As I sit here one week into summer break, I am beginning to reminisce about my last year of college. Specifically, my last semester of college. My most recent semester of being a student at Cedarville University looks, in my mind, so different from the first that it is almost startling. My first semester was bright, shiny, and exciting, whereas the latest felt scary and daresay depressing at some points. Now, before I tread any further into such a dark topic, bear in mind that I do not take any of my college experiences for granted and am in no way unhappy with life, but it is something I feel led to discuss.
As many people say, college has changed me immensely. Within the past year, I have learned more about myself than I ever imagined possible, and am eternally grateful for it…most days. In that minuscule percentage of days where I am not grateful for it is where the depressing and lonely side of things comes into play. This past semester I came into school bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to conquer a fresh new semester. I was excited because I knew that I had friends to come back to, and was thrilled that I had people to do things with right off the bat, without having the pressure of meeting tons of new people within a week, like I had experienced the previous semester. However, just weeks into my second semester, I realized that the next couple of months were not going to be as easy as I had imagined, or as I had hoped. My friends were not what I had imagined they would be. You see, over Christmas break, I had created these people in my mind that were going to be at college just to fill me up, and to be there when I wanted to have fun, and I didn’t stop to think that things would be any different.
Throughout the last four months, which felt like an eternity at times, I felt the highest of highs, and the lowest of lows. I saw my closest friends deciding to go off on their own adventures without me, and I quickly learned how to brave an excited face for them when they came back to tell me all about it, but deep inside, my heart was breaking. During these times of heartbreak, that felt so severe in the moment, I couldn’t understand what I was doing wrong, or why people didn’t want me as a friend, when all I wanted to do was please them. What I slowly began to discover, was that I was unintentionally putting the pressure of my own happiness on mere humans, people who are 100% unable to make me happy.
Praise God that He put me through this past semester full of these life lessons, because without them, it would have taken me so much longer to realize that my happiness comes from God. Without Him, this semester would have been so much harder than it already was, in those moments. All of this being said, it still tinges a bit in my heart when I’m excluded from things, but that is the way life is. It is so humbling to come to the conclusion on my own that life is 100% completely and utterly not about me. In those times where I feel alone, it is God reminding me that I need to be spending time with Him, and strengthening our relationship way more than I need to be strengthening an earthy relationship that should only be Christ-focused anyway. As this summer faces me straight on without the multitude of amazing friends that I have made at Cedarville, I am sure that some nights I will be sad that they aren’t here to laugh and pray with, but I am even more sure of God’s faithfulness to be with me, because He is all I need. With this being said, I encourage all those feeling lonely to reach out to God, because He will always be there to hold your hand.