August 2015– I loaded my parent’s van and my father along with my aunt drove 986 miles from Hyde Park, Massachusetts to Greencastle, Indiana. I was eager to “start my life” (As if I hadn’t already been living my life for 17 years lol). In my mind, I thought escaping to a far-off state would solve all the problems and hurts I endured in Boston. I couldn’t wait to “start fresh” and “find myself”—this time, for real. I planned to make friends, meet my husband, get involved and have the best 4 years of my life. The plan was this: get to DePauw, fall in love, graduate a Music Education major with a job secured as a music teacher in the Midwest.
May 2019– I graduated, but I was single, a Global Health and French double major with a plane ticket back to Boston. So, where did it all go wrong? I mean, I thought I was supposed to follow “the plan.” The truth is, I did follow a plan, it just wasn’t my plan. You see, God had other things in mind for me during my 4 years in Indiana. I don’t think He planned for me to get my heart broken multiple times, get on probation or get sent to the hospital at 2am for ingesting synthetic THC (that’s a story for another day), but He did intend to use all of those experiences for good.
College for me went NOTHING like I had planned, but I graduated a smart, confident and inspirational young woman. August 2015, I was naïve, innocent and completely oblivious to the true complexities of life. It took my plan falling through the cracks for me to realize that we rarely end up where we think we’ll be, but we always end up where we need to be.
My advice to you is to make a plan but don’t get married to it. Seek new experiences and meet new people, but keep in mind that things can change in an instant. Be open to things falling apart only to find them falling back together again in the most random and beautiful ways. College stretches you, it teaches you that you are stronger than you think. Although in my mind I was paying for an academic education, I soon realized that I was paying for so much more. I paid to find myself, make mistakes, fall in love with myself and come out on the other side as the most amazing individual.
You will grow in college. You will fall apart. You will be confused. You will constantly question if you’re doing the right thing or if this is really for you. All of these thoughts are normal. Believe that you belong there. Believe that if you are willing, you can make some pretty awesome memories, and also become an incredible version of yourself.
So go, find yourself, fall in love, make mistakes, change your major a million times, cry at 2am—it’ll all happen, but you know what will happen also? You’ll graduate, you’ll be successful, and you will come out on the other side