Okay, in my last post, I said I wasn't sad about graduating at all. I think I am now. Thursday night, I was driving by Morris Hall (where Brittany, Kalyn, and I lived sophomore year), and I started crying. It really surprised me because I hadn't been feeling sad at all. I just thought about how much fun we had there and how it really seems like that was just yesterday. I can't believe it was two years ago. College went by so fast! I know I still have a lot to look forward to in life, but I get sad thinking about how quickly it all goes by. Each year in college has been so different, but there have been great things about each year.
Freshman year was probably the most purely fun year. Classes were easy, and it was incredible living in Gardner and getting to know Brittany, Kalyn, Em, Carolyn, John, and Will. We were a really weird group, but I loved it: learning how to two-step, throwing Valentine's Day parties, playing Taboo, midnight Starbucks runs, and eating, eating, eating. I had been so sad when I left all my girlfriends from church in Waco. I didn't think I would ever find a group of friends like that again. But God blessed me with great friends in Abilene. We could talk about anything (and did!)
Sophomore year Kalyn, Britt, and I lived together in Morris. It was, at times, stressful. Good friends do not always make the best roommates, and I was as much to blame as anyone. But there were a lot of good times, too. Dancing around in Kalyn's old hats, my sleeptalking, practically knocking Em over when she got off the plane from Oxford. And, of course, Darby had come to ACU, and we were awkwardly navigating the rebuilding of our relationship. We both finally realized what our relationship could be, and it was wonderful and exciting and scary all at once.
Junior year Brittany I moved into a little house together. Although our first night was horrible (no air conditioning, an extremely dirty house, and slashed tires), we turned that tiny house into an amazing home. We came to embrace its quirks. Who else has an upside-down house with three front doors? And of course, junior year was the beginning of Fat Tuesdays, which has been the highlight of my week for the past year and a half. I discovered my love for cooking and entertaining and even cleaning, but don't worry, I'm still a feminist. I cook because I want to! : ) Our plan sophomore year had been for me, Kalyn, Brittany, and Em to all live in a house together. That didn't work out, and I'm so glad it didn't. It probably would have killed our friendship. We don't see each other as much, but the time we do spend together is relaxed, not strained.
This year (well, just one semester, actually) has been a transition period. I only took 11 hours, so I spent more time working. All of my friends stayed here for the summer, so I've really started to see Abilene as my home (which is good since I'll be here another year and a half). Darby and I have really gotten plugged in with the college group at Westgate. I actually feel like the people there are my friends, not just people I see at church. I'm glad that, because I am graduating in December, I can sort of ease out of the college experience. All my friends will still be around at least another semester. I get to enjoy five more months of living with Brittany and hanging out with the Fat Tuesday girls! Plus, I'll still go to campus every day for work.
Freshman year, I thought, "This is as good as it gets." And I think that probably was the most fun year of my life. But I wouldn't say it was the best. Since then, I have been challenged intellectually, relationally, and spiritually. There have been tough times, but I don't think I'd change any of them. (Well, except maybe the journalism classes).
I am overwhelmed by what God has blessed me with in college. I really do feel like I grew up in my three and a half years here. When I look back on freshman and sophomore year, I can't believe some of the things I said and did. Fortunately, God blessed me with understanding, forgiving friends. I know I still have more maturing to do, but I feel more confident and secure about who I am than ever. I learned a lot about language and literature in college, but I think the relationships I developed at ACU taught me much more important lessons.