And just like that,

One down, seven to go. My first semester of college flew by in the blink of an eye but holy moly it has been one of the best rides I’ve ever been on! Time flies, but maybe that’s where we learn to appreciate every little thing more. Here’s a few of the most important lessons of my life that were jam packed into a few short months…


Grades don’t define you, seriously.

Constantly we are pressured and identified by the grades we get, the GPA we have, and the classes we take. But our identity does not lie in how well you did on that chemistry test. Our identity can only be defined by the one who created us, and that is what is most important. When we get to heaven one day, our grades aren’t going to matter, it’s the way that we lived for HIM.

But you still have to take school seriously and make it a priority.

In high school, it was easy to blow off studying or that homework assignment to do later, but in college it isn’t that easy. Getting behind is the worst thing you can do, and studying one night for a test is not going to cut it if you want to be prepared. There is always something fun going on, but sometimes you have to stay in, you are at college for a degree after all. But, hey, study breaks are extremely effective. 🙂

They were right when they said you’d find the friends that you would have for the rest of your life. 

For some reason, the friendships that are made in college are immediately deeper and more real. Maybe it’s because you aren’t forced to see those people at school everyday, and it really takes effort on both sides for a great friendship. Maybe it’s because we all came in on the same boat, in a new place, being on our own for the first time. All I know is that these are the people I want to be in my wedding some day.

Your faith and personal relationship with God is vital.

You don’t have your family to make you go to church or bible study anymore. It is completely up to you and it’s your job to make that happen. Talking to God daily and digging into His truths is the only thing that has gotten me through the ups and the downs of life in college. It’s a challenge sometimes putting your faith first, but this is where it starts. This is what will reflect what your relationship with the Lord will be like for the rest of your life.

You will make mistakes, and you will be forgiven.

You aren’t perfect. And I know that phone call home to tell your parents of the fender bender you just got in is hard and you want so badly to be able to handle it all on your own because you’re supposed to be an “adult”, but they WILL understand. It’s OKAY to make mistakes, you’re only human. Don’t be so hard on yourself. And always remember who the ultimate forgiver is of the mistakes and sins we make.

No matter how much you say it, you will miss your parents. 

Life in college is fun and busy but you will find yourself calling up your mom and dad way more often than you ever said you would. When you’re eating cafeteria food for the 4th time this week and you want so badly to have some of your mom’s homemade cookies. When you are stressed out to the max and all you want is to hear one of your dad’s infamous belly-laugh jokes. Your parents are the ones that understand you better than you even understand yourself. Go ahead and call them, they appreciate it more than you do.

Relationships are important. 

Friendships have no need to be superficial anymore. Friendships are meant to be profound and real. Don’t be afraid to ask those deep questions, that is where you really get to know someone. The conversations aren’t always the easiest, but to hear someone speak about their passions or how they think God is working in their life or how they are struggling is truly beautiful, and shows their true self. The people that push you deeper are the ones you want to keep in your life.

Take risks.

Your comfort zone is not where you need to be. Now, I’m not saying go out and do something stupid, but don’t be afraid to do something new. Get up at 5 in the morning to go watch the sunrise. Hang out with that girl in your calculus class that you thought was kinda cute. Don’t just wait for life to pass you by, because it passes by too quickly. I think I’ve realized that sometimes you have to do the spontaneous things because that keeps life exciting, and you never know what might become of it.

Don’t get too caught up in the “let it be” and get more into the “go make it happen”.

Too many times people tell me about hopes and dreams and finish with “but if it’s meant to be it’ll be”. Why I’m a firm believer in that statement, I feel there are times when you can’t just wait around, you have to go do something about it before it’s too late. The worst thing that can happen is that it doesn’t happen in that time, and hey if that’s so, God has something much bigger planned for you anyways. You’ll never know unless you give it a try and just go for it.

 Appreciate every. single. moment.

Sadly, at the beginning of this semester, I had two people I know pass away in car accidents. One who was a few years older than me, and one that was my age. This was tragic. Two girls that had their life cut short. This taught me that we aren’t promised tomorrow, the only thing we are promised is the now so why not live in it. Don’t be on your phone the whole time and just enjoy the moment, that is where you really learn to appreciate all of the little things that we take advantage of. I have learned that life is too short to not be happy and to show love to everyone you know, because you don’t always know what they are going through. Appreciate, and be grateful, for God has blessed us immensely.

You don’t have control of your life, and THAT IS OKAY. 

A good friend of mine and I got into this conversation just the other day. You  may think so, but in all honestly none of us have our whole lives figured out. It is extremely difficult to literally let go of everything and just put all of your trust in God’s hands. It’s terrifying actually. And it’s a fact that we are all control freaks when it comes to our lives, we have an idea of exactly how we want everything to go. Well, sometimes it doesn’t work out that way, and you just have to roll with the punches and accept that the Lord has an immaculate plan for your life better than anything that you could ever imagine. It is nice to take peace in the fact that things have always worked out just the way that they should have.

College has been one of the best experiences I’ve ever had, and if this is just the first semester, I can’t wait to see the things God teaches me in the next 7. I am so thankful for the friendships I have made and the opportunities I’ve had. Even though it’s hard, I can’t help but come out of it with a smile. I have been so blessed, second semester: bring it on!

Shelbs

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