Hi friends! Sorry I’ve been away for a while. Maybe it’s just me, but it feels like a lifetime ago that I was here to give an update. Fortunately, this post will be vastly different than the ones from before. As unexpected as my life has been for the past few months, everything is finally coming together and I can share good news! For all you new seniors or post grads without a plan: it gets better. I promise!
As usual, I’ll give a quick recap about what I’ve been up to for the past month and a half. I know that seems so narcissistic, but I wouldn’t be able to truly write a thorough post if I didn’t include some details.
This month has been packed full of new routines, changes, things to do and so on. First of all, my masters program finally started. That alone has brought a brand new lifestyle that I didn’t ever think would be THAT different from undergrad, but it totally is. Not in a bad way, it’s just different. My classes are only 3 days out of the week and although the workload is heavy, it’s completely manageable. Plus, I’m more interested in what I’m learning now than I’ve ever been. I am SO GLAD the Lord has put me where I am. Although I saw myself somewhere else for so long, this is way better than what I could’ve imagined…. more on that later.
After orientation, I got to go on another adventure to see my sweetheart in New York. We hadn’t seen each other in over 2 months, so of course I was very happy to finally to see him. It was Ring Weekend at West Point, which meant that all the Firsties (seniors) received their class rings. To most college students that may not seem like a big deal, but at West Point it’s a BIG DEAL. In fact, they were the first school to start the tradition of class rings. Needless to say, it was a weekend full of traditions, a ceremony, a banquet, and lots of time with family and friends. I was more than proud to see Shawn start his final year at West Point, and felt privileged to be a part of it all alongside his awesome family. You can’t ask for better company than those four!
Upon my return to Tuscaloosa, I was immediately thrown into readings, assignments and work. After a relaxing Labor Day trip to Georgia with my mom (where we ate and shopped way too much), I finally began to settle into a regular schedule. The small break right before was perfect to help me rest up before I got into the thick of school. Not to mention, the weather was great.
Since the beginning of school, so much has changed. Two months ago, I was afraid that I’d have a hard time adjusting to new life in Tuscaloosa. My biggest fear was that I’d end up being swamped with work and extremely lonely without friends. Fortunately, what I pictured my life being like ended up not being accurate at all.
In graduate school, your classes are smaller, all of your classes have all of the same people in them, and everyone is “in it” together. It’s kind of like being in high school, but obviously it’s structured like college and you’re with adults. Consequently, this has made it fairly easy for us to get to know each other, start planning tailgates, and even a trip to Chicago for a PR summit. Oh, and a fun part of this for me is that many of the students did their undergrad elsewhere, so my former Capstone, tour-guide, Tuscaloosa-native-self has totally been geeking out to tell them all about UA and T-Town. Plus, this is my first real football season in four years as a student! I can’t wait for the Tide’s first home game. (Total nerd, but understand that for the 3 years I was wrapped up with Capstone, I couldn’t just relax and enjoy football or a normal schedule like most students… granted we were privileged, but the key phrase there is “couldn’t relax“).
Did I mention I’m making new friends? Y’all, I’m making new friends! I totally still miss everybody that left, but I’m not nearly as lonely as I was before school started. This is a big deal. I didn’t ever think that being a post grad meant that you’d be more lonely. But it’s about like one of those things that you don’t know how much you appreciate it until it’s gone. Loneliness took me by surprise.
I know I keep going on about myself, but there’s so much about this experience that is working out beautifully. It may seem totally cliche’ to say but when the Lord has alternate plans from your own, He has a great reason(s) for it. And many times we can’t understand until we finally arrive where He wants us. It takes time, waiting, and patience… something that our fast-paced, on-demand world has a hard time comprehending. But His timing is perfect, regardless of the circumstances.
I never thought that I could, not only see “the good”, but also enjoy remaining in Tuscaloosa for one more year. Instead, I’m getting to enjoy one more football season, make new friends, and just enjoy being a student without any additional responsibility for one more year. Even though I was so anxious to graduate and move forward, the truth is that I probably would have never returned to grad school for my master’s. Even if I had, it would have been a stark life adjustment to make. Now is a better time than any for me to be in grad school. As hard as I tried to fight being here right now, the Lord simply knew better than I did.
Here’s something else about this experience that’s so wonderfully unique: even though I’m still stuck with the dilemma of needing to figure out what I want to do when I graduate within a year, (much like a senior), I don’t have nearly the amount of anxiety due to uncertainty that I had a year ago. Perhaps I’ve finally learned my lesson?
I know that other difficulties will arise during the year and that it won’t be smooth sailing from now until the end of school. I know that I may be super happy and carefree right now, but will more than likely be stressed later. But overall I have a peace that surpasses all else. He will always take care of me. He loves me more than I could ever understand. He will never fail me.
Now I realize that this is just my circumstance. It’s not yours. It may seem more simple or more complicated, more planned or more spontaneous. But the overall truth is, when you give Jesus your life and let Him take full control, He always will lead to where not only HE wants you, but also where you will want to be. He LOVES us more than any human being on this earth and He will never abandon us. The key is always being focused on where we are on our walk with Him and listening for His direction.
The purpose of me writing this is simply because He deserves praise. Obviously, He deserves it all the time, but this time I can show you why and hopefully this will be uplifting to someone else who’s been in my shoes.
Well, I have two huge assignments due in the next 2 days and they aren’t going to do themselves. I’ll be back soon.