Run In Such A Way As To Get The Prize

I’ve heard someone say that you learn more about yourself in one year of college than 4 years in high school. As I have had both experiences, I can definitely agree with that statement. My first year of college flew by faster than I imagined even possible. And I thought my Senior year of high school went by fast. Ha! I had such an amazing year at OU– it was pretty much everything I hoped and dreamt it would be. I like to look back at my Freshman year of college and the more I do the more I realize how I don’t know anything. Like, as humans, we literally know nothing. It’s God’s job to know and our job to trust Him.

I didn’t know that the sweet girl from Houston in my recruitment walking group would be one of my best and first friends in Pi Phi. Erica and I skipped from Pi Phi to Gould Hall where we signed a card saying we wanted to be part of that sisterhood and the next day we found each other on the same lawn.¬†I didn’t know that this would be the year that I lost my grandma. But, I am thankful that my God gives us a hope for those we have lost– the promise that we will be reunited one day in the presence of His love for eternity.

I learned things this year and if you are an incoming Freshman, I can give you tips and tricks for surviving the first year. But, you truly will never be prepared until you have been in and through it. You have to make yourself get up for class, church, and to go work out. You are responsible for your grades and getting yourself home on a Thursday night after a little bit of partying (should you chose to go out). College makes you learn a lot about YOU. The weird thing about college is that people just don’t care. Like in high school you could find some people who would gossip and judge people’s actions, but in college people don’t care what you do. Again, YOU have to care about what you do and seek those friends who will care about you and your grades and your health and your safety.¬†College is a strange bubble of the world where you have few responsibilities yet limitless opportunities.

With barely 3 weeks to go, I am so happy that I didn’t know a lot coming into this. Luckily I had the mindset that was that of a child, completely trusting in my guardian, my Father. That is probably my #1 piece of advice for Freshmen. Recruitment was hard, class is challenging, partying can be tempting, getting up for church can be impossible, and following Him can be testing BUT if you put all your eggs in God’s basket He will bring you through to the best result for you. Whether you realize it is the best right away or not. We all have vulnerable moments where the Enemy tries to sneak into your mind, I had those this year, but I encourage you to press on in your faith. I am so thankful for the learning experiences that my Freshman year brought me and I will always remember this year with a loving fondness. No matter what new experience you are about to go through, I encourage you to trust Him.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:24

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Living and Learning

You know they say you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. I view high school in this way now. Don’t get me wrong, college is everything and more. I love it waaaaay too much sometimes, haha. But my mom was right (she always is), you will never have another experience like high school ever again. I had a love/hate relationship with high school. I was really challenged in my faith and in my relationships, but I have made some of the best friends and had some incredible experiences.
Every once in a while I will get a whiff of the lotion I brought on Senior Trip and the memories will flood back. To this day, that was the best week of my life. Or at church we will turn to a passage that Mr. Hough taught on and I will get to revisit the notes I made beside it. Looking back on the great moments; winning cheer state, winning football state, Senior trip, my best friends, awesome teachers like Mr. Hough and Mrs. Hartwig and Mr. Blakeman (among several others), Science camp, Junior Retreat, brunch and more, homecoming week– I realize how lucky I was that my parents moved me to OCS in 8th grade. I find it funny that what I thought was God being mean actually was Him pouring out His love for me through this school. It was dumb luck that I stayed there, with blind faith. There were good times and bad, of course, and sometimes (many times) I though the bad outweighed the good to the point where I wanted to move. Obviously that didn’t happen, I didn’t have the guts to leave where God put me. I’m happy I didn’t because nothing compares to the 5 years at OCS. Although, I have no problem admitting the flaws of the school. I have found many while there, but I know that just like my flawed life, The Lord is in control of that place.
I’m a teeny bit jealous that I will never get to have those experiences again, but I look back at my OCS career with loving fondness. I am living life that OCS prepared me for out in the “real world” and I am doing fine. It just took me being gone for nearly a year to understand the Lord’s reasoning of His work. And I’m sure I’ll uncover more of it as I grow older, too.
I love college, a lot. I’ve made friends with my same values and life goals. But, I find it funny that OCS brought me to my Big Sis in my sorority. We’re the two OCS Pi Phis, but I find that another thing The Lord brought to me through OCS. My life would look very different without that piece.
All you Seniors, and everyone else for that matter, don’t wish it away. Soak it in, learn as much Biblical truth possible and make the most of it. It’ll be gone before you know it.