2. This is also unusually long, so beware!
I finished my first year of college. YEAH!
But I honestly look back on this and ask myself, how? How did I actually finish my first year of college? How did that go by so fast?
But most importantly, how did I have an awesome first year of college?
Let’s go back to fall of my senior year. I was searching for colleges, or was I? Yeah, not really. Honestly, I didn’t really feel like searching for places to go to college. I could have done a much better job. And I could have done a much better job at looking for scholarships too. I look back on it and realize that fall of my senior year was sucking really badly because I was still dealing with the death of my father, so I partially don’t blame myself, but really, I should have been working a lot harder on my college search.
I visited a good number of colleges, and only really liked Ohio University. The only other school I visited that I also applied to was Bowling Green State University. The other two were Northern Michigan University and the University of Cincinnati. Ohio was my top choice, NMU I really just applied to for nostalgic reasons, and Cincinnati was my backup school. Then there was BGSU. My mother made me visit and apply there. Let me tell you, definitely not my choice. I had been there twice before for a summer music program and had vowed that I would NEVER go to college there. EVER.
Well, I was lazy and didn’t apply for scholarships, plus my ACT was only a 24 and my SAT, well, let’s not talk about that. My score was garbage. However, in my defense, I am generally not a good test taker, as shown by other tests I have taken (I got a 2 on my AP English test). So, I was smart, but I was lazy and I was a mediocre test taker.
So, what ended up happening was that Ohio gave me no money, which was my top choice school. Cincinnati also gave me no money, which I actually didn’t really care about. NMU gave me a pretty good scholarship but they were out of state and my mother was not going to let me take expensive plane rides to go to school in the land that I love (Surprise, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula), and Bowling Green handed me $7,000 in scholarships.
So, since we didn’t have a lot of money, which school would I choose?
Surprise! Bowling Green. I still had some hope for OU, but my mother told me that we couldn’t take the chance with trying to get a loan to go there. So I ended up going to Bowling Green. When I sent in the letter saying that I was going there, I was sort of excited. And then, that summer, I was just dreading college because I hated BG so much. It was UGLY. It had a severe lack of trees (and still does), the campus was ugly, and it felt strange.
I moved in on August 20th. That sucked. It was hot and miserable. I had no friends. Then the first few weeks, they continued to suck. I still had no friends.
But, just after about a month of school, I decided to go through sorority recruitment, hoping to make some friends. I was excited for it.
But that sucked too.
…And finally, here’s where the story gets awesome. I decided to drop out of sorority recruitment before the third round because I didn’t get my top choice sorority back. I was pretty confident that I didn’t want to continue, and was sure I would be fine. But of course, I cried that morning. Since I was up so early, I decided to go to a church on campus called H2O. I went to church and was really upset the whole time. After church, I sat in the union, really upset and about to cry. And then one of the church pastors walked past me and asked if I was okay. Of course I said yes, but then I asked if he knew anything about the well, which is a six-week program for freshmen and new students that teaches about how to live life as a disciple of Christ. So, he sent me over to this table where the two people who are in charge of the well were meeting. I asked about the well, and I decided to do it. Then I cried in front of them (It was going to happen sometime).
I threw myself into the well that night, and suffered many traumatizing injuries. It took rescue workers 5 hours to get me out of the well, because it was really deep, and I spent five days in the hospital.
BAHAHA! JUST KIDDING!
I threw myself into the well that night, and it was awesome. I met some awesome people, and afterwards, we were forced to go to the student union for fellowship (really to meet new people), and there I spotted a sign for Young Life First Year Fellowship.
And there we go. God turned everything around in one day. He saved me from getting involved in something that he knew would have ruined my faith. And by saying this I am not trying to disown sororities, it was just not what was right for me. I have plenty of friends who are in sororities, and they love it. It was just not what God had in his plan for me.
After that point, God just provided so many awesome things. Through the well, I had the opportunity to be mentored, which I had previously never had a very solid chance to take part in with anyone who was older than me, and it worked out awesomely. As college continued, I met a lot more people through the well, H2O, and Young Life First Year Fellowship. God has given me such a solid fellowship through all of these, even though I decided to stick with H2O. Then, I became really good friends with a girl who lived down the hall from me, and we were able to basically be in constant fellowship and accountability the whole year, not to mention the Alpacah jokes. I then found an opportunity to try out for the H2O worship band, which I have always wanted to do. I ended up making it in the band, and God provided me with a place to serve in the church. Later in the year, I decided to apply to be a Resident Advisor. Despite the fact that I was thirty minutes late to my case study, I still got the job. Second semester proved to be incredibly distracting because of all of the friends God had blessed me with. We had some fun Alpacah times at dairy queen and some memorably stressful times where we thought death was upon us.
And now, here I am, done with my first year of college. I have literally been reflecting on this for the past 2 weeks, partially because the anniversary of my father’s death was on April 29th. I truthfully can’t believe I’ve come this far from where I was 2 years ago. That was a terrible time, a time where I thought God was angry with me. From that time, fall of senior year was not good, but then it got better. I decided to attend BG, which I wasn’t looking forward to. The summer before college, God did awesome things of course. And then, I went to college. And I finished my first year, millions of times more blessed than I thought I was going to be.
I truthfully believe that God provided everything for me. There is no way that this could have happened without Him because I hated BG so much. And so I can only sit here and think of the song “Indescribable” by Chris Tomlin (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PTvr755V8s LISTEN TO IT!). I couldn’t have done this by myself, and it’s still hard to believe that God would love me so much as to bless me like that, because I am a terrible person. Most of the time, I suck. But God still loves me.
And of course, I have to thank my mother for putting up with my lazy college search ethics. I have to say, thank you for putting up with me when I did not feel like searching for scholarships or applying to schools. And thank you for making me go to BG because we simply couldn’t afford college without the scholarships. And I mean, who can? College is unnecessarily expensive, and financial aid gives us the lowest amount of money they can. So don’t feel bad. You have done me a favor without even knowing it. Thanks so much Mom! I love you! You’re the best!
And so I find myself sitting in my room at 2:30 on a Sunday morning reflecting on all of this. I have an awesome church fellowship in BG, I’m part of the worship band, I have a Resident Advisor job for next year with my room and board all paid for. I still have the scholarship money that I had before, I have a job here at home, and I have an awesome family.
I have an awesome God. We have an awesome God. If he has blessed me, one of His children, like this, then of course he will bless the rest of His children in the same way. It might take some patience, but,
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”- Hebrews 10:23