If you talked to me at all the first few weeks of college, you won’t be surprised to hear that I hated it here before I class even started. Move-in day was stressful beyond belief, my schedule was messed up, and I had no friends, NONE!
I was determined to make it here. Determined to make friends. Determined to be successful in my classes and determined to graduate with my nursing degree. More than anything I was determined to like it here, no it was more than that. I was determined to LOVE it here.
The last night of freshman orientation we were led down a pathway of students and staff to celebrated the beginning of our lives as college students in fellowship with one another. Unfortunately, I received an email from my admissions advisor right before this time of worship, informing me that my summer class wouldn’t transfer as the prerequisite class I needed. I was devastated to learn that $500 dollars and a month of my summer had been flushed down the drain. The worst part was that I had double checked that it would count prior to registering for the courses last summer. This threw my entire plan off track. I spent the time of worship bawling, and let me tell you, it wasn’t pretty.
A week and a half into first semester, my schedule was finally fixed. I did have to retake anatomy but I was convinced that God knew what He was doing. I still believe this with my whole heart and have come to the understanding that this didn’t “ruin” everything. I bombed my first test and was mad because I started the class at a disadvantage. I had a ton of issues in the lab part of this course and spent many hours trying to complete the work and ensure I was receiving the grade I earned. I am pleased to say that as of today, I am passing the class and have the potential to receive a B which is the requirement for nursing school.
I started the semester off strong in every other class I was taking. As a freshman taking 17 credit hours, many professors and advisors assured me that it was going to be difficult and that it might not be a good decision to continue with that schedule. What they didn’t realize was that I was that girl from Arizona who hadn’t yet made any friends. I had all the time in the world to sit in my room and study. While that might be helpful in making good grades, it was awful for my attitude.
I didn’t have anything to take pride in. I was lonely. I was homesick. I was frustrated with almost every professor for one reason or another. I was learning to live with another person and that wasn’t easy.
I tried calling home to make myself miss them less. It didn’t work. The conversations usually led to what I was up to and how things were going. It sucked having to listen to tips from my parents on how to make friends or how to not be such a pain in the butt about my schedule or classes and just suck it up because that’s college life. My parents and sisters were doing the only thing they knew how and tried their best to be supportive but it didn’t help. It only made me not want to call which made me miss them more.
To make matters worse, the community colleges I had attended continually failed to mail my official transcripts and ripped me off financially. I had to pay four times in order for them to send the transcripts. My financial aid wouldn’t be released to me until they were received by LCU so constantly fighting with them was stressful and frustrating.
Because I was constantly upset about something, I mean every time I tried to make a positive step I was thrown another curveball, Austin suggested that I tried talking to one of the councilors on campus. The councilor I met with was so helpful. He affirmed my feelings of homesickness and helped me get plugged in here at LCU. I started going to Becoming Group which allowed me to meet other girls and learn a lot more about myself. He was the only adult here that not only understood why I was so frustrated with my teachers and advisors, but also told me that I was right to be upset. I was able to work through some of my frustration by seeking tutoring and the rest was settled merely from being “right”. As I began making friends, he helped me learn how to manage my time here and showed me the relaxation lab where I can go complete relaxation simulations to take a break from the chaos of campus life. After five or six hour-long sessions I was able to leave counseling more confident in myself as a college student.
I still feel like my life here is a joke sometimes. I hate when teachers talk to my like I am stupid. I hate when other students are rude and talk down to me. I get frustrated when all I want to do is come hide in my room and in order to do anything I have to clean up someone else’s mess. It’s not fair. It’s not avoidable. It makes me want to curl up in a ball and hibernate for the next few months.
I started noticing something though. Even though I am given a new challenge practically every day, I am now able to deal with it better. I am stronger. I am capable. I am fearless. I am faithful.
God is able to take care of every single one of those barriers and he doesn’t even have to blink twice about it. He loves me and knows what he is doing. He has given me friends who provide amazing support. He has given me the opportunity to pledge an amazing social club.
I have learned that no matter how ridiculous things get, I can just laugh at it because God is going to take care of it. It doesn’t matter how big, because my God is BIGGER, STRONGER, and HE WILL PROVIDE!
The other day I was sitting in tutoring and one of the other girls in my study group was talking with me about the grading system for this particular class. The only grades all semester are for 3 exams. The top 2 exams are averaged for your final grade and he will adjust it while considering participation and effort. I mentioned that I was going to take the next test and use it to determine how much effort to put forth for the final exam. Then we discussed how to study for the second exam. I typically memorize the terms two days before the test because I won’t ever need this particular class for nursing. When I made this comment my peer that was in the study group proceeded to say “Geez, you’re always so negative about your s***.” I replied saying that her accusation wasn’t true and she persistently stood by her statement. Keep in mind that I don’t know this girl outside of this study group. I don’t know anything about her and she doesn’t really know anything about me either. I just left the tutoring center and started laughing. Yes, laughing. Can you believe she said that to me? If that statement had of been shoved at me the first part of this semester I would have burst out in tears and left immediately. I am stronger now. I am confident in myself and know my self-worth comes from my creator, and Him alone!
I think overall God is teaching me to laugh. He wants me to laugh at my fears, my anxieties, my problems, and the petty little comments that the devil throws at me. He wants me to know that He is bigger than anything that comes my way and that He put me here at LCU to make me stronger. I have friends now. I have a community of support who loves me and will help me grow in my faith and as a person. Yes, there will be weeds that need to be pulled out or stepped over, but my God will help me accomplish this as well. He loves me enough to do that for me. He loves you enough too.