So that’s what I did.
I threw up my high school graduation cap and hit the road three months later.
I don’t remember being eager to leave, nor do I remember being excited. I am glad I went to college where I did (even though I still don’t particularly like Kansas), and I continue to be grateful for all the opportunities I have had to travel and see different cultures and the world. However, the memory that sticks out above the rest was fear. I was so afraid to leave.
In fact, I wrote on my previous blog about how if I hadn’t already submitted a nonrefundable deposit, I would have tried to un-enroll and go to the local Bible college in my hometown. I felt like I was drowning in fear. It almost paralyzed me from leaving.
In fall 2009, my parents helped me pack up my belongings and moved me into my first college dorm. I was randomly set up with a roommate. A roommate I instantly wrote off as a friend because I had creeped her on Facebook prior to meeting her. Fortunately, I not only learned a lesson in the mistakes of prejudgment, but I also found a friend. In our time together, we have gone through some heavy stuff—breakups, deaths—but I am proud to say, we have been roommates all four years. I moved ten hours away where I didn’t really know anyone. I didn’t know the area—I used my GPS to get to Target, even though it was only 2.6 miles away.
When I started college, graduation left so far away. Everyone told me it would go fast, but I hadn’t felt like the four years of high school had gone all that particularly fast, so I only half listened. When you’re young you don’t really listen to advice because you want to find out for yourself.
I made mistakes. I dated people, and the relationships didn’t last. I made friends, and some of those friendships didn’t even last. But some of them did. Junior year, I lived in a suite with four other girls. Senior year, I lived in an on-campus apartment with five other girls. And I am so grateful for all of them. We laughed together, but we also cried together. They offered hugs and Subway sandwiches when my grandmother died.
So I am ten days out from graduating.
Honestly, part of me just wants to go back home. I know that’s not what most college graduates would say. People leave small towns because they want to grow. I’ve done a lot of growth in the past four years, and I am so grateful for the times when I have been stretched. I think I have become a better person through all the growth.
But I haven’t grown out of my fear. So, I ask myself: what will I do next? And I don’t have an answer. I am standing on the brink of what I have worked and waited for. Now that I am finally here, I am biting my bottom lip, afraid to move. Afraid to jump. Afraid to fall or fly, but knowing at times, I will do both.
Some say the “world is my oyster,” to which I want to say, “I don’t like seafood.” But I maybe like pearls.
I thought by the time I graduated, I would be more put together, but I’m not. I am even more in ambiguity. I have plans for the summer, but after? I’m still praying about that. I am enrolled in a master’s program. But I am still taking it a day at a time.
I am also working to realize my worth is not found through position. No matter what my employment status is, I still have worth. I have worth because my worth is determined by God, not by this world. Maybe that founds fluffy, but it’s not. I pray I hold tight to that, and I pray you do as well.