“Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become.”
Those words exemplify my first college semester experience. As my senior year of high school drew to a close, I found the task of choosing a school to attend for further education to grow more and more daunting. My entire social circle was moving to Kansas State University, and though the idea of rooming with my close friends and starting a new life with people I already knew seemed comforting, I felt a pull for change. On August 20th, 2011, I moved to Bethany College. Classes started four days later, and I never had a chance to look back, but I do not regret it. When I first came to Bethany College, I had no idea what direction I wanted to go or where I wanted to take my life. I was an undecided student who wasn’t playing sports or partaking in the music scene, and therefore felt slightly out of the shuffle. Looking around at my fellow freshman on orientation day made me realize how much everyone already seemed to have a niche, whether it be the athletes, art devotees, or biology majors. I didn’t quite fit in anywhere. However, as school progressed, I realized that none of this mattered. Just as in high school, I continued to challenge myself by enrolling (and being accepted into) the honors program. This class as well as my introductory course in philosophy proved to be rather challenging. The courses made me “think outside the box” and pushed me to be a more critical thinker and ultimately, appreciate the simplicities of life. The work load of these two classes combined with my other homework proved to be quite busy and stressful. I often stayed up till the early morning hours reading or working on a paper. But between all the stressors, were joys—feeding ducks in McPherson, playing a hall-wide game of catch phrase, or playing an intense game of cards. These simple instances in life not only brought smiles to my overloaded mind, but taught me that it is the simple things in life that matter most. One must be able to enjoy a violet on the edge of a sidewalk to truly love a new car. Now, I realize that not everything in life “just clicks” and that is perfectly acceptable. I used to feel lost and left behind because of my uncertainty. However, college has truly become a catalyst. No, I still may be undecided, and searching for direction, but I know that I am a stronger person now that when I first came to Bethany. I am comfortable in knowing that I do not know, because just as I found friends and a support system within the honors program and the sorority that I later pledged to, I will also eventually discover “what I want to be when I grow up.” I am no longer afraid of the unknown. I will not run for the dangers it may hide, but embrace it for the opportunities for growth and learning that it may hold.