As my sophomore year of college comes to a close, I am not quite sure how to put my feelings into words. I am confident I could show you how I feel through facial expressions–you’d see the biggest smile and the fattest tears. Ask anyone who went to the last Cru meeting of the semester, as I cried tears of joy and tears of, “I don’t want to leave.”
So, as I take a break from studying for my advertising exam (AKA the impending doom that looms over my entire existence), I will try my best.
In August, I came to WKU convinced my calling was to be a new kind of dietician, so I had classes scheduled for my two majors: advertising and nutrition. I took my first cooking lab and a girl decided she wanted to be my lab partner, I found out months later, because I was wearing a Young Life shirt on the first day of class. Yesterday, I took my final for my second cooking lab that marked the end of my pursuit of a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. For some reason, I had no doubt that nutrition was my true calling until I met my new best friend. Shortly after we stopped cooking together silently and started getting Starbucks every day after class, I realized my short time in WKU’s hospitality program had served its purpose and I could move on to what I’m really meant to do. I’m not sure exactly what that is yet, but I’m not worried about that right now.
So dear mom: thank you for being who you are, the woman who will talk to everyone, including my lab partner that I had barely talked to when I pointed her out in DSU during family weekend. And Emily, thank you for not thinking my mom was super weird for randomly walking up to you that day, and thank you for being the most brutally honest, sassiest, most wonderful human being I have ever met. In a few short months, you have helped me grow thicker skin, made me laugh until I cried, showed me how to be confident and bold, and accepted me for exactly who I am. Also, those acai bowls you introduced me to are a major plus.
Hello, lifelong friends! Peace out, Nutrition and Dietetics! Bring on the Cheeto Puffs.
Throwback to when I wanted to work at Azzip Pizza. I applied early, and I applied again a few months later when they didn’t contact me the first time. $10 an hour and a free pizza with every shift? Yes please. Well, spoiler alert, I didn’t get hired. I needed a job, both to make some money and fill some free time, so I applied to be a desk clerk in the residence hall I lived in at the time. My boss has told me a few times since then that she was fully staffed and didn’t need to hire me when I applied. She did anyway.
Southwest Hall, this one’s for you!
Thank you for the private bathroom. Thank you for the wall where my best selfies took place. Thank you for the best dance parties with my friend Aleah. Thank you for being a place of endless joy and laughter. Thank you for being my second home even when I moved out. Thank you for my co-workers. Thank you for the relationships I formed with residents. Thank you for connecting so many people to me and to each other. Thank you for Kaitlyn. Thank you for Sarah Jones. Thank you for Chelsea and Amanda (can we tell them apart yet?). Thank you for Aiyana and Lindsey. Thank you for Rachel. Thank you for Harsh and James and Dom, who I can always count on to love on me and probably beat someone up for me if necessary. Thank you for Lydia, who continually showed me how powerful love can be. Thank you for Lauren, who didn’t live or work there but should have. Thanks for and to my homie for ripping me out of the rut I was in and reminding me how to live again. Thank you, Katie and Makayla and Kalyn and Cole and Jackson and Nick, for the company and for telling me so much about yourselves. Thank you, Southwest Hall, for lifting me up at my low points. Thank you, God, for being so present in South Hall the way You’ve been this year. My life has been transformed here.
When I came to Western as a freshman, I was pretty set on becoming a Young Life leader. That’s a story for a different time, but I ultimately found out Young Life is not where I am supposed to lead. I was beaten down and wanting to transfer to a new school but feeling very stuck when I was invited to Cru by my new roommate (the world’s best roomie EVER), Katherine. One year later, I’ve been crying the most joyful tears I’ve ever cried probably every single day thinking about the Sophomore Squad and all of my blessings God has sent me through Cru. I could write a novel about each and every one of these girls, but I will just tell you their names. Destiny, Laura, Bailey, Carolyn, Taylor, Emily, Summer, Aubri, Haylee, Grace, Sammie, Kylie, and Sarah: I have never felt more encouraged, loved, and wanted by a group of people, and you bring me all the joy all the time. Monica, you are the realest, most encouraging human that could have entered my life exactly when you did. You keep me on track without even trying, and I can’t thank you enough for that. To the boys of Cru, thank you for being such great examples of what Godly men look like amidst all the crazy college boys.
Over the last year, God has used Cru to wreck my entire life in the best way. As I went through life sophomore year and had new experiences and new realizations while making mistakes pretty regularly, I somehow always went to a Cru event soon after and heard a message that fit perfectly with my life at the time. It gave me opportunities to lead where I wasn’t afraid and gave me people I can lean on during hard times and celebrate with during great times. It gave me courage and the direction to share the gospel with my best friend Sam, who I can’t imagine heaven without. I realized this year that I am not my own, but God lives in me and through me if I allow Him to. Truly allowing Him to this year, especially spring semester, has been the best decision of my life. And with that said, I can’t wait to help lead the Cru Missions Team and a bible study of freshman girls next year in my beloved freshman dorm, PFT. I’m keeping my cool here, but I’m actually screaming and typing in all caps in my head.
My sophomore year, I finally learned my study style (this week. I honestly didn’t have it figured out until 4 days ago. It took me 20 years.). I learned that God truly has a purpose for every single thing, and I’m learning there’s absolutely no reason to question it. I’ve learned that time flies. Sometimes it flies so fast you don’t remember January, February, March, April, or the first week of May 2017 ever happening. I’ve learned that I have trouble not spending all of my money on food. I’ve learned that, as we grow, we’ll lose some people we thought we couldn’t live without and find some people we don’t know how we got through life without before. Cry with me, will you?
God put us both in marching band when we were in high school, but we weren’t friends. We were both best friends with the same person and had other mutual friends, but I’d never hung out with you. I came to WKU for photojournalism, changed my major, and wanted to transfer after freshman year but decided not to; this year you came to WKU to be the first in your family to attend college. Somehow an “I know you through this person and we’re going to the same school so let’s be friends” situation brought me to you, Aleah, and to say I couldn’t be more grateful is the understatement of the century.
To Aleah, the person God was thinking of when “best friends” became a thing: thank you. Thank you for moving my car so I wouldn’t get a ticket while I was stuck behind the desk. Thank you for dance parties in SW 220. Thank you for being my financial advisor, even though I literally never listen to you when you tell me not to buy the thing. Thank you for running through fountains with me at 1 AM on my birthday. Thank you for ensuring I don’t go hungry. Thank you for making me laugh until I cried more times than I can count. Thank you for making me want to be better as a person and friend just by being yourself. Thank you for listening to me talk about the same dumb things over and over again during the low times, and thank you for being someone I can trust all the time. Thank you for wanting to be with me at least 90% of the time, and thank you for sitting at the desk with me for hours. Thank you for showing me what it looks like to be a selfless friend. I love you inside and out, from the little things you get so excited about to the little things you get stressed about. I love you from the happy tears to the sad tears. I love you I love you I love you! And I don’t deserve you, nor will I ever deserve you. Thank you for being there anyway. I am so proud of you for finishing your freshman year and I miss you already! I can’t wait until the fall (but I’ll see you this Sunday lol).
I am the happiest I have ever been.
AND I AM HALFWAY DONE WITH COLLEGE!