Year One.

What a year. I am left nearly speechless as I look back at my first two semesters at Evangel. So I’m going to write about them instead!

When I traveled to Springfield from my home in the south suburbs of Chicago, I had no idea what my college experience would look like. I had heard stories from current college students about their transition, their dorm life, their classes, and their new friendships. Still, I had a difficult time picturing myself as a college student. I couldn’t help but view life from the frame of reference of a freshly-graduated high schooler, and I couldn’t see myself as a college student no matter how hard I tried.

However, reality hit when my dad and mom helped me trudge my belongings into my new “home” in Walther Hall. There was a definite moment when I felt like this is finally happening. And that was an overwhelming moment. Through the many tears I shed during that transition of saying good-bye to the life I had always known, I gingerly entered a life uncharted.

As I began to attend my classes, the weeks began to quickly pass by. I realized that when I occupied my time with academics and took opportunities to go on floor events, I began to form memories. And memories made me feel like I belonged to this new life. The college life. Filled with many hours of studying, beautiful encounters with God in chapels and hall discipleship events, enriching conversations with friends, impactful Concert Choir tours, interesting academic courses, and the constant attempt to get enough sleep–it has been a full and exciting year. An adventure. And these experiences are just a snapshot of my time here so far.

My relationship with God has grown so much deeper since I first began college. Having to be separated from my life of comfort at home, I quickly realized that my only constant is God. No matter how I am feeling–or what stressors may be plaguing me–I have found that God is wants to meet me where I am. He fills me, sustains me, loves me, gives me His grace, and allows His Holy Spirit to use me to bless others. These simple concepts have had a profound effect on my life these past eight months, and I am ecstatic to see what He teaches me in the times to come.

Evangel IS family. In my first year here, I have already met so many incredible individuals who have impacted my life. They give selflessly, provide accountability, encourage, share God’s love, pray, and support me from day to day. These are the kind of friendships you will find here, ones that have the potential to last a lifetime.

If you’re beginning your college journey in a few short months, and you feel a bit (or a lot) of apprehension, know that you’re not meant to already know what the journey is going to look like. Your college journey is for YOU to find out step-by-step, moment-by-moment. Adjustment will happen, and it is necessary. It may be difficult to bear at times, but know that as you look to God to give you strength each step of this new journey, He will provide you with that strength to sustain you. It’s a beautiful journey, and it’s waiting for YOU!

I’m excited to see what year two has to offer…

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