When I got my acceptance letter to Seattle Pacific University, I thought that was it. I was getting out of my black hole of a town, heading to a big and bright city, and making a name for myself. I would study writing, meet a whole new community of people, and just be happy.
But as is usually the case (at least for me, the epitome of bad luck and 180 degree life changes) - that's not exactly how it worked out.
At first, I thought it was just the normal amount of freshman doubt. I thought I would get over it, find my friends, find my niche, and be that happy Seattle college girl everyone thought I would end up as. But months went on, my freshman year was quickly going by, and mentally, emotionally, academically, socially, and basically any othe "-lly" you can think of-- I wasn't growing. Don't get me wrong-- I was having good days. I had found a few people who could make me laugh, and I was enjoying classes. But I wasn't connecting. I wasn't being challenged. I was questioning everything, and it was like my life was stagnant. I wasn't truly thriving here at SPU, just surviving. It's not like it was wrong, it just wasn't right. Not for me anyway.
So when I got the chance to apply for a transfer that was - crazy enough - a school I had overlooked the first time around due to it being in California-- and much too close to home for the high school senior who had the big plans of living the college dream and getting on that plane-- I thought 'Why the heck not give it a try?'
Three months later, and I just submitted my official deposit for California Lutheran University. I start in the fall. And in just a few weeks, my adventure here in Seattle will be finished for now, and my time as a student at SPU will be finished for good.
This was not the plan at first.
But sometimes it takes a little while for the right plan to form, and in the meantime you just have to make do with the plan you're currently playing out. I don't regret my time at SPU. It got me out of my comfort zone, out of my hometown, and out of my 'I'm an adult, I'm getting on that plane, I'm going far away' phase. Now I can focus on what I really need-- which is not the big city of Seattle specifically, as I thought before, but a school that is going to give me a future in whichever big cities I choose.
Do me a favor. Pursue every option that you even have the slightest gut feeling about. I know - it might not be the plan at first. It might have taken a while to sit in just the right position of your soul. But once the seed is PLANted (yikes, sorry, bad pun, moving on), please water it. Please, explore what it can offer you.
Sometimes you just have to explore another path.
You won't want to admit you might be on the wrong one - I sure didn't. You won't want to admit you might be lost, or misguided. That's no fun. But sometimes you have to take a breath, close your eyes, and just say that it's time to make a change. Otherwise you'll stay with the possibly wrong person, or with the possibly wrong hair cut, or-- in my case-- at the possibly wrong school.
It's OK to be wrong. It's OK to admit defeat, to quit, to take the transfer and leave. It's healthy. You tried. And that's freaking awesome. Be glad you tried. I'm glad you tried. And more than that-- I'm finally realizing it's OK to say I'm glad I tried, but my attempt has been made, and it's time for me to try something else.
Being lost isn't always bad. Exploring the wrong path, or the impulsive path, or the crowded path, doesn't always mean you'll never find your way to the right path.
Explore different paths. Enjoy the path you're currently choosing to adventure on. But if you're dragging your feet, find a new way to go.
As for me, I'm ready to stop dragging my feet and run towards what God has in store for me with this transfer.
Don't worry, Seattle-- I'll be back to visit, and watch out California-- I'm coming home.