All over social media there are people exclaiming in excitement, "I'm a senior"! For some people, college isn't summed up into 4 years and there can be many reasons as to why.
Well, I am one of those people.
When I had graduated high school in June of 2011, I already knew where I was going to college and had a very good idea of what I was going to study. I knew what I was passionate about and had a few expectations of what I would like to get out of my college experience. I was also very aware of the heavy financial aspect to college, but I wasn't quite sure on how it all worked.
Well, here I am today entering into my 4th year of college and no, I am not a senior.
For the past three years I have been a part-time student, paying my way through college by myself. I have the Federal Stafford Loans that mostly everyone has, but due to many unfortunate circumstances, I was unable to get a private loan to cover the rest.
I am so blessed and grateful to have two wonderful jobs that I enjoy, especially since they take up a good portion of my life right now. I have had to work hard to make sure I could make my huge payments each month - and I mean huge. I have had to give up things and free time that I enjoy so I could stay here, because I knew this was where the Lord wanted to grow me for this season.
Now please don't get me wrong, none of this is about me. God is the one who has given me the fuel and strength to push through, even when I wanted to give up. He is the only reason why I have been able to keep going, even when my humanly strength fails me. God is gracious. He loves to mold us! He wants to show you all that he has in store for you - all you have to do is be open.
I know these are common verses and can sometimes seem very redundant, but truly take them to heart.
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." - Proverbs 3:5-6
"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." - Romans 8:28
Over the past three years of being here, the expectations I had originally coming here haven't been met. Actually, a lot has changed since being here. My major has changed twice and I have discovered new passions that God has embedded into my heart. I have become more independent and I am not afraid to speak my thoughts. I have made connections and my work ethic has grown immensely.
I have decided to finish up my Associate's Degree in Bible, here at Valley Forge Christian College. For the future, I am not 100% sure on what I'll finish my Bachelor's Degree in yet, but business is a very good possibility. There is still much prayer and thought that needs to go into a decision like that, but I do know that I will probably finish up online, at a different school. That is what I have decided would be best for me.
It's just so funny how you can think you have everything figured out, then God changes some things around, and you have a completely different journey than you had originally thought. God's humor makes me laugh. To be honest, I find a strange comfort in change because I know that the Lord is directing my steps.
Has any of this been easy? Not at all. I get discouraged
sometimes...I mean, a lot of the time. I can get discouraged over not having enough time to do the things I enjoy because I work so much. I can also get very down because I won't have a degree like the rest of my friends and the people I know.
It's normal; it's life.
And I have grown okay with it.
But when I sit back and reflect, I have peace. I know God has been working through this experience and even though I may not see each way at this second, I know there is a purpose for me being here and trudging through the way I have had to.
He is not finished with me yet.