Today marked the last day of classes for University of Arizona students for the fall semester, and for me and many others it marked the end of our careers as undergraduate students. I know I’ve written many a post about how crazy it is to be graduating, but with graduation only 10 days away the realness of it is finally hitting me. The reality of it all should have sunk in when I got a job (woo hoo oh yeah thank you Jesus!!), but it didn’t. The reality of my graduating hit when I realized that I didn’t have to register for classes for next semester. When I realized when other students are enjoying their 3-4 week long Christmas break I’ll be starting work. When I realized that next semester I will no longer be a student of Chi Alpha instead I’ll be on staff. I’ve learned a lot over the past four and a half years and trying to write it all out just becomes a huge rambling so here are a few things I’ve learned in my years at University.
1) Your parents transition with you:
I realized that as I was transitioning from being a teenager to becoming an adult, my parents were becoming parents of a college student and now they are going to become parents of a college graduate.
2) Friends are blessings when you move out at the ripe age of 18:
I was fortunate enough to gain a group of friends who helped my become an adult and who helped me become the woman I am today. Having a group of friends who can help you transition and who are able and willing to listen to you complain about life or help you figure out what to do with your life makes being in college a lot easier.
3) Talking to people about your worries/problems is important:
I came to college not really wanting to let people know when things were truly bothering me because I got through high school without having to tell people what was really going on in my life. Going through most of my Freshman year of college like that was pretty exhausting and I realized I needed to tell people when I was stressed out because if I didn’t I usually ended up crying somewhere. Telling people also gave my family and friends the opportunity to pray for me and give me encouragement through it all.
4) Talking to people about the good things in life is also important:
It’s a lot easier to tell people what’s bothering you but it’s equally important to let people know when good things happen in your life because it’s way more fun to celebrate good things with other people than celebrating alone! I used to think telling people about something good happening in my life meant I was rubbing something in their face, but telling people about exciting things means there are more people who can celebrate the good things in your life.
5) You learn a lot about yourself during college:
In the past four and a half years I have learned more about myself than I could have ever known four years ago. In nine semesters I have learned what annoys me, what makes me angry, and what makes me happy. I have learned what I want in friendships and my future husband. I have learned what kind of daughter, sister, aunty and friend I want to be. I have learned who I am as a woman of God and who I am as a leader. I am still learning more about myself, but college has helped me learn things about myself I couldn’t have known had I not gone through four and a half years of studying, crying, talking, laughing and praying.
6) God doesn’t stop working in your life just because you’re going to graduate from college:
This semester was a lot of preparation and a lot of praying about what to do for the next year of my life. In Chi Alpha each student is encouraged to give a year and pray about a lifetime and basically that means we are all encouraged to give a year to missions and pray about whether or not that would be for a season or for our lifetime. I knew I wanted to give a year for the past couple of years and with graduation slowly approaching I began praying about where to go and what I was going to do before I left. I decided I would get a job and support raise for wherever I was going to go. After praying for a job my supervisor from my internship emailed a few of us telling us of a job opening where I was an intern and I applied. Then I got to take a test. Then I went to an interview. Then another. Then I got the job! The crazy thing about all this is that I prayed God would give me a sign of whether I should stay and give my year with Chi Alpha here or if I should go because I didn’t want to get the job then leave because the job is in my field and it’s one that I wanted. Then I prayed if I got the job it would be God’s way of telling me to stay, but if I didn’t I would find somewhere to give my year then support raise and by getting the job God answered a prayer and answered a question. That’s when I realized God doesn’t just let people go once they have graduated from college, if anything He prepares them more for what He has in store for them. God helped prepare me for what He would have in store for me as I work and give my year with Chi Alpha because what He has in store is better than what I had originally planned.
7) Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness:
I always had this strange idea that asking people for help meant I was being weak, but it isn’t. I’ve realized asking people for help is a sign of strength because it’s a persons acknowledgement of the fact that they can’t do it alone; they need help. There have been many a time when I needed people’s help, whether it was homework or life, asking people for help is beneficial.
8) Seasons of life come and go:
In four and a half years I went from a teenager to an adult. Now as I transition from college student to a full functioning adult, and as I go from student to staff I am realizing more now than I did before that seasons come and go. In the time it took for the weather to go from hot to warm, from warm to cool and for the leaves to begin changing colour I became an adult. In the time it will take for the leaves to fall and for the air to grow colder I will be a college graduate. By the time Christmas lights are going to be taken down and calendars change from 2014 to 2015 I will be a working adult. Seasons come and go and there will be days when it feels like you should have taken a picture of a specific moment so you could have a memento of that day, but the truth is the best memories cannot be captured in a photo. Nor can you put a filter on it and share it with the world. The best memories are those that you can take with you in your memory for eternity. Enjoying each season is difficult at the time, but with each season comes new lessons and new opportunities of growth so enjoy each season as it comes because who knows how long you’ll be in that moment. Even though there were times when I wished it would be over quicker, I am glad for my years at University. I have learned so much and I have become a different person than who I was all those years ago when I first set foot on campus.
College has been the most difficult four and a half years of my life, but at the same time these have been some of the most wonderful years of my life. All the things I have learned while I’ve been a student will be with me for years to come. The friends I have made will be in my heart for many more years. The past nine semesters have had many challenges, but they have all prepared me for what God is calling me to do and they are all shaping me into the woman I will be tomorrow. As I say goodbye to the past four and a half years I say hello to a new season of life and await the new lessons I will soon be learning.
goodbye college. hello world.