It’s been a long ride…but finally, it has come! Today’s my last day of my freshman year. How surreal is that? It’s been a wild ride, but I’ve survived. Granted, I haven’t done that great in terms of my grades…but in exchange for that, I’ve discovered so much about myself and done so much soul-searching. I’ve figured out a little bit more of who I am as a person, gained respect for standing up for what I believe in, and have come to know and truly love God. It’s things like these that I often forget when I get caught up in worrying about worldly success, so I’m going to take a moment now and list everything that I’ve gained (behaviors, attitude, mindset) and learned from my freshman year here at UNC Chapel Hill!
REALIZATIONS: WHAT I ACTUALLY BELIEVE AND PRACTICE NOW
- In the end, worldly success, admirable accomplishments, and heaps of material belongings really doesn’t matter. This world is temporary, but Christ is forever. My time here on Earth is but a thin hair on the eternal, infinite spectrum of life in Heaven with my Father once again.
- God’s grace is enough for me. He is enough. If everything I have were to be stripped away (a 4.0 GPA, multitudes of friends, an attractive, youthful, physical appearance, lots of expensive clothes and money, etc etc) and I was left with absolutely nothing, I would still have Jesus. And, honestly, He’s all that I really need. God is my provider.
- Learn from your failures — you still need to work hard and apply myself, despite your temporary time here. Do not underestimate any classes here, and stay humble. You are not “too good” for anything.
- This needs to be stressed and become your motto/mantra: Stay humble and work hard for the glory of God.
- Make the most of your time at UNC! You’re paying out-of-state tuition to go here. Think about what’s the best way to spend your time here, as well as your goals and motive behind everything you do.
- You can do better and be better. You have so much potential that was gifted by my Heavenly Father — never lose sight of that. (Just think of everything I accomplished in high school — imagine what I can do now!)
- Don’t be afraid to reach out to other people. People are kinder and more willing to help friends than you may think!
- Treat others with kindness all the time and always greet them with joy (well, as realistically as you can). It’ll bring you happiness too.
- Be bold. Don’t be afraid to step up to the plate and take action. Leadership may be partially a natural gift, but it CAN be learned.
- End your silence and make your voice heard — there’s no other way for you to make a change for the better.
- Don’t be afraid of being thought of as “stupid.” You are intelligent, but you still have so much to learn. Put yourself out there and be corrected, for how else are you going to grow?
- Be optimistic for the future!
- Stand up for your beliefs. You will gain respect for it, but do it for your own self-respect. Those who look down upon you for standing up for what you believe in are not worth your time anyways.
- Everything is corrupt — there is nothing pure and holy on this planet. No matter what you do or where you go, there will be corruption (whether it may be in the medical or business field). You could be the one to change it all!
THINGS I’VE GAINED FROM MY FIRST YEAR:
- Beautiful, kind, loving new friendships with beautiful, caring people
- Clarity in who I am, what I stand for, what I believe in, what I enjoy doing, and what I’m willing to fight for
- Appreciation & even stronger, greater love for my loving, caring, and supportive friends back at home
- Sparks of a blazing love for Christ that makes ALL my concepts of Christianity and the love of Christ in my life before college diminish into nothing
- Awareness of my previous wrongs (whether in my nature, my treatment of others, my words, my behaviors, my sins)
- Acceptance of who I am
- Clarity in what kind of person I’m looking for as my future husband
- Clarity in who I have to be to be the best wife for him
- Discipline with my studies
- Improved time management and prioritization
- Becoming less sensitive to others opinions and judgments of me
- Knowledge and stronger sense of how to act professional
- Better understanding of different demographics (race, gender, sexual orientation)
- Confidence in social situations
- Lax attitude about school and life in general (although it may be a little bit too relaxed!)
- Better understanding of the world and its ways
- Clarity in what I want to do on this earth and what kind of person I want to be
- Kinder personality and better treatment of others
- Love for Carolina and its community
- Humbled attitude and mindset
THINGS I HAD TO GET THROUGH TO REACH MY GAINS:
- Drinking and partying
- Drunk guys hitting on me and touching me in no-no placez
- Awkward social interactions & struggles to make close friends
- Blaming others for being unaccepting of me, when it was actually me distancing myself and rejecting them
- Getting very, very poor grades for the first time in my life
- Elitist thinking and internalized superiority complex
- Racist, internalized thinking that I hadn’t realized was there before
- Rushing DSP
- Pledging DSP
- Dropping DSP
Looking back on it now, I really have to say: I’ve had a great year. This experience wouldn’t have been the same if I had gone to Boston College or UMD-CP. I’m so happy I chose to come here, and I don’t regret a thing.
I can’t wait to come back as a sophomore in the fall! So many new opportunities and new friends — a fresh, new start. Thank you God for giving me this wonderful gift and letting me attend this school as a Tar Heel. My love for you has no bounds.