I am writing this post as I sit in cute little coffee shop in Crozet, VA, right outside of Charlottesville. If you had asked me five years ago where I thought I would be the summer of 2013, I imagine I would have said interning for a bank or law office, or just some internship where I would be wearing high heels, a pencil skirt and a coordinating, but not too matchy-matchy, tailored jacket. I had zero idea what I wanted to do as a career but somehow I just knew it would require full business attire. I thought I would be gearing up for my senior year at Wofford College. I thought I would be president of every club I joined at Wofford. I thought I would be able to "go out" at least four nights a week, like I heard most college students could. Of course I pictured myself happy, confident, and ten times better looking than I was at the time. College was going to be the best four years of my life. That is what everyone says, so it must be true, right??
Fast-forward five years and things have definitely changed, but in much different ways than I could have ever known. Here I am, at the University of Virginia, as a nursing major, gearing up for my “4th year” with another year following that one. This summer I am working as a nursing assistant and a nanny. Majority of the time I wear scrubs and clogs or sneakers. I have joined clubs at UVa, mainly nursing related, but I am much more conservative when dividing up my time, and I probably won’t even try to run for president of any of those clubs. I am happy. I am confident. I look the exact same as high school, with longer hair and a couple added pounds. Would I describe these last three years of college as the best years of my life? Probably not. Would I change any second of those years? Definitely not. So far college has taught me so many things about myself, some things for the better and some for the worst.
What I could have never predicted five years ago was the way my heart flip-flopped, deflated and ultimately changed starting as soon as I graduated high school. Leaving everyone I knew and heading to South Carolina left me vulnerable to situations I had never before encountered and most of all vulnerable to myself. After getting to Wofford, I realized pretty quickly that I did not enjoy waking up hangover and wondering why I acted the way I had the night before. As much I wanted to fit in with my new friends, I did not want to ruin the relationships I had already started to develop (I “re-found” Jesus the summer before senior year of high school). Going into my spring semester of freshman year I was conflicted and lonely. This became the ultimate time for me to once again reevaluate my life path.
With lots of support from my family and Avery and his family I discovered that my strengths could be consolidated into one career, nursing. Apparently, my loved ones forgot my strength of dressing well ;) From that point on I put all my energy into getting into a program that would allow me to pursue nursing. A very long year later I finally told my dear Wofford friends of my plans to transfer and received my acceptance into the UVa School of Nursing.
Here I am a year out from that major life transition and I have never felt more confident that this is where I am supposed to be. I have even embraced the new wardrobe demands… my roommate and UVa friends would probably argue that I never had an issue with it, as any day of the week you can find me in shorts and a t-shirt or scrubs by choice.
I think that the point of this very long, rambling post is that life is so ironic and funny and unpredictable. I had to embrace the weird quirks that God gave me and knew would show themselves at some point. Ultimately, I had to learn to rely on Christ to have any kind of confidence in my decisions. I have by no means figured everything out yet, and I am no better at predicting the future than my 17-year-old self, but my newer disposition gives me hope for an even greater next five years.