Reflecting on a Strong Semester
Post #6 of Sarah’s Post-It Note Inspirations Blog Series
Life Update: I am happy to announce I have finished the fall semester of my junior year. Only three more semesters left of my college career! I rank this semester as my best on-campus semester, and I have a feeling that this upcoming spring semester is going to be a contender for the best as well. Why? What is making these semesters of my junior year so great? Well, I can name a number of reasons, some of which include: I love my on-campus living situation, I have a great group of friends and good relationships with my family members, I have a solid class load, I enjoy my job, I have time to pursue my other passions like writing and fitness, and I am grounded in a strong faith (with a ton of room to grow of course). But taking this a little deeper, the reasoning behind my strong semester is closely tied to these three phases:
Live boldly – Just because it is outside the norm doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.
Looking back on not only this semester, but on the entire year of 2016 (which includes my semester abroad in Spain, a summer at home, and this past fall semester on-campus), I can see that I have discovered more about myself in one year than I ever have before. I have learned more about my passions and how I want to pursue them. I have readjusted my goals for the rest of my college career and for thereafter. Although I have not mastered it yet, I am learning how to not get caught up in the day-to-day tasks and what everyone else is doing. I am learning how to not hold back, and to really go after these passions and goals that I am continuously setting. I am learning that God has big plans, some exhilarating, some outside of my comfort zone, but nonetheless, I am following His plans faithfully.
I am slowly becoming the person God has created me to be, and isn’t that what He wants for all of us?
Walking in His plans, I have decided to pursue the opportunity to study and intern in London the fall semester of 2017. I understand that the opportunity to go abroad for a second semester is not common, but I am walking in this idea of living boldly, and following the passions and goals God has placed on my heart. I am sure I will have much more to say about this as the time comes closer, but as for right now, these are my plans!
Push yourself – Hard work does pay off.
Again, looking at the year of 2016 as a whole, I have learned how much hard work really does pay off. This semester especially I have seen the fruit from my hard work come to life right in front of my eyes. This doesn’t always happen. Sometimes, we really do work hard, but we don’t see the reward from our hard work right away. I have seen this happen as well in more ways than one. Therefore, I can confidently say that yes, hard work does pay off, and that if we continue to challenge ourselves, we will reap the benefits in the future. These benefits will not only affect ourselves, but also, impact others and help build His kingdom.
Don’t settle – It’s ok to be uncomfortable.
This phrase “don’t settle” in essence means “not to settle for anything but the best,” but to me, it also means that it’s ok to be uncomfortable, to go outside your comfort zone. Comfort is always one of the biggest things holding me back, but then I remember the good things that have come out of going out of my comfort zone in the past, both in big and small ways. Not settling also connects back to the two ideas of living boldly and pushing yourself. All three of these ideas together inspire us to live the way He is truly calling us to, and to inspire and touch people along the way.
With this inspiration in mind, I have decided to pursue a marathon training class this upcoming spring semester. In hopes of completing my goal of running a marathon, this class will push me and challenge me, and definitely get me out of my comfort zone of casual running just to clear my head. This class will impact my semester greatly, and I know there will be difficult days, but on those days, I hope to remember the importance of pushing myself and being uncomfortable.
I understand that I am at a young age and at this point in my life, I have endless opportunities in front of me. I understand that many people my age don’t have as many opportunities as I do. I also understand that those past this stage of life don’t have as many opportunities as me either. For that reason, I am even more grateful for the many opportunities God has placed in front of me, and I am motivated to pursue the opportunities He is calling me to with all of my heart. I also keep in mind the perspective of why I am doing what I am doing: To glorify Him and to develop and use my gifts to help others. However, no matter where you are in life, I believe we are all called to live boldly, to push ourselves, and to not settle. I believe we are all called to live a life greater than we can ever imagine.