Friday, August 21, 2009


Yesterday, my best guy-friend "Techie" (as I'll call him on here) got me thinking about how much I've changed in the past year. He's blogging on this subject today too as he drives back to college in Lubbock, and I thought I might reflect and write on it too as I get ready to start my second year at TAMU. After all, they (who the heck is "they"?) say that you change the most your first year of college. I mean, you're off on your own for the first time, all that jazz. I can see it in all my friends and it's only through major blessings that most of us have grown up in a way that we can all still be friends and not have major conflicts despite how much we've changed. But, I digress.

The truth of the matter is that I know I've changed. I know that I've changed a lot, probably the most of anyone in my group of friends. In fact, I'm pretty sure I'm almost an entirely different person, except maybe my sense of humor. But because I can see that very broad view, I can't see the details of exactly how I changed. So I enlisted (yes, enlisted) a few friends to help me out with this examination of my former vs present self.

My best girl-friend Cyndi would like to tell you that I'm more organized now. I'll tell you that I've always been very organized, just in a very unconventional way. My bedroom was what I've always called "an organized mess" and it was true. Sure, I might occasionally discover furniture I didn't know I had (I have a specific memory of a time that I was forced to clean and found that a chair in my room that I didn't know was there), but I knew what was in each pile and could easily find anything I needed (well, except chairs, apparently).

Techie says that I'm more headstrong now after a year away at school. He says this is a compliment, and I entirely believe him, but let's dissect that. According to Google, headstrong means, among other things:
  • habitually disposed to disobedience and opposition (that doesn't sound too complimentary...)
  • stubbornness (better.)
  • Determined to do as one pleases, and not as others want (best.)
Okay, I can see that. I've always been fairly independent (my mother would be more than happy to confirm that -- and give you too many stories for my comfort to explain her point) but I definitely shed some people and some twisted idea that I had to let others make decisions for me. Granted, I still find myself tweeting "Hey, twitterverse: what should I have for lunch?" But, I suppose that's not quite the same as "Hey, random people I go to HS with that barely know me: should I go to college?" (No, that never actually happened. But it's an example.) I make decisions more, and sometimes I actually have a rationale behind them. Even further, I insist on them if I think they're right. For instance, I'm going to China in a few years. Everyone I've told this to has been like "Why China?" Because I have to, that's why. Simple as that. I know it's dangerous, but I'm going. So, yeah, headstrong sounds about right. [The photo is of Techie and I before leaving for freshman year last summer. My hair is so short because I donated it to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. Again, I digress...]

has been one of my closest friends for the longest period of time -- since seventh or eighth grade (wow, does he probably have a wealth of memories of embarassing things I've done for TAT). So, while he could probably tell me longer than just a year, he instead gave me a very long description of the past year, which I couldn't possibly paraphrase, so I'll just quote it here: "It is very clear that Christ is prevalent in you life. I knew He was a year ago, but its a big difference in a very good way. I don't know how to explain it, but you seem to just communicate love in how you carry yourself, how you converse, your countenance... a year of college and Christ has changed your perspective of people, and also yourself." He's entirely right -- God has been a big part of the growing up I've done in the past year. I see myself in a different light now, that's for sure -- I'm a small part of a bigger picture. As Shakespeare wrote in As You Like It, "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts..." I have my part to play, and I know that it is to attempt to love unconditionally and it's part of why I'm going to China. Sure I'm scared, and this was never part of my dream for my life (ask anyone -- a year ago I abhorred the idea of China; it was the one country I never wanted to visit) but hey, I don't get to pick anymore. Jeremiah 29:11 says "'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" I try to remember that verse everyday, and apparently people (or Josh, as it were) noticed.

I think this entry ended up being a lot longer than I intended. But that's okay, I suppose. Maybe one of the other changed from the past year is that I'm much more verbose than I used to be. Oh, who am I kidding, I've always had a penchant for talking too much.

How did you guys change your first year of college (or your first year on your own)? If you're not there yet, how did you change in the past year?

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