I’ve started counting my “lasts” this semester. I’ve never found myself doing that before, but considering I graduate in less than fifty days, it seems appropriate. It has hit me during surprising moments—like when I’m walking out of Jennings at night and the moon shines through the courtyard, highlighting all the places I’ve made memories. It popped up during Homecoming, realizing this was the last time I would attend this event as a student.
Most of all, I’ve counted the “lasts” as I sit on tattered couches in messy dorms and apartments, drinking cups of coffee and surrounded by people that mean the world to me. It’s moments like this when I sink deeply into the fact that these years have been so good to me, and to leave them means finding new tattered couches and listening ears somewhere else.
MC loves to remind students that there's a place for us, a community of people just waiting with arms wide and receptive. As I entered my freshman year, coming from a confusing and tumultuous year of choice, I was so ready for that community. I absolutely threw myself into as many organizations and commitments as I could, buying into the idea that busyness meant belonging.
Spoiler: It didn’t.
My color coded, messy, and constant schedule kept me running myself ragged throughout freshman and sophomore year. I was afraid that if I stopped for one second to think about my life and who I was, I might realize the things that were missing. It’s a hollow, empty feeling that no one should face, yet many do.
And then junior year happened.
I unpacked in Lat-Webb room 331 and watched the Lord start working. That year, working through Residence Life, I met some of the most kind, genuine, and loving people. People loved me in a way that wasn’t superficial or based on all the things I could do for them—it was genuinely centered on who I was.
Lately I’ve been planning my last fall break trip, a whirlwind affair into the mountains of North Georgia to camp and breathe deeply and shake off the Yazoo clay of this dusty, flat town. I’m taking six girls home with me, something that would never have happened years before. They are sleeping on every available surface in my home and while my inner only child is worried about spending that much time with that many people, my inner college freshman is still astonished that I’ve found my people.
So here’s my simple advice: never stop looking. Don’t ever think that surface level questions and a colorfully packed schedule can be a substitute for a group of people who know you well. Busy planners and Instagram-able weekends might not always mean memories. Give people second and third chances. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. You might be surprised at what, and who, you find. You just might find home.