Man, oh man, I’ve been trying to get back to this for days. But let me tell y'all, the first week of the Fall semester is C R A Z Y.
I have three blog posts on deck that I haven’t been able to finish while I try to figure out how to make writing one of my main priorities (because it’s kinda what I want to do with my life) and fit in school and everything else, but I’ll figure it out. Eventually.
Being back at UF has been weird but good. I don’t think it has fully set in that I’m back. But that might partially be owed to how I left home.
I left, totally not ready.
I was nervous about recovery, not mentally prepared to do schoolwork again and unexpectedly nervous about jumping back into the community I found in the middle of last Spring.
But sitting at the end of the first week and reflecting on it, my dad’s words are echoing in my head and I’m sighing because he’s reading this and I have to tell him that he was right.
I was nervous about nothing.
Before I left home this summer, I let my nerves build on a flawed idea, namely that this Fall was going to be exactly how last Fall was: awful.
Just through the first week, I realize that I was so off.
Let me back track a little so you know where I’m coming from.
Fall of my freshman year went a little something like this: tears every day for no joke, probably six weeks, homesickness that felt impossible to shake, a feeling of hopelessness, wondering if I’d ever find a community and make the friends that I was dreaming about and a lot of doubt wondering if I just might have made the biggest mistake of my life coming to UF.
By the beginning of Spring, I had told my parents that I wanted to transfer more times than I could count. I don’t think I’ve told anyone this part before, but for the first part of Spring semester, on any given day, guaranteed, you could find at least one transfer application to some other school open on my desktop. Staring me in the face.
But for some odd reason, I never filled one out. I looked and looked, stared at campus picture after campus picture, but never got farther than Google Images.
I know now that that was God telling me to stick around. The community I needed was coming.
The group of friends that kept my phone buzzing and wrote me letters in the hospital this summer, was coming.
The group of girls that challenge me in my faith and kept me rooted right before I stepped into the surgery that had knocked me down once before, was coming.
The community that is now starting to feel like family, was just around the corner.
So, this blog post is for two groups of people. First to the freshman that may find themselves feeling like I did at the end of my first Fall.
Hi, don’t pack your bags yet. Maybe you are being called somewhere else.
But don’t jump the gun.
Before you even write you name on that transfer application, really think about it.
In case you haven’t heard, nine out of ten people don't have great first semesters. You’re not alone in this. I promise you, things just take time. So, before you make a life altering decision like leaving where you’re at, really think and pray about it.
If you can’t get past the Google Images of that other pretty campus, God might be telling you to stick around.
And second, this blog post is a thank you to the people who were the reason I stuck around (shout out to my UF Navs fam if you haven’t figured out that I’m talking about you yet.)
Thank you for being extremely welcoming to the kid who showed up halfway through the year.
Thank you for not thinking twice about my disability. You have no clue how much it actually means to me.
To those of you who give me rides everywhere, and did so even when you barely knew me, you’re my favorite people.
You guys were a massive answer to prayer.
I’m glad I stuck around.
Here’s to a year without tears for six weeks straight and no transfer applications lingering in my desktop.