Once upon a time (aka last semester), everything seemed absolutely golden, and I thought I knew exactly where my life was headed. I thought I'd settled in nicely to the school and that I knew my place.
Then, spring semester began, and my house of cards came tumbling down.
I found out all-too-late that I'd majorly overstretched myself, a common condition among transfers and sophomores alike! It took me a few months to find my way again, but the important thing to accept is that it's okay to wander for a bit, as long as one doesn't stray too far.
The thing I didn't quite grasp in the mad carousal of my first semester was that coming in as a transfer can make you feel a bit awkward. I felt too old to really bond with the freshman class and too new to fit in with established upperclassmen friend groups. I learned quickly that I had to make my own opportunities. I bonded with other transfers who were feeling the same way as me, and with them, I've developed multi-faceted, authentic relationships that I haven't found anywhere else.
That being said, about nine times out of ten, trying to interact with students who already knew the lay of the land here went a little something like this:
This wasn't an issue last fall because of the glorious chaos that was rushing a tribe. In the midst of all my stress, though, I decided to go inactive this semester. It gave me a bit more time and seemed to work at first, but it wasn't long before I felt the absence of my loud and loving sisters and realized just how much I relied on them for basic social interaction. Outside of Phi Theta Kappa (an honor society on campus), there weren't many opportunities I found at the time.
Pair this with the strain of life and disappointment with how my major classes were going, and I found myself in a bad place halfway through the semester.
The beautiful thing about breakdowns, though, is that God creates something amazing out of those shattered pieces. This breakdown was the catalyst for God to show me just how much my friends and family mean to me, and what I am capable of aiming for in my life. It opened the door for me to evaluate the major I was in and decide, once and for all, to let myself explore other options.
In the days following the breakdown, everything seemed to change. I let go of the old dreams I'd been clinging to, and suddenly things began to magically fall into place.
I decided to push away my fears and do something with the wanderlust I was born with, and changed my major to International Studies and French. My advisor was such a kind soul throughout the process and he not only encouraged the shift, but expressed his excitement that I'd found the right path at last!
On top of the relief of my major change, the little group of transfers with whom I'd bonded began to recognize my loneliness and reach out to me, bringing me to church and on-campus events I hadn't heard of before. We agreed to volunteer, attend the International Festival, and we got to meet a wide variety of interesting people. As it turns out, there was an entire little world of social/service events happening in the undercurrent of MC that I wouldn't have known about if I hadn't stepped out of the comfort zone I'd built for myself.
This semester was a time to hit the brakes and reexamine my life in a lot of ways. If fall was about getting involved and trying to meet as many people as possible, spring has been about investing in the things and people I care most about.
The best things I can take away from my second semester are these: God is in control, even if we have totally lost it. Sometimes, we're going to be disappointed by people or classes. But, there are a lot of good people here who are ready to help us brush ourselves off and keep going. I came to Mississippi College in an unconventional way, and I'm going to leave it in one (aka spending my last semester in France). MC is my chosen home for now, and I know that as long as I pour myself into it, it'll invest itself back in me.
Just remember, everyone's path is different. Don't be afraid of the curves, and don't forget to dream.