Saturday, July 8, 2017

Dear College: Sophomore Edition

Dear College,

     This letter should have been written a long time ago, but I think it is fitting to write this now as the time to start our third year approaches soon. We have been together for two years now! This is absolutely crazy! They say that the college years go fast and they really have. Our relationship is so fast paced that I soon forget how much time has past. However, I have loved the speed of the last two years and all of the things that I have learned in such a short amount of time.
     Year Two has definitely not turned out the way I imagined, but life has never went along with my imagination anyway. We almost didn't meet again because of money in the Fall, but God brought it all together in His timing. Also, we almost didn't get to come together again in the Spring, but God provided $3,000 in four days to allow me to come back! His provision keeps astonishing me over and over again! It makes me confident that we are supposed to be together. The Lord also provided for me to go to a Europe Chorale Tour, which definitely exceeded anything I could have imagined! He has been so good to me.
     This past year has been a year of growth for me in theatre and music. I have gotten better at singing (through my own vocal training, teaching voice to my first student, and performing in so many concerts). My voice has matured and grown. Also, the opportunities for me to explore theatre has opened greatly. I was given so many fantastic roles that helped me to explore what I could do as an actor (from playing crazy mothers to stuttering lawyers to fancy girls to caring aunts). I have thoroughly enjoyed all of my moments on stage!
     However, some of the best moments were when I wasn't in the spotlight because of my abilities, but when I was glorifying the Lord through song. In February, I got to play a song I wrote about the struggles of life for one of the chapel services, which was way out of my comfort zone. The Lord did such great things through that song and even now I can't believe that it actually happened! I struggled so much with feeling inadequate or that I was too small to make a difference, but the Lord lovingly decided to change my mindset and use me to influence literally hundreds of people whom I have never met! I will never forget that period in my life! It was absolutely incredible!
     This second year of our relationship hasn't been the easiest. There were many struggles and rough patches. I lost some close friends through unhappy circumstances. The Lord shut doors in my face quite abruptly and crushed some of my plans and hopes in ways that I did not expect. I had to deal with the depressing thoughts and situations of myself and my friends. I had to go through a few trials of learning who I was despite the always-optimistic front I put on. I grew a lot in who I am as a person.

However, growing pains are never pain-free.

      I love to choose to see trials as times to learn lessons, and I have learned a lot this year. I have learned more about what it means to trust in the Lord and that His timing is usually different from mine. I have learned to be more confident in who I am as a person and to not put myself in a little box. I have learned to let go of some of the people I love and to not hold onto them too tightly. I have learned how to worship no matter if I'm in chapel, in a church in Florida, on a tour bus, across the ocean in Europe, or in a practice room with a group of friends. 

I am still learning how to be more open with people.
I am still learning how to not compare myself to others. 

     Sophomore year has been such a blast! I have explored new territories and conquered new fears. I am so thrilled to see where Junior year will take us when the Lord provides for me to return to the exciting journey of college!  


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