First semester is drawing to a close, and only one Calculus exam stands between winter break and me!! My first semester as a “college girl” has been quite a rollercoaster ride, but I have learned more about life and who I am as a person than I could have possibly imagined. Living in Bloomington is definitely out of my comfort zone; however, I have experienced an immense amount of social, academic, and spiritual growth that I will carry with me throughout the rest of my life. It took me longer than I wished to adjust to my new reality and I don’t know how to fully express my gratitude for my family who has helped me through every obstacle I faced. I’m at a point that four months ago, I don’t think I ever thought was possible- IU is starting to feel like “home.” It may seem obvious to some, but I’ve learned first hand to never give up on what feels impossible because happiness is always attainable. As I reflect over the past semester, I’ve learned 3 key things:

{the importance of belief}
My family never gave up on me this past semester no matter how many reasons I gave them to. They continually reassured me and believed in me more than I seemed to believe in myself. In return, this has taught me how to believe in those around me. When you assume the best in others, you’ll be pleasantly surprised how things work out.

{the importance of diversity}
To say that IU is more diverse than little Nappanee, Indiana is an understatement. Upon arriving to college I may have experienced a bit of a culture shock, but I now realize how valuable our differences can be. I have grown to love hearing about people’s lives as I find it fascinating that every single person on this campus has had such different experiences, yet we can still all learn and grow alongside one another. I have learned that our differences are something to embrace, not neglect.

As part of a service-learning class, I have spent time each week at the Middle Way House, a shelter for domestic violence victims. I had the privilege of helping provide after-school activities for the children that live there. This was very different than anything I had experienced in the past, but it proved to be extremely rewarding. It was an awesome opportunity to be able to show love to these beautiful children who have not had as fortunate of a childhood. It was an extremely diverse atmosphere, but we learned how to create community and build bridges across differences.

{the importance of friendships}
I have met countless amazing people from all over the world and learned to accept people for who they are. In a time when so many things seem to be changing, it’s important to have friends to help you along the way. During the second half of the semester I have become involved in CRU, a student led Christian organization. This is easily the best thing that has happened to me since I stepped onto campus. It has connected me to other Christians who I already know will become lifelong friends. It has provided me with fellowship, encouragement, and accountability. It is awesome to be able to worship the Lord together in the center of a secular campus. I have learned to respect the beliefs of others, as well as to stand up for my own.

As I mentioned, I have learned the importance of belief, diversity, and friendship. I have also learned to hold yourself to a high standard, even when it’s not the popular thing to do. I have seen what it looks like to go against the crowd in order to stand up for your beliefs and values. Although it may be difficult at the time, it is worth it! Through seasons of change, God remains constant. He has proven to me time and time again that he is with us through every storm and he will carry us through if we trust in his perfect timing.  I’m looking forward to what the future brings as God provides me with HOPE and JOY!

On mountains high and in valleys low, still I will praise my God!!

DORM SWEET DORM- my home away from home!

DORM SWEET DORM- my home away from home!

Being adventurous and loving new foods

Being adventurous and loving new foods!

Intensive Freshmen Seminar closing banquet

Intensive Freshmen Seminar closing banquet

south neighborhood at the CRU ugly Christmas sweater party!

South neighborhood at the CRU ugly Christmas sweater party!

{merry christmas}

{merry christmas}

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4 thoughts on “

  1. Sarah, you make me smile and cry at the same time; there is no better emotion. Ship ahoy! Papa


  2. Hi Sarah,
    What wonderful comments you have posted. I love reading your blog and hope to follow it into the future! I also ditto Papa’s comments.
    Love always! Grandma


  3. Andy Wysong says:

    You are an incredible person and Daughter and I am so Proud of You!
    Love Dad


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