Why I Am Grateful That College Life Met None Of My Expectations
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Why I Am Grateful That College Life Met None Of My Expectations

College: it's not how I thought it would be

Why I Am Grateful That College Life Met None Of My Expectations
Shawntel Shirkey

At the end of the movie "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian," Peter Pevensie says something of great value and wisdom:

"It's not how I thought it would be, but it's alright."

As I was re-watching the "Chronicles of Narnia" series a few weeks ago, that line struck me particularly hard. Life is not always what we expect it to be, but it is always alright.

I came into college with a million different expectations. College was going to be magical. I kind of thought it would be just like high school with harder classes and everyone living in one place.The people I met in my first few weeks would be my best friends forever, and every day would be fun.

I was so, so wrong.

Most of my expectations were shattered within the first week. It was actually nothing like high school (which turned out to be a huge positive). People were responsible and respectful, and they actually cared about their classes. I didn't really meet a lot of friends within the first week. I met a variety of different people, but I really only hung out with my roommate. Every day was not necessarily fun; I actually spent a lot of time by myself, due to the lack of friends I had made.

Two years in, I can safely say that my assessment after my first week was accurate: college is nothing like I expected.

Thank God.

My two years at Friends University have been the hardest years of my life, and they have also been the very best. I have cried more in these two years than I ever did before. Tears of severe hurt, loneliness, and sadness, and also of immense joy, comfort, and peace.

I have learned more from the people I have met than I ever thought possible. They have shown me what it looks like to love someone through anything. They loved me through our awkward first encounters and still love me when I am crying on their shoulders in the middle of a parking lot. They challenge what I believe and push me every day to question myself and live a life more like Jesus. These relationships are tough. They take real work - work I never knew would have to be put into a friendship. However, they also generally result in donuts at least twice a month. It all evens out, really.

College is hard. There's no getting around that. There have been many days and weeks that I have questioned my choices. Is this really what I want to do with my life? Why did I not get out of my hometown? There have been many more days, though, that I have felt overjoyed in my choices. Even amidst a miniature what-am-I-doing-with-my-life panic attack, when I survey the people, professors, and love that fill my campus, I can't help but know that college is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Those are the days that make everything in college totally worth it.

You were right, Peter Pevensie. This life is nothing like I thought it would be, but it is definitely alright.

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