It’s been over a month of school, and I still can’t wrap my head around the idea that I’m a senior in college. The other day I was walking around the Graduate School fair and thinking how is it possible I’m even considering applying to Grad School. Freshmen year seems like an eternity ago, but May 7th feels like it will be just around the corner. Pretty soon I’ll be entering what many consider “the real world”.
It’s scary. Scary is an understatement. How will I be able to live in a place where I can’t place work orders to fix my clogged toilet? How will I pay for rent and bills and student loans? Where will I live, where will I work, what will I be doing next August? All the what if’s and what not’s are daunting. What door did I walk through where suddenly I’m an adult making decisions that may very well impact the rest of my life. Who let me grow up, and when did I stop being a kid.
The one thing senior year is teaching me is to take each day as it is. Go slow and start steady. One by one, day by day appreciate where you are and what’s around you. Stop and look at the sunset. Forget about a five-point homework assignment and go on a late night adventure with friends. Skip class and road trip to the Mojave Desert to experience Tangled in real life. Senior year has challenged me to make the most of what time is left. Try new restaurants and explore San Diego is all over the agenda. Sleep in until noon one weekend, but wake up for the sunrise the next. There is no time to be wasted.
But senior year isn’t all bad, and it’s not all a list of ‘must do’s before you graduate’. The most exciting part of senior year is knowing that once it’s all over I’ll be somewhere doing something I love. By the end of this year I’ll have completed a four year education at an amazing university. I’ll have knowledge to put into practice. I’ll have experience to mold my perspective. And I’ll have friends all over the world. I’ll have stories to tell my grandkids and inside jokes to treasure. I’ll have a whole lot of debt but a whole lot of memories.
Sometimes I’ll stop what I’m doing, look around, and think to myself I have got to be the luckiest girl on the planet. Moments like these are when I know I’m just where God wants me to be. I smile from ear to ear, and my heart is overflowing with love and joy and contentment. It’s as if time freezes just for a while, so I can enjoy it a little bit longer.
A few weeks ago there was a freshmen dance held on the roof of downtown San Diego’s public library. As I danced, I looked around saw all the people and saw how beautiful the city looked, and I knew I was in the right place. I was surrounded by people who encouraged me as we danced the night away under city lights. It felt like a scene in a movie.
Choosing Point Loma was a simple decision. There was not a doubt in my mind that God wanted me here. Over the past three years I’ve had many moments like this. Many nights where I watched as the sun went down and created a breathtaking mural of violet and orange and pink and red, and I was blown away. Many times where words couldn’t describe how grateful I was for friends who made me laugh but also held my hand as I cried. Many opportunities where I thought to myself, am I really doing this. For this season of my life I couldn’t have imagined myself anywhere besides Point Loma.
Recently I did something that completely terrifies me. It’s something I wouldn’t normally do, and it’s definitely something no one ever expected me to do. I ran for the Director of Spiritual Life position.
The Director of Spiritual Life holds an influential role on our campus. It’s a person who leads students closer to Christ through coordination and organization of Wednesday night chapel services. It’s a person who sets an example of what it means to live Christ-like. I wanted to be that person. I wanted to be intentional and work on forming spiritual life on this campus.
But I didn’t get it- I didn’t win. And it hurt. But it was kind of like stubbing your toe on a piece of furniture. At first it’s this frustrating pain of knowing you could have done something differently to avoid getting hurt, but then the pain goes away and everything is ok. I didn’t win, and I was ok with that.
For weeks I stepped out in faith. I trusted in God no matter how scared or doubtful or nervous I was. I trusted in Him when I had to sign the declaration papers, and I trusted in Him when I spoke in front of hundreds of my peers. I said yes to God even though inside I was so, so scared. I accepted my calling and followed God however far it was that He wanted to take me.
So yes I didn’t win, but at the end of it all, I did win. I won the love and support that I never saw coming. Friends texted me with words of encouragement, people responded positively to my campaign, and strangers voted for me. I won an experience I will never forget. Most importantly, I know that God is looking down at me smiling. There is not a doubt in my mind that He is proud of me.