I'm fully aware that it's been a little over a month since I graduated from Union, and I have yet to deliver on the "reminiscing" post I promised so long ago. I guess I've been waiting for the right mood to find me, enabling me to express all that has transpired over the last four years - or at least the important parts.
I believe I would not be remiss to say that my four years in college were the hardest years of my life. It would also be correct to claim that they are - so far - the most important and transforming. I can hardly remember the girl I was in high school; she seems so very different and somewhat lost from me. I say this not to be remorseful, but because it is the truth. There were many times that I wished I could be that same person I once was. Things seemed easier then. I seemed so less complicated and scarred than I am now.
Before every YoungLife club, we had a leader meeting to discuss our plan for the night. Each time we were asked a question, and each person gave an answer. About the only question I can now recall is, "When you go to visit home, at what point do you feel you are truly home?" I contemplated my answer, and responded that I always felt like I was home. To me, Union was home. My closest friends were there, my whole life seemed to be there. Now my house in Big Buck was simply an extension of my home.
Other times I felt this very way. However, there were times that I would have given anything to be anywhere else. I considered transferring schools, primarily to get away from certain people whose presence pained me. I went into a flight-fight response and strongly desired to fly. I thank God that I didn't.
I feel as though my losses were not that many; it was the quality that hurt me the most. Those I trusted the most turned away, or - to my great regret - were forsaken by me. The latter grieve me most.
Sometimes I still wonder how different my life would be had one thing not happened. If I hadn't gotten so close to that one friend. If I hadn't wimped out and scampered away on another. If I had transferred. If I hadn't gone to Union at all. If I hadn't changed my major twice and ended up in Theories of Personality class when I did, sat next to this guy that made me laugh (I'm a sucker for those guys), ended up dating him then falling in love with him...
Who would I be?
It's so instinctually human to question what could have been; we can never quite be satisfied in thinking that this is just the way things are. Things could always be different. Decisions always affect what happens next. Time always slips away from us, and before we know it we're in this place we never thought we'd be but somehow feel is right.
I've wondered before and discussed plenty about the possible conflict between the fact that God knows everything and yet we have free will. C. S. Lewis explained this in that God knows how every decision we make will affect everything else. He sees every path we could possibly take, of which of course there are an innumerable amount.
Sometimes I wish I could just get a glimpse of how my life would be had I gone to Belmont instead of Union, or transferred to Bethel like I considered doing my sophomore year, or actually stuck with my first choice of major. Call it curiosity. I am confident in the fact that no matter what other direction I could have taken, God would have been with me through it all, just as He has been and is now.
Forgive me for taking a more sorrowful slant on my years at Union; it would appear that I for the most part was downtrodden and hurt. Such is not the case. I was a part of an amazing soccer team, of which I was the first signee and played all four years. I've gained some absolutely incredible friends for whom I am eternally grateful. I am the holder of a great degree from a great institution. I am a different and possibly more grown-up person than I was four years ago. I found my amazing boyfriend whom I can't imagine being without. I learned that God is merciful, forgiving, teaching, and most importantly loving. Well, I guess I knew that before - but isn't such knowledge so much more real once you've actually seen it for yourself?
I guess that since I'll be around Union (technically) for another year, it doesn't feel as though I've truly left. I didn't fully cry at graduation (shocker, I know); at my high school graduation I cried three times and walked out nigh bawling. Maybe when you leave high school you know you're expected to grow up in college; maybe subconsciously we know how hard that will be. You leave childhood behind in high school, you leave the friends you grew up with to meet completely new people. Maybe you're just naive at that point.
It's possible I am simply rambling now. For fear of boring you with another few paragraphs of my reminiscing or whatever this is, I shall cease. :)