I think that most people can agree that everyone changes during different stages of life. One of the most critical and exciting changes you will encounter happen either before or during college. The amount of freedom and independence that college comes with brings out the best in most individuals. Honesty, if I was the same person I am today during high school, I would have been a completely different girl.
I would have spoken up for myself more.
I would have challenged myself.
I would have worked less and played more.
I wouldn’t have let anyone “bully” me or a friend.
I wouldn’t be the girl in the corner at parties.
I would have cursed a lot more.
I would have questioned the grades teachers gave me.
I wouldn’t be as much of a penny pincher.
I wouldn’t have been as much of a people pleaser.
I probably wouldn’t have fallen in love with the same guys.
And they wouldn’t have fallen in love with me.
The truth is, I am a completely different person than who I was two or three years ago and that’s okay.
I used to say I was comfortable in my own skin and to a degree I can still say the same. Although I have a much better sense of fashion and my closet is made of quality and not quantity, there are times I say “ I wish I looked like her” or if only I could share clothes with my sisters. I have a better sense of what I need to do to stay healthy because the truth is that the "freshman fifteen" isn't a myth. It is very real.
I used to concern myself with what my parents and family thought of me. Today, sometimes I do, but not always. I make most of my decisions myself because after all it’s my life.
I used to rely on others to show me what a true relationship with Christ looks like. While I still look to others as example, I have a better understanding of what God needs from me and what I need from him. I need to put my life in his hands and most importantly trust. My freshman year of college I was miserable at Samford and started to hate every day. But with patience and guidance from the Lord, I witnessed him change a list of closed doors into opportunities I couldn't plan for.
A list of changes that this 20-year-old has been through feels like quite an accomplishment, but none of them would be possible if it wasn’t for the experiences I’ve been through. That first kiss. That first sip of alcohol. That first late night. That first road trip. That first mission trip. That first weekend in college. That first coffee date. A couple of years of firsts that led me to who I am today, and I could never be more grateful.
Some will say that the last two years have been hard for many reasons. And it’s true. It wasn’t easy, but most of us woke up on January 1, 2017 and realized that we made it. And that’s worth something.
2016 taught me how to make new friends, how to laugh at myself, how to actually study for exams, how to make meals out of the food in the caf, how to handle myself in adult and complicated situations, how to love myself, how to love others, and how to pray in advance. So far 2017 has taught me how to manage my time, stay open minded, stress less and treat myself every once in a while.
Then again I could give you a whole list of things that would have stayed the same regardless of my life lessons and experiences.
I would still be a child of divorced parents.
I would still be a Christian.
I would still love Zac Efron.
I would still look up to my older sister.
I would still listen to country music.
I would still be a Pittsburgh Steelers Fan.
I would still play soccer.
I would still drink my coffee black.
I would still love the outdoors.
I would still love to travel.
Both lists are equally as important and are just as much a part of me as the other. I don't take my life lessons, memories and thought processes for granted, and neither should you. Stay true to yourself even during the seasons of growth.