As I wrap up the end of my Freshman year of college, I talk to a lot of people who are very eager to get home for the summer. While I am very excited for the time I will get to spend with my parents, brothers, and friends during June and July, I will not be spending extended amounts of time at home.
You know the scene in Beauty and the Beast where everyone in Belle's poor provincial town thinks she's a freak because she thinks differently and wants different things than them? That was me for all four years of high school. In a small town where hardly anyone could sympathize with my disdain because they had all lived in the same town with the same people their whole lives. It was honestly like we spoke a different language like there was a cultural wall between us that neither could understand. I have heard my high school classmates' parents discourage them from pursuing a college education, I have seen parents make their children contribute all their earnings to family bills instead of encouraging them to save their money so they may live independently. I have first hand experienced the small town phenomenon where one girl decides not to like you, and so in the span of what seems like three minutes, her sisters, her cousins, her parents, and probably her dog also don't like you.
This is not to say that I did not have enjoyable experiences during the time I spent in my tiny town. I did a monumental amount of growing up there. I think I needed every broken heart and hurt feeling and misunderstanding to make me who I am. My small group of friends from my high school are still some of the most treasured people in my life, and my church family was unlike any other, but it was very clear to me, and probably everyone else that I needed to be somewhere else.
Small town life is what makes some people whole and that is okay. You can be happy and be thriving in your town and never want to go anywhere else and I will not judge you for it, but I had dreams that I needed to make a reality. I cannot tell you how many nights of my senior year were spent frantically searching for scholarships and crying as every rejection letter or tuition cost that I couldn't afford took away pieces of these dreams. However, every acceptance, every financial aid package, and every teacher who told me they were proud of me helped me attain my goals.
God is sovereign, and I certainly learned that through the college process last year, and I'm sure that what I have learned this year is only the tip of the iceberg. I look forward to discovering God's faithfulness in the trials that I have yet to overcome. I want to encourage people who find themselves in the same situation as I was to pursue your most far fetched goals even if they are different from those around you because there is a light at the end of the tunnel.