Life is full of choices and sometimes it’s hard to remember that in any given circumstance, you have a choice in the matter. I think mostly every opportunity in life is a chance to choose love or to choose fear. We can choose faith over doubt. Peace over conflict. And love over fear. Even when the choosing process seems to be more subconscious.
This time of my life is a season of reflection, as I look back on my time studying abroad (a huge post about this coming soon!) and my college experience as I head into my senior year. A lot of things are going to be different in a year, but I’ve been grateful today to have a summer at home to really soak in the decisions I’ve made to make it here right now. To make it this far.
So, looking back, I’ve come up with five decisions I made in my life that have become some of the best choices I’ve made so far in my two decades. I’m so grateful for these experiences and all the lessons I’ve learned from them.
1. Join my high school cross country team. I dreaded running the mile in middle school, but when my best friend mentioned going out for the cross country team freshman year of high school, the goal of racing a 5K seemed too cool to pass up. The cross country seasons were probably the times when I was in the best shape in my life, but looking back on it, I realized I learned so much when it comes to building up endurance and working out. I’ve learned exercises to shape your core, strengthen your body and gain running speed. I still incorporate my favorite exercises into my workouts I do today. Cross country made me learn that running long distance is possible and it made me realize that working out is so healthy and beneficial for you, no matter if you’re part of a team or just routing for yourself to reach your goals.
2. Study abroad. This is kind of an obvious one, but I’m going to say that studying abroad was on my to-do list for college, but it never seemed like one of those things that I would actually do. But I learned that I can do it–I can survive four months living in another country. I could survive practically anywhere if I had an awesome group of friends along with me. The perspective and life-change study abroad has given me has been priceless. But I don’t want to romanticize the experience. It was four months of internally asking myself why I was there, what I was doing and how can this be possible. It was a hard four months, but crucial to be where I am right now and what I do in the future.
3. Become a sister of Sigma Alpha Omega. Finding an organization in college that builds you up and that you are passionate about is truly one of the most important experiences during my college years. Having a wonderful group of ladies by my side has been so amazing. I’ve met some of my best friends who have challenged me in my faith, my life decisions and my ability to try new things. Sigma Alpha Omega has allowed me to improve leadership skills, fine-tune communication skills, and travel to new places. It’s a small group of girls, but that has led to deeper conversations and relationships. And that’s truly what matters: going deeper with close friends. It has given me a community to do so and to discover more of myself.
4. Choose to go to college at (my awesome university!). Right now, as I just watched my brother make his decision to attend college, I know picking a college is no easy feat. When I chose my school, I was debating between two schools in North Carolina, and I decided between the two after taking a road trip with mom to visit both in one weekend. I can say that I have definitely felt like home on my campus and that the classes and environment of the school have been a perfect fit. I have grown tremendously here. I have loved. I have lost. I have followed my dreams and got out of some bad habits. The community has been priceless and I am at awe that I can go to school with a bunch of awesome world-changers on campus. I’ve realized how lucky I am to have this opportunity for education and how lucky I found that in one small town in North Carolina.
5. Start a blog. My blogging journey began November 2009 of my junior year of high school, almost five years ago. I was blogging over at a little blog called Anything Imaginable. I started it as an extension of my creative writing pursuits back when I was in a creative writing class. Now, as I have created a new space here (after taking a long break in between writing for each blog), I can say that getting into the blogging world has been so amazing. It’s given me a creative space and I’ve found parts of my identity through writing and designing graphics for this blog. It’s also lead me to many blogging friends and given me the confidence in my dreams and passions.
What decisions have you made that have gotten you to where you are now? What have you been most proud of in your life? The little moments that make all the difference?