Now that I have successfully completed my first semester of college, I decided to reflect on the past few months of my life. Back in August, I was fresh-faced, bright-eyed, and eager for the new adventure that awaited me here. I wasn't sure what would happen, if I would fit in, if I would make friends and if I would grow in my relationship with God. There were a few ups and downs throughout, but as I look back on my first few months I am confident and happy in what has happened thus far.
The first few weeks of the semester were rough. As they were for most people, I believe. I feel as if it's crucial to go through this stage in order to grow. These few weeks I felt as if I were just going through the motions of what I thought college was supposed to look like. I would go to every event, every football game, and barely find time to sleep through it all. I felt drained after every weekend. I knew this was what I was supposed to be doing, but I just did not feel like myself. I was confused, feeling like I wasn't doing something right, and feeling completely out of place. Then, I realized that I didn't have to stretch myself so thin trying to do everything. Now, I knew that I could pick and choose what I wanted to do, and from there I chose football games as my "outing." I would be laid back during the week and then when Saturday night came along, I would go all out. Realizing I didn't have to have that "college movie" experience made my psyche and my well-being much healthier.
Coming to college, I was ready to make new friends and finally feel like I fit in with a group of friends. The first week of orientation was a blur. I met a ton of new people, so many people whose names I don't even remember (sorry). I was desperate to find that "group"; the group you meet on your first day, and 10 years later they are your bridesmaids. I didn't find that. What I found instead, was a series of acquaintances and failed close relationships. At this time, my two closest friends were my roommates- which was good, but I wanted more close friends. This was all until I found my group. Right when I was at my lowest point, we became so much closer, through our hatred of one class- and it bonded us. Now, I consider them my two best friends, and I don't know how I would've survived first semester without them.
My relationship with God before APU was good, or so I thought. I knew that my faith would be tested here, but I had no idea just how much. By being around other kids who lived in God's image every day showed me just how deep God's love is. All I knew was that I wanted to feel that love and I wanted to have that dedication. Romans 12:1 says, "... In view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God..", with this being our university passage of the semester, I saw it everywhere I went, and it really resonated with me. I have transformed from a casual churchgoer to a disciple of Christ who wants to live every day like Jesus will return tomorrow.
The first semester at APU was definitely a roller coaster, but looking back, I wouldn't trade it for any other school or experience.