Accepting ChangeComing to understand that my path has shifted has been challenging and uncomfortable. Change is hard. It is painful, and causes doubt–especially doubt in the plan God has for me and whether I am doing wthe right thing. As I reflect on my freshman year, I can so clearly connect the dots on how much I grew. Academically, socially, personally–in every way, I became more myself. I came to realize that I have outgrown the Mount a little. To become who I want to be, I need to challenge myself and push the boundaries of my comfort zone. After tumultuous issues with scheduling, difficulties with administration, and a host of other factors, I was left confused, upset, and most of all, fearful. What could my future hold? Along with most of my friends, I like to have a plan. I like to know where I am going and how to get there. But sometimes, life throws curves at you. Sometimes, we grow into people who need new things, people, and places. We figure out that to become who we are, to follow God’s plan for us, we must accept the change that shakes up our lives but allows us to grow.
Doubt, Trust, & FaithI can quite honestly say that in the weeks since I made a final choice not to return to the Mount, I have whirled through emotions. I doubted myself–did I jump into this decision? Would I regret this? How would taking a semester off affect my overall college experience? Where would I end up? But friends–let me tell you. I am so happy now that I’ve made this choice. No, I may not know quite yet exactly where I’ll be transferring. I’ve been accepted to great programs and have more exciting choices to make. At the Mount, I became much more outgoing and craved to be involved. While this is a good thing, it also made me crave things that aren’t offered at the Mount. I came into college thinking I would stay at the same place for four years before moving on to the next chapter. My freshman year at Mount St. Mary’s was a good one. The Mount and my freshman year are not things I regret. Meeting such amazing people, especially the friends willing to go on midnight hikes with me, study until all hours of the night for tough exams, and be there for both celebrations and challenges, was worth it. Becoming much more spontaneous and accomplishing my goal of saying “yes” more often was worth it. I grew to be much more confident in myself and accept the person I am, allowing me to be my authentic self and invite better people and opportunities into my life. I’ll definitely miss the professors I met at the Mount. They are kind, brilliant, and willing to work individually with you to help you achieve things both in and out of the classroom. Academically, I am hoping to find more variety in the courses offered at my new school, and also to pursue English classes more focused on different aspects of writing as opposed to only the study of literature.
Following My DreamsAs my freshman year came to a close, I knew one thing for sure. I want to become the best writer I can. My classes should give me the tools and confidence to go after my dreams and succeed on my path. I want to find a place where I can blend my passions, creating my own unique path that fits with my goals. This summer, I spent a week volunteering with the most amazing organization called PALS. They host week-long summer camps for young adults with Down Syndrome. Volunteering at PALS encouraged me to be bold in the pursuit of my dreams. I learned to seek places where I can be my authentic self and discover what I love about the world. Simultaneously, PALS introduced me to another area I might be interested in pursuing professionally.
What’s to ComeWhile I haven’t made the concrete decision yet for where I’ll be transferring, I am hoping to add a second major focused on human services, family studies, and nonprofit leadership. The opportunity to immerse myself in both of my passions would be so valuable for my future. I’m also seeking out other opportunities while I am not in school. There’s a chance I’ll end up participating in two competitive remote internships, both of which would benefit me unimaginably in the long run. Once I decided to transfer, there was the question of returning to the Mount for the fall or not. I’ll be honest. I felt stressed and fearful about the future. Being unsure of my path, of where I’ll land up, scares me. I have the most supportive family and friends who believed in the choice I was making and encouraged me to explore what’s out there. The old cliche “One door closes but another opens” really has proven true in the past month or so. I was feeling sad, and a little lost. Things have turned around, though. My job at the bakery has been fun and it’s one of the cutest places, loved by locals in the community. I’ve found many opportunities that could benefit my career and personal growth.
Making the Right ChoicesBeing home for this semester will give me the chance to visit my internship from my senior year of high school. On a similar note, I will be hopefully able to become more involved with PALS as an organization. I can work hard to grow The Curious Lemon and explore what I want to grow toward in the future. Growth is all around. Each choice I make aims to help me embrace the present and discover my future. If any of my friends from the Mount read this: thank you for being you + helping me find my confidence. Back in high school, I lost the spark of joy that makes me who I am. As soon as I started to be myself on the Mount’s campus, I found it again. I can’t wait to see where I’ll end up and how this journey will let me grow even more.
Here’s to new chapters, being patient with ourselves, and accepting our paths and the changes that accompany them.