As this year draws to a close, I can’t help but think back to my college experience. Was I able to accomplish everything I wanted? Did I get out of my comfort zone? Did I make as many friends as I’d hoped? I think it’s safe to say the answer to these questions is yes. My college experience definitely did not go how I planned, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
That’s the point of this blog. I want to let you know that it’s okay if your life isn’t going exactly the way you thought it would. Sometimes this can even work out better in the long run. Crazy how that happens, right? I know it’s easier said than done, but you really just have to leave everything up to God. He knows what he’s doing. That doesn’t mean to totally give up or stop trying, it just means that if you face a few bumps in the road, which you most likely will, don’t freak out too much. I know this might sound a bit cheesy, but college comes with its ups and downs, so it only makes sense that it won’t be perfect. To put you at ease, I’ll give you a little idea of what all I experienced at my time here at Williams that didn’t go according to plan. Maybe this will bring you a bit of reassurance.
The biggest change for me was my major. I already talked about this in one of my other blogs, (I’m sure you read all of them, right?), but I came here fully planning on majoring in biology. Instead, I did a 180 and changed my major to English, and boy am I glad that I did. I really enjoy going to my classes, and my love for literature has grown exponentially. I was also able to create lasting relationships with people I might otherwise not have had the chance to get close to. My advisor, Dr. Amy Schmidt, assistant professor of English, has been the professor for the majority of my classes.
Her passion for teaching and the way she treats her students like family really encouraged me to come out of my shell. I found myself opening up more in class and stating my opinions. Before meeting Dr. Schmidt, I never would have thought of going to graduate school, but now I plan on applying to several schools to continue my education (which is super exciting but also super scary.) Kayla, my suitemate, is also an English major, meaning we have practically every class together. Now she’s one of the best friends I’ve ever had, and I’m so glad I’ve had someone to share my college experience with.
One thing you may not know about me is that I played volleyball for three years here at Williams. I made lifelong friends and got to experience playing sports at the collegiate level. I was and am extremely grateful for the opportunity to continue to play at the collegiate level, but I decided not to play this last year in order to have more time to work and focus on school. Volleyball was what brought me to Williams, so I never thought I wouldn’t be playing all four years. I was really nervous about making this decision and was hoping I wouldn’t regret it. Fortunately, I feel like I definitely made the right decision. While I do miss playing volleyball, having more time on my hands gave me the opportunity to not only be an intern in the Marketing and Communications office on campus, it also allowed me to coach a little volleyball team myself.
Being able to coach was such a fun experience, and I will be forever grateful for the relationships I was able to make with my team. Before coming to college, I shied away from anything that required me to be in a leadership position. Now that I’m more confident in my abilities, I’ve decided to branch out a bit, or a lot in this case. I’m actually going to be teaching all the way in South Korea after I graduate. Being in a foreign country all by myself? Completely terrifying. But I won’t let that stop me from pursuing my dream, because if college has taught me anything, it’s to not be afraid of the unknown.
If you’ve made it this far I’m actually a bit surprised. Sometimes it’s not the most exciting thing to read about other people’s lives, but I thought if I shared a few of my experiences at Williams it might reassure students struggling with their own life decisions. After reading this, I hope you realize that even though your life may not be going exactly how you planned, it’s not the end of the world. I truly believe there is a reason for everything. If I didn’t change my major, I would never have developed the close relationships that I have now. By not playing volleyball my last year, I was able to gain new experiences like writing and coaching. I never planned on any of this, but I am extremely grateful it turned out the way it did.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”