The Transitions That Transform You

The Transitions That Transform You

Nothing anyone says or does, can truly prepare you for life as a college student.
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The transition from high school to college is one of the most important transformations in the life of a young adult. After spending a whole year as the “big guys” in school making memories with the people you’ve grown up with your whole life, you’re forced to leave everything behind, live with new people, and figure out your way through life on your own.

As senior year ends, all the talk about college begins and everyone tells you about how much fun you’ll have, all the great new things you’ll be able to do, and how college will be so much better than high school ever was.

However, no one can truly prepare you for what lies ahead, not your parents that have been there themselves, or even your older friends that have just recently went through the same transition.

No one can prepare you because everyone’s journey is completely different and custom fit to them. You will never know what to expect until it happens to you and you’re sitting in your dorm room thinking about how much your life has changed in just four short months.

In the matter of four months, you’re living with another person, most likely sharing a bathroom with people, walking around five miles a day to get across campus (if you’re at a big school), and trying to balance a life of partying with a life of constant studying. You go from having all the power in the hallways of your high school, to being at the bottom as a freshman again feeling the pressure to fit in and make new friends.

Looking back on my first semester as a college student, I faced challenges I could have never imagined, but also overcame them with the amazing new people I met, as well as with the best friends from my past, by my side. This has helped me become more of the woman I was made to be.

Although I made new friends and new connections with people, I also kept the old friends I needed close to me. This is the kind of balance that some people never figure out, thinking they must leave everyone from their past after high school. But, the truth is, certain people are meant to be in your life always, whether you’re at the same school or not, and if this kind of special bond exists then the distance between your school and theirs will never actually matter or affect your friendship. You know you’ll always have them no matter what.

Through my first semester, I was able to keep the past relationships I’ve formed that mean the most to me, as well as develop new relationships with the people I’m now surrounded with every day. Basically, I’ve learned that even though you transition to a life on your own, and you feel more independent than ever, the people you have in your life still do, and always will play an important role in your transition, and it’s up to you on who you want those people to be.

College is all about life transitions that transform you. Even after a life of eighteen years with your parents, and a life on your own sounds pretty good, don’t forget that you still need people on your side. Because although yes college is fun, and exciting, and free, it also gets tough when adulthood and responsibilities set in. It can get lonely, and that’s when you will realize you need your friends and family most.

No one can really prepare you for what lies ahead, because no one knows what the future holds. But this is your life now, and although there is still a lot of unknown, having a set of new friends at your school, as well as keeping the important people from your past in your life, can make the bad times better, and the good times even greater. Finding this balance is essential, and I’m so glad I found mine. Just because you are at the stage in life where you are transitioning to a life on your own and transforming into a better man or woman, doesn't mean you have to go through that transition alone.
Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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To The Girl Who Had A Plan

A letter to the girl whose life is not going according to her plan.
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“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” - William Ernest Henley

Since we were little girls we have been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We responded with astronauts, teachers, presidents, nurses, etc. Then we start growing up, and our plans change.

In middle school, our plans were molded based on our friends and whatever was cool at the time. Eventually, we went to high school and this question became serious, along with some others: “What are your plans for college?” “What are you going to major in?” “When do you think you’ll get married?” “Are you going to stay friends with your friends?” We are bombarded with these questions we are supposed to have answers to, so we start making plans.

Plans, like going to college with our best friends and getting a degree we’ve been dreaming about. Plans, to get married as soon as we can. We make plans for how to lose weight and get healthy. We make plans for our weddings and children.

SEE ALSO: 19 Pieces Of Advice From A Soon-To-Be 20-Year-Old

We fill our Pinterest boards with these dreams and hopes that we have, which are really great things to do, but what happens when you don’t get into that college? What happens when your best friend chooses to go somewhere else? Or, what if you don’t get the scholarship you need or the awards you thought you deserved. Maybe, the guy you thought you would marry breaks your heart. You might gain a few pounds instead of losing them. Your parents get divorced. Someone you love gets cancer. You don’t get the grades you need. You don’t make that collegiate sports team. The sorority you’re a legacy to, drops you. You didn’t get the job or internship you applied for. What happens to you when this plan doesn’t go your way?

I’ve been there.

The answer for that is “I have this hope that is an anchor for my soul.” Soon we all realize we are not the captain of our fate. We don’t have everything under control nor will we ever have control of every situation in our lives. But, there is someone who is working all things together for the good of those who love him, who has a plan and a purpose for the lives of his children. His name is Jesus. When life takes a turn you aren’t expecting, those are the times you have to cling to Him the tightest, trusting that His plan is what is best. That is easier said than done, but keep pursuing Him. I have found in my life that His plans were always better than mine, and slowly He’s revealing that to me.

The end of your plan isn’t the end of your life. There is more out there. You may not be the captain of your fate, but you can be the master of your soul. You can choose to be happy despite your circumstances. You can change directions at any point and go a different way. You can take the bad and make something beautiful out of it, if you allow God to work in your heart.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Patiently Waiting With An Impatient Heart

So, make the best of that school you did get in to. Own it. Make new friends- you may find they are better than the old ones. Apply for more scholarships, or get a job. Move on from the guy that broke your heart; he does not deserve you. God has a guy lined up for you who will love you completely. Spend all the time you can with the loved one with cancer. Pray, pray hard for healing. Study more. Apply for more jobs, or try to spend your summer serving others instead. Join a different club or get involved in other organizations on campus. Find your delight first in God and then pursue other activities that make you happy; He will give you the desires of your heart.

My friend, it is going to be OK.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Beavers Photography

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I Am Terrified Of My Future And That's OK

I'm sure most people are but so many of us are good at putting on that face and acting like we have our lives together.

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For a long time, I have been struggling with what my future is going to be. For most of my childhood I was always flighty in what I wanted to be and therefore I never spent much time thinking about where I would end up when I grew older.

Now I am a junior at Illinois State University as a Journalism major and quite frankly that scares me. I don't know where I am going to end up. So many of my professors love to tell us how miserable the job is. That you're doing more work than your being paid for and that there are not a lot of opportunities for journalism.

Literally thinking about my future terrifies me. It actually makes my anxiety act up and often times I start to snap at whoever brought up the conversation. I avoid the subject anytime it comes up or just brush it off with a, yeah I totally have a plan. When in reality everything about leaving college makes me want to curl in a ball on my bed under the blankets and never come out.

Slowly I have been getting better as I find a schedule but the unknown is what freaks me out. The reality is I can't control what happens to me all the time. I may get my dream job or I may end up working at the bottom of the corporate ladder for the entirety of my life.

I'm sure most people are but so many of us are good at putting on that face and acting like we have our lives together. The truth is probably everyone is scared to some degree but most of us know we have to act like we have everything together because that's what adults do.

So what I really want to say is that it's OK. You do not have to have your entire life planned out. You do not need this five year or even a one-year plan to be successful. All you really need is your end goal and then taking one step at a time to reach it.

Right now the one thing I need to do is graduate. I don't have to know where I'm working after college, heck I still have another year and a half before I even leave Illinois State. Learning that my future scares me and it's OK that it does is the only thing that I need to do.

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