Friday, June 13, 2014

How do you know what God's will for you is? College edition

    College. When I hear that word now I can almost taste the nervous vomit making its way up my throat. It didn't used to be like this though. I've been waiting for college for as long as I can remember. Don't get me wrong, I used to be looking forward to high school, too. Sneaking out, sleepovers with friends, older guys, all that shenanigans. Until I got there. I'd always been an unusual girl that didn't quite fit in. I bounced from the "popular" group to the people will unnatural hair colors and then finally settled somewhere in-between. 
    I didn't fit in with the popular crowd because my style didn't align with theirs. I didn't enjoy flirting with boys and I didn't see the attraction in kissing them under the bleachers before first period. I didn't find the same thrill they did in rebellion, nevertheless the fact that I haven't touched alcohol. Although, I enjoyed laughing with them. Man, they were funny. To this day, no matter how much I abhor the social stereotype of popularity, I can't deny the laughs I shared with those girls. When high school begun, I learned the harsh lesson that laughter and happiness is not what life is about. Would they be there for me when my depression acted up? Did they understand my absolute terror of speaking up in class? Did they know who I was, really? Underneath the painted smile that was quickly dissolving off of my face? The answer was no.
   So I joined the less popular, yet more accepting, crowd. I quickly found my way to a girl with a different hair color every week but a permanent understanding for all things different. She was what I needed. She immediately took me under her wing and showed me around the school apart from my previous clique which I only realized now, that had clouded my vision. It was a new, colorful, amazing world to me. The people didn't care about what you looked like. Actually, they liked when you looked below average. It made you have a personality. I found new friends whom understood even the darkest parts of me. They understood emotions besides utter happiness. They understood sadness, and anxiety, and anger, and loneliness, and terror. It was such a breath of fresh air. I was finally free and open to embrace every part of me.
   I didn't just drop every single old friend I had, I stayed close with a select few whom I believed actually liked me despite my ability to smile and act pretty. Most of the friends I made originally from the less popular group ending up not being my friend. But by the end of high school, I had some new and amazing friends. Few in number, but huge in quality. I ended up not being in a set group and usually had my nose in a book or just simply didn't attend social events. I wasn't a loner and I could hold a conversation with anyone in the school, I just didn't really fit in a group. If you've read this far you're probably really bored or highly confused why I'm talking about my high school  experience when I'm going off to college in a few, short months. It actually has everything to do with high school. 
    I applied to a handful of schools, unsure of what I wanted in my college experience. All that I knew is that I wanted it to be the polar opposite of high school. After all the weekends of getting up early and traveling in the car to tour colleges, I had gotten my decision down to two very different schools. Ole miss and Samford. I prayed and prayed and cried out and kneeled and asked God to give me a sign to choose one. Half way through my senior year I met one of my absolute best friends. This girl brought me closer to Christ which was a quality I never really found in my other friends, didn't care about popularity although she was one of the most well known girls in the school, could make me laugh until my stomach hurt, and understood pain. I thought she was a perfect in-between. One day when we were first becoming friends she brought up Ole Miss and just like that, I thanked God and chose Ole Miss as my college decision. I asked and I had received an answer from God himself. I thought..
   Months passed with me and my friend planning on Ole Miss. I'm talking about putting money down, shopping for matching supplies, beginning to put stuff together for sororities, etc. We had it all figured out and we were going to be roommates and rush together and everything had worked itself out. Although I used to laugh at people that went to Ole Miss, I took my new friendship as a sign from God. Until she got her rejection call.
   The call came as a shock because I had never imagined a world at Ole Miss without my best friend right by my side. Besides the initial confusion, I came to the conclusion I would simply have to find a random roommate. This was a tough realization for me, considering most of the people that attend Ole Miss are considered popular, and I had lost my tolerance for that years ago. Was I going to be in a sorority without her? What if I hate my roommate? How will I make friends? The questions made me woozy in the head so I simply stopped talking about it and held everything in. All the anxieties, all the questions, all the fears. Everything.
    It was late and I was in my bed. Despite my urge, I wouldn't allow myself to check my phone because I knew I'd get distracted on social media and stay up for hours. So I laid there for hours instead. I don't actually know if it was hours, but it sure felt like it. You know how your feelings intensify when you're in your bed at home? All of the sudden I started rethinking my college decision. First, I had never wanted to go to Ole Miss. I had an ex boyfriend for two years whose dream college was Ole Miss and when he started planning to attend there, I told him I wouldn't go there. I had never given Ole Miss a chance. It just wasn't me. Sororities were for popular people that wanted a second high school experience. Ole Miss was known for tail gates and drinking, and I a) didn't enjoy tail gaiting b) didn't have plans of becoming a raging alcohol in my college career. I started seeing only the cons of attending Ole Miss without my friend. The sole reason I even chose the school was because of her, and now that variable was taken out of the equation. And I couldn't find the solution.
   So I started listening for God's voice again. I started praying more, and opening my ear more to sermons, attending devotions, reading the Bible, searching for something to help me in my crisis. I came across the verse that states that if your hand causes you to sin, to cut it off. I had read that verse more times than I could count but it spoke to me in a different way that night. The Bible meant literally, at least I believe. That if something is causing you to stumble, to cut it off. And I realized that my college decision would only cause me to stumble. Although Ole Miss is a great university and I'm sure has christian sororities and/or organizations, attending that school would not push me to Christ every second of the day. So I pulled out my pros and cons list I had previously made for Ole Miss and added Samford to the side. What I found is that they both had completely separate, but equal number of pros. Which wasn't a shock to me because I knew that both schools, although polar opposites, were great schools to attend. When I got to the cons, I could only find three for Samford and I came up with eight for Ole Miss. Was this the sign, God? I didn't know what it meant but I couldn't get that dang list out of my head after I made made it, as if I had etched it into my brain.
   Everything that had once attracted me to Ole Miss was disappearing if I wanted it to or not. Having a SEC football team used to be extremely exciting to me, but now I just saw it as nine weeks out of the entire year. I decided to not join a sorority there, knowing I wouldn't fit in, so how would I meet people? Of course, the trauma of popularity and the black hole that it sucks you into was also a factor eating at my brain. Ole Miss just started becoming less and less attractive to me..
   Reading this, (for the few of you who still are), I'm sure it appears evident that I should attend Samford. My only problem is that my friend whom I was planning on rooming with, found a community college near Ole Miss and was accepted for the spring. So that meant all I had to do was get past the first semester by myself, and then everything would go along with our original plan. And I wish I could finish this post with my final decision.. The only problem is that I haven't made it. Was God testing my patience and His plan for me is Ole Miss or is her rejection a sign I should attend the school that will bring me closer to him? I will ruin my friend's excitement for Ole Miss if I don't attend, but my gut is telling me to go against it. I still don't know. I have to come to a decision soon though, since my orientation for Ole Miss is on tuesday, four days away. If you've read this far I would greatly appreciate prayers for me as I'm entering these next couple of days which will be stressful and major pressure on my decision making. Writing everything out has been my coping mechanism for years, so here I am, thousands of words later. Still with no answer. 
   P.S. I will make my next post on my decision, so stay tuned :)