why i love charleston

To The City That Has Shaped Me

I will forever be indebted to you.

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Vacationing at Isle of Palms every summer with my parents, I felt emotionally attached to Charleston. From countless spring break trips to IOP in high school with a group of my best girls too late nights spent walking on the beach and catching crabs, my heart was always strung to this beautiful city.

This city had such a charm, one that my heart ached for every time I departed.

Little did I know, that one day I would embark on a 4-year journey here, and would be forever changed by the trials that I faced and the people who, by the grace of God, crossed my path.

I can still remember the drive to Charleston, just two days before I started recruitment at The College Of Charleston. It was a bittersweet feeling leaving, and while I might have been terribly homesick for the first month, I began to find my niche in Charleston and started to bloom into the person that I was always meant to be.

So, this one is for you, Charleston.

I did not think of myself as an extrovert during high school, but can proudly say that now, I am comfortable enough in my own skin to be able to strike up a conversation with anyone, anywhere. I have my sense of self, and I owe a lot of this progress to you.

While I had a strong set of friends in high school, I have realized that there is a striking difference between friendship and community. Going through recruitment and after long nights of praying for a Godly community, I have found that. My girls are the first people I go to when I'm feeling down or want to feel celebrated. I have found friends that aren't afraid to stop the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, and simply sit down and pray over me. This, I owe to you, Charleston.

I have had so many professional opportunities, all of which would have never surfaced without the professional climate of Charleston. 2 internships, and 1 job have all been granted to me, and without those things, whether successful or not, have proved themselves purposeful in my journey. I now have a much more clear vision of what I would love for my life to look like after graduation, and will be forever thankful to Charleston for planting those visions in my veins.

My love for life has also grown immensely because of the charming nature of Charleston and all of its beauty. Whether that be on my walk to class underneath the Spanish moss, or on a long walk to the battery with my best friend, I have learned to appreciate the raw and genuine aspects of life that make every day worth facing.

Charleston has given me more opportunities than I could have ever imagined, and my heart already aches thinking of the time when I will possibly have to depart the greatest city that I have ever known. Charleston, you forever have my heart, and I will forever be indebted to you.

Heres to the best senior year... I love ya.

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To The Girl Who Isn't Graduating On Time, It Won't Feel Any Less Amazing When You Do

Graduating is something to be proud of no matter how long it takes you.

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To the girl who isn't graduating college "on time,"

I promise, you will get there eventually, and you will walk across that graduation stage with the biggest smile on your face.

You may have a different journey than the people you grew up with, and that is OKAY. You may have some twists and turns along the way, a few too many major changes, a life change, you may have taken most of a semester off to try to figure your life out, and you're doing the best you can.

Your family and your friends don't think less of you or your accomplishments, they are proud of your determination to get your degree.

They are proud of the woman you are becoming. They don't think of you as a failure or as someone any less awesome than you are. You're getting your degree, you're making moves towards your dreams and the life that you have always wanted, so please stop beating yourself up while you see people graduating college on time and getting a job or buying a car.

Your time will come, you just keep doing what you need to do in order to get on that graduation stage.

Your path is set out for you, and you will get there with time but also with patience. The place you're at right now is where you are supposed to be. You are going to thrive and you are going to be the best version of you when you graduate and start looking for a company that you will be proud to work for. Don't look on social media and feel less than, because at least you're still working towards your degree that you are finally passionate about. You will be prepared. You will be ready once the time comes and you cross the stage, move away, and start your journey in whatever field you're going into.

Don't question yourself, and be confident in your abilities.

With love,

A girl who isn't graduating on time

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College Can Be Difficult, But Trust Yourself, Girl

Life can throw you curveballs sometimes, and times can get tough, but it is SO important to pick yourself up and trust that you can do anything.

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I'll be honest, this school year was one of the hardest years of my life. There were lots of moments throughout the year that I just wanted to go home and get away from it all. I had to be reminded that I have been raised to try as hard as you possibly can, and I was doing that. It took some determination and time, but I didn't give up.

No matter how bad I felt, I stayed and persevered.

Now that I am home for the summer, I have been reminiscing on the past two semesters of school. At the beginning of the school year, I had a much different idea of how it would go. It was going to be "my year," but somehow while the year was going on, I felt that I had been completely wrong. It's easy to come to quick conclusions when life doesn't exactly go your way. Conclusions like "this year has been the worst year ever" and "I can never get a break" were often popping up in my head. My grades weren't where I wanted them, and I was surprised by a lot of occurrences that I never expected to happen (imagine a wild ride). I found out who my true friends are and who I could rely on, and luckily, my circle only grew. Being extremely extroverted, it was hard for me to get out and just do something. Being in this "rut" took a toll on me. I had to make those hard decisions about doing what was best for me in the long run instead of doing something just for the moment. Trust me when I say, this was NOT easy at all.

Through all the tears and change all around me, I decided to proceed to the finish line because I am NOT a quitter.

I decided that it was time for me to allow myself to fully, undeniably be me. I wanted to start doing the little things I enjoy again like working out, taking pictures, and simply just going out to do anything. I started forcing myself to take any opportunity that came my way, and it helped. One of the things that brought me so much joy was kickboxing – talk about therapeutic, people! Kickboxing at least three times a week helped my mood shift so much, and it was a start to seeing me again. I am so blessed with friends who would come over at, literally, any time of the day. Spending time with them helped me more than they could ever know. We did anything from just hanging out in my living room to splurging on a fun dinner. Through everything that I was doing daily, I was learning how to rely on myself. Looking back now, I have never really had to know what it felt like to rely mainly on myself. I did get so much help from my family and friends, but what good could their help do if I didn't want to help myself first?

Even though I felt like this was one of the worst years of my life, it taught me so much more than I ever expected. Looking back now, I grew so, so much. I learned how to smile when times get tough. I learned that it really is okay to not be okay sometimes, and it will be okay eventually. I learned that it's okay to ask for help because we weren't made to do life alone. Most importantly, I learned how to trust myself. My hope for anyone reading this, you will learn from my experience that the worst seasons get better. I am in such a good place right now because I never gave up, and I will continue to never give up. In a short amount of time, I am seeing how far I have come and how much I grew.

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