs on campus.

13. Tailgates and Saturday afternoon football games.

14. Finding an already completed Quizlet for your exam.

15. Having an extra 30 minutes for a nap, and if you're lucky, an hour.

16. Netflix.

17. When your roommate takes out the trash.

18. Weekends after test weeks.

19. The rare blessing of a curve on an exam.

20. Getting out of class early.

21. How in college, it is socially expectable to wear a t-shirt everyday.

22. Being able to walk from class to class or eat in the dining hall without having to see anyone you know. (and thank goodness too because you probably don't look too good.)

23. Crossing things off of your to-do list.

24. Your best-friends that you make in college.

25. A full tank of gas.

26. Seeing a new face everyday.

27. Crawling back into bed after your 8 or 9 a.m. (or after any class that ends with a.m.)

28. Care packages.

29. No cover charges.

30. When adults tell you that it is okay that you have no idea what you want to do with your life yet. (regardless of what parents or your advisor may say.)

31. Pizza.

32. Finding out you weren't the only one who did poorly on the exam.

33. Deciding not to buy the textbook, and never needing it.

34. Finding the perfect gif to express how you're feeling. (Michael Scott just get it.)

35. Weekends at home because...

36. Pets.

37. Mom's home cooked pie and Dad's steak dinners,

38. Spring Break.

39. Road trips.

40. When it finally starts to cool down outside so you can show up to class dry instead of dripping in sweat.

Cover Image Credit: Abigail Wideman

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Everyone Should Experience Working In Fast Food Or Retail

Working in fast food was definitely not sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows, but I'm so glad I did it.


I know these jobs aren't glamorous. In fact, most days I looked forward to clocking out before I had even clocked in. I always secretly rolled my eyes when an angry customer droned on and on about how entitled he or she was. Though I can name a lot of bad things that happened on the job, it wasn't all horrible. As I reflect on my time working in fast food, I realize how much having that job really taught me and how grateful I am to have had that experience. I really think everyone should work in fast food or retail at some point, and here's why:

You make some great friends from work. I get it, sometimes your co-workers are royal jerks or flat out creeps. You see your name on the schedule next to theirs and immediately try switching with someone else. I've been there. However, I have worked with some amazing people as well.

Every time I worked with one girl in particular, we laughed for entire shifts. One night, we were singing the national anthem at the top of our lungs without realizing a customer had come in (to our surprise, she applauded our terrible screaming). Another coworker and I turned up the radio on full blast when business was slow and had dance battles. We made the most of our shifts, and I still talk to some of these people today.

You learn how to deal with difficult people. It's the age-old story: the uppity customer thinks twelve dollars for a meal combo is outrageous and Where is your manager?!

My friend and I were once called stupid and a customer said he would never come back to our restaurant to eat ever again. At the moment, we were scared out of our minds because we were both pretty new to the job. As time passed, we became more patient and tolerant and knew what triggered these particular customers. Dealing with these adversities definitely helps in the long run, particularly when it comes to doing group work with people who seem unbearable.

Your people skills increase by a landslide. I had always thought that I was great with people before I had a job. However, when I found myself in situations where I had to talk to strangers, I would grow nervous and stumble across my words from time to time. Working in an environment where communicating with others is a driving force helped me not only with improving my public speaking, but also made me more outgoing. In situations where I once backed into the corner to avoid having to talk to someone, I now take charge and initiate a conversation.

You establish a connection with regular customers. My favorite customer was named Jack. He was the sweetest old man who came in every Wednesday and Friday and bought food for himself and his wife. I quickly memorized his order, which impressed him. We shared pleasantries every time he came in, and my coworkers and I looked forward to seeing him.

Establishing a relationship with people who come in a lot helps immensely when it comes to working. It also provides a sense of accomplishment when you memorize an order. Not to mention, the customers start to like you and typically leave a generous tip!

You have stories to tell for a lifetime! Sometimes bad things happen at work. Once I was holding a hot pan and burned my arm— I still have the burn mark on my arm to prove it. My point is, it sucked at the moment, but now I look back and laugh.

One time I asked my coworker how to make soup and she replied, "Slowly, but beautifully." It was so nonchalant that I cracked up for hours. There was also a time when a customer asked me for outlandish toppings and condiments that we didn't offer. The craziest story, though, was the drug deal that went down in our public restrooms. My coworker and I obviously could not leave our station and follow these people into the bathroom, so we were pretty much defenseless. Nobody got hurt or anything, so it made for a great story.

Working in fast food was definitely not sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows, but I'm so glad I did it. It made me more independent and outgoing and gave me memories I'll never forget.

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