This school year brought a lot of big changes into my life- some good and some bad. But life is about growth and that is what I have done. I have made new friends while losing others- and that is okay. I made many realizations along the way, one of which is that all learning doesn’t have to be in a classroom.
___________________God works in mysterious ways. ____________________
Yes, I know this is a very cliché statement, but it fits perfectly into my not-so-perfect life. The perfect instance of this being true has its own post, about me going to Nicaragua. I was supposed to go to Ecuador last summer, but it didn’t work out and I am grateful for that. The company I was supposed to go through was being vague in their answers to my questions, and long story short I decided the night before that I wasn’t going anymore. (I, who had no flying experience, was expected to fly into Ecuador’s busiest airport, in a Spanish-speaking country, and they couldn’t send me a picture of who I was supposed to be meeting up with- WEIRD!!) Then I saw the movie Snatched and that fictional film solidified my gut feelings.
So, this didn’t work out but I still desired to serve others in another country. This Ecuador downfall built the path for a better trip and better friends- plus it was service through the medical field, where I will be working in a few short years. You can read all about this in my other post, linked here. There was a reason God didn’t let Ecuador work out and why I backed out that night. I took it as a major sign when my phone came up missing the afternoon before I was supposed to leave. And then again when I found out my flight got delayed and I wouldn’t have landed in Ecuador until MIDNIGHT (scary). I may never know the reason Ecuador wasn’t the place for me, but after traveling to Nicaragua, I know why I was meant to spend my money going to that country instead.
God works in his own ways, in his own time, and as humans we must learn to trust in Him. I learned that, and if you pay attention, you might too.
____________________Busting your tail is important… ______________________
If you have goals that you want to achieve, working hard is the only way to get there. Sometimes it means saying no to a midnight ice cream run or the 8:30 workout session at the SAC all your roomies are going to, but it will pay off. Keep chasin’ those dreams!
________________________…But so it having fun. _________________________
Playing off the previous statement, having fun is also important. Finding the perfect balance is difficult, but definitely achievable. For too long I was solely focused on getting all good grades and doing all my jobs correctly, that I wasn’t enjoying myself. And that is important too. You’re only getting this experience for (roughly) 4 years, you can’t let every fun instance slip through your fingertips. Sometimes it’s a picking and choosing game, but well worth it. Your brain needs a break sometimes.
_________________________Life is not a race.______________________________
This one hit me harder than most. For a while I had been contemplating taking a gap year between undergrad and graduate school. Part of me felt that year would be important to preserving my sanity and mental health, while another part of me wanted to go straight to grad school because “God forbid I get my master’s degree at 24 rather than 23.” However, the idea of a gap year became more apparent when I found out I was only eligible to apply to two Physician’s Assistant programs in Michigan for this year’s cycle. Then I was realizing this gap year might happen whether I want it to or not. Roughly half way through the spring semester I met with a professor about class and ended up having a real conversation with him. He became a human, not a professor to which I am a face and not a name. He went on about his life and his past and just as I was about to give him some story about some fake meeting I had to run to, he concluded with, “life is not a race. We all run it at a different pace. Me, I was the slow one, one of the last at the finish line- but I ended up okay.” For that, I applaud you Dr. Sharma. This spoke loudly to me and I was suddenly accepting of whatever outcome I have concerning PA school (and life in general). I have been trying to keep that in mind, especially now as I am juggling an internship, studying for the GRE, applying to graduate schools, working 3-5 days a week, and completing an online class. It’s a busy life but I wouldn’t change it.
__________________________I’m a trashy lady.__________________________
…which is why recycling is important. (It’s helping to save our planet!) I bet the header caught your eye over anything, but don’t worry mom; it’s only in context. Let me start out by saying that yes, Paige, I did roll my eyes behind your back when you first told us you were going to “make” us recycle this year. But let me also tell you how much it opened those eyes of mine to how much trash 5 girls can make in a week. So thank you for being environmentally informed and passing on the importance to me! The picture under this is the amount of recyclable material we generated in a week’s time. ONE WEEK! And this was a less-than-average week. Not only did it make me glad that we recycled, it made me become more aware of the materials I use, and despise non-reusable plastic water bottles even more. Lesson learned: always recycle if it is recyclable. Our trash is killing animals, and that is not okay!
___________If someone doesn’t need you, you don’t need them.___________
People you thought were your “friends” unfollow you from Instagram, unfriend you on Facebook, stop snapchatting you. You’ll notice if or when it happens. But WHO CARES. At first you’re upset, but then you unfollow them too. If they don’t care about your life, in my opinion that says how much you should care about theirs. Lesson learned the hard way on my part, but it only showed me how much more to appreciate the friends I have made in college.
________________Toxic people have no place in your life.________________
This builds off of the previous one, and yes this sounds as cliché as my first lesson. If someone is constantly dragging you down and dampening your mood, why keep them around? You have one life to make memories through an enjoyable life, don’t waste it pissed off at someone who is always getting under your skin. You have the right to cut people out of your life if you don’t want them there anymore. For me, that included deleting almost 200 people on Facebook. End toxic friendships, stop responding to the person that is only trying to get a rise out of you; it cleared my head and I hope it does for someone else as well.