Oh, What A Life | College: Take 2

Thursday, May 14, 2015

College is a funny little thing. You think you're getting the hang of it, and then up comes a curveball (or several) and then like what just happened who am I how does one carry on. Presenting the second annual (& very condensed) installment of what I've learned from college...here goes.

The fires of life are crucial to the refining process of growth, but to know and be grounded in our individual persona during those times—man, just as crucial.

No shame when I say online tests really do provide generally (to scarily) accurate analyses that provide solid insight (StrengthsFinder, Myers Briggs). And of course it's always a good time subsequently reading through all the articles that somehow speak out the depths of your soul (THIS omg life). Yet notwithstanding the countless number of articles I pored through, the real life manifestations of all the strengths and faults I read about always made for more meaningful (read: sometimes painful) reminders of the many ways we're all wired.

Amidst the growing pains, one thing that always pushes me to look beyond my petty little worries is privilege. Not to say that privilege in it of itself is bad; I really don't think it is. It just becomes a barrier when we live up to the negative connotation, which frustratingly comes more naturally than not.

For instance, I'm sitting in the lobby of a boutique luxury hotel as I write these words. I don't even live here (a girl can dream), but no one questions my state of being here. But the man roaming downtown with baggy clothing on and without a home? He'd draw attention immediately and probably of security before many people were to notice him anyways. Even in my geographic journey of going to college, I moved from one of the safest cities in America to a friggin' tourist destination. I like all things pretty and enjoy good food; I'm surrounded by more temptations of "the good life" than I have enough daily quotas to Instagram.

But what if we not only saw our privileges as blessings but also actively lived in that truth? And then if we declared these blessings as instruments, tools, platforms for movement and change? (Thoughts definitely slow cooking on that one.)

But then sometimes what's even more important is surrounding yourself with the right people to explore the big questions with.

I'm still in awe that I've somehow stumbled upon the eclectic yet soul-fulfilling combination of people that will wake up at 8am on a Monday morning to piggyback me to the health center when I can't walk, have regular soul-searching conversations over coffee with me, pause when our food arrives at the table because they know what's coming next, and buy me food time and time again (arguably the real key to my heart). I honestly don't know where I'd be if it weren't for those who are real with me when I need it the most, whether through uplifting words of affirmation or constructive words of refinement.

People always ask me how I "do so much" yet manage to balance it all.

Well, it doesn't really work like that. I don't do a lot and I hardly know what balance is; I'm strugglin' just as hard as anyone else trying to hold it all together. Honestly, God directs the whole 'doing' part, and I try my best to follow. Yes, I fall and trip and walk straight into shrubs and get smacked with tree branches along the way (and strain my peroneal tendon mergh still recovering from that true story), but damned if I don't, I follow.

Because the fact of the matter is, there's a helluva lot of this world I don't know. We as college kids like to think we're important, and not that we're not, but let's be real...there's so much more waiting for us. There are so many nations to see, so many more years to brave through, so many foods to devour, so many people to love, so many callings to pursue, so many chick flicks with Josh Duhamel to watch (maybe more if we pray together? #strengthinnumbers). But what another year of young and wild and free collegiate living has humbled me to know is that I, just as everyone else in this world, am immeasurably blessed for a reason. What that reason is for each of us—well, here's to figuring that out together.


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