Thursday, May 12, 2016

Farewell, with love

It has quickly, and yet finally, come to a close. My college career. It went by so quickly, and I am conflicted. I am ready to move forward. I feel I have a wandering soul, so I am ready for something new. Yet, I also am hesitant to leave. The past three years have truly been incredible, with the good and bad alike. Although I often denied it, I did love my time at UNW. I think the last three years have shaped me more than any other time in my life. I hope I will continue to grow and have my rough edges smoothed, but it will be different. And different can be scary.

I will not be constantly around my friends and peers. I will not be able to so easily have others pour into my life their love and experiences. And the people I've met in the past three years have poured so much. They have given both good and bad, yet it has all been used for good. I have learned to be independent; perhaps most importantly, to be independent of feeling pressured to have a boyfriend. I have found a strength within me and a faithfulness in God that makes me know I can take care of myself until the time is right. I do not need to be a damsel in distress, and that's freeing. Yes, I do still want a boy, but I do not need a boy. It's taken me 21 years to figure out that distinction. And it largely came in the last two years. Unfortunately, being an adult does not mean you have it all figured out.

Aside from all the incredible friends and peers I've met during my time at UNW, I've also learned just how important my family is to me. I didn't move out of state for my undergrad, and I am so thankful I didn't. In all that life has thrown my way and thrown my family's way, I've been able to see time and time again the deep, steadfast love of family. Yes, I've also grown to see more of their craziness, but with this insight has come an appreciation for it. They are the laughter and dancing, and they are the hugs and words of wisdom.

I've been learning, and am still learning, to be bold and to trust my heart. People think it's silly when my words of advice entail them following their hearts, but that's what I know. Your heart holds all your dreams and secrets. It knows you best of all, so why not follow it? True, feelings can lead to foolish actions and may even lead us astray, but I would say it's well-worth the risk. "Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion." -Georg W. F. Hegel. So be passionate!

I wasn't hit by the fact I'd be graduating until I tried on my graduation gown. Then I realized all that had been. All the lessons learned and memories formed. All the people who have both come into and out of my life. And all the dreams I've awoken to. These past three years have changed who I am deeply, and I can truly say I'm in love with the reflection I see in the mirror each day.