First and Foremost
You know that thing you're supposed to do in college where you find who you really are and become the best version of yourself? Yeah, I'm trying to do that, but it's a lot harder than I thought.
This is a small peek into my years of college so far. Everyone's journey is different, runs at its own pace, and reveals things about ourselves we need to know. And in case you forgot, this journey is ALL about me! I hope my story inspires you to see your own as important and unique to you, and that the struggles you go through are stepping stones for you becoming your true, amazing self.
I started off my freshman year of college away in Ohio at a small, private, Christian school: Malone University. One of the only reasons I went here was to pursue my unsteady and everchanging dream of becoming a wildlife rehabilitationist or zoologist. Now I'm not saying that that goal is unreachable, but if you knew me how I know myself now, you'd say, "Cami, let's have a talk."
But at the time, I thought that's what I wanted. So I poured everything into applying, packing up all my things, making the 6-hour drive with family, and preparing myself for a new life in a new place. And when I got there...it was a bigger change than I expected.
Unfortunately, it didn't work out as well as I thought it would. I found myself alone, even though I went with my best friend, and felt even more isolated from the world. Dramatic? Yes, but it was true.
By the end of the first semester, I knew I wasn't staying. I didn't realize how important my family was to me, and how much I would desperately yearn for their presence while I was away. My freshman year consisted of easy general education classes that I flew through with flying colors. No bad grades, but what was I left with after that? I was introverted and shy and didn't know where I stood with God, even though I was at a Christian school.
The pieces all fit together in a perfect world, but I wasn't living in one. Instead, I experienced my fair share of depression, anxiety, and an introduction into an unhealthy relationship with...things.
Nonetheless, I was lost. And I knew I couldn't stay. I finished out the year and prepared for my transferring process back home to my safe school, Towson University.
My sophomore year of college was, unfortunately, worse than my freshman year. So much happened, so many situations that would take me forever to explain. But it took a toll on me like no other.
I had my first breakup, my parent's divorce resurfaced in ugly ways, and depression was at the forefront of it all. I realized I struggled with social anxiety. I changed majors last minute due to my uncertainness in being successful in challenging biology/chemistry courses.
I was at my lowest point mentally and spiritually. I looked for happiness in unhealthy things and my temptations became the center of attention. The whole year consisted of a transformation from someone pure into someone toxic. And although that might be TMI, it's the truth and I'm here to speak it.
I'm in my junior year as I write this. And I'm not sure how to start. It's definitely had its fair share of ups and downs, but they haven't been too bad. They've been manageable. It's mostly because of the new, positive experiences and relationships I've encountered during my first semester.
My housing now consists of me having my own room and three incredible roommates. My major change flourished into a passion I didn't even know existed. My relationship goals expanded and put me in a place where I was finally happy, content, and over my ex. I am truly living my best life, and I can confidently say that.
However, I'm uncertain of what the spring semester will hold. Over the past years in college, I have learned, discovered, and accepted who I am as a person. I know my flaws and the things that make me who I am. I know things about myself I never would have known if I didn't go through the bad and the good.
But there was always something missing, and that part was my spirituality. Sure, I could have my mental, physical, and emotional aspects checked off, but until now, I failed to include that extremely necessary part of my life. And now, over this winter break, I realize it more than I ever have.
Until I'm able to grow more in my relationship with God, I still have more of myself to figure out. I'm not perfect and I never will be. I just know what I want and there's nothing wrong with that.