Tuesday, December 20, 2016

On Following Your Dreams




It's been awhile, I know.

I'd love to say that life's excitement is what has so successfully inhibited me from keeping up with my little corner of the internet. Alas,that is not the case.

Ya know that little saying about how GPA isn't forever? For the past two months, I've been repeating that in my mind, but it hasn't been working. Junior Year is a big deal. This year is the year colleges care about. Yes, GPA isn't forever, but it sure plays a role in determining my forever. I've tried everything: hours and hours of studying at the local library, a "designated drawer" for my phone when I'm trying to study at my desk in my room, limiting the amount of books I check out so I can focus on school, and, for the past couple weeks, I even gave up on dressing cute because I was so tired all the time from so much studying; leggings with an over-sized t-shirt and Nikes was becoming the norm. And, of course, last but not least, my coffee intake skyrocketed. I didn't even know it was possible for me to drink more coffee than I already did, but it happened. (I was literally at Gilmore Girls level, y'all.)

Long story short: I was a mess. If I wasn't studying, I was reading and writing and browsing college websites to find my dream school. Ergo, my family never saw me. I was a turtle, and I was so stressed that if I had too much human contact I would explode.

I thought I was doing fine. I thought I was finally getting on track to become something great. When I got my SAT scores back, though, I was proven wrong. My scores weren't bad, per se, but they were nowhere near where I wanted them; two-hundred points lower, to be exact. That, on top being stuck in an ever-deeper pit of Bs on math tests, was enough to make me go crazy. Because I knew if grades were based on effort, I'd get an A+ easy, but that wasn't enough.

It's funny, because if this year were last year, I wouldn't really care about grades. I'd get As easily in English, History, and Spanish, and high Bs in Science and Math without even trying. Because that's how it's always been. But earlier this year, I discovered a school in Nashville and became obsessed with getting in. Their acceptance rate was only 13% because they strove to keep their class size small. I checked the GPA and SAT requirements and found that I was just shy of them; if I could do just a smidge better, I could probably get in, right? So I chased after that. I chased after it like it was my only hope. In reality, though it wasn't my only hope, it was my dream.

And I hated myself for not discovering it sooner.

If I'd have known what it would take to get in my freshman year of high school, I would have worked harder; I would've had a reason to want to do well. But I didn't discover that reason until it was almost too late. I was in a time crunch. If I wanted to get in, I had to do well now. So in the midst of working hard for this dream of mine, I lost sight of everything else. I wasn't spending enough time with the people I loved and I wasn't spending enough time in the Word; I was spending all my time studying, but somehow I still wasn't making the cut. Why?

I still don't know.

 It's the second day Winter Break now, and I spent all day yesterday recovering from a cold I contracted over exam week. Because of the stress, no doubt. Perhaps the Lord is trying to tell me that despite everything I've learned this past semester, His plan really is bigger. I didn't want to take that to heart too much because I was afraid that if I was too much at peace, I wouldn't do well. Which is true. But I've found that there's a balance: there's a balance between working hard for your dreams and being at peace because the Lord's plan is bigger and better. Even as we chase after our dreams, we have to surrender those dreams to God because if they don't belong to him they have no real stock. And I'm learning this. I'm no expert, believe me, but I'm learning.





8 comments :

  1. "I didn't want to take that to heart too much because I was afraid that if I was too much at peace, I wouldn't do well. Which is true. But I've found that there's a balance: there's a balance between working hard for your dreams and being at peace because the Lord's plan is bigger and better. Even as we chase after our dreams, we have to surrender those dreams to God because if they don't belong to him they have no real stock. And I'm learning this. I'm no expert, believe me, but I'm learning."

    Um, these words went straight to my heart.

    I too strove really hard to do well in school. I isolated myself a bit. I restricted joy because I kept pushing it off for later in the day. When later finally come, it was 2:00 a.m. and I couldn't keep my eyes open.

    We're learning. God's teaching us. He's leading us, oh the Creator of the Universe is leading us! He holds us, calls us by name (Isaiah 43:1).

    Jesus is better. Jesus is best.

    Thank you for being real and trusting Jesus. He's got this.

    Merry Christmas!

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    1. Yes, we certainly are learning.

      Thank you for commenting, Hannah!!

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  2. <333 i feel for you. i'm also going through junior year and striving so hard to get good grades to get into my dream school, and its been getting to me too, and a lot of times its hard to trust God. But thats the advice i always give when people ask me about this: trust in God. (not that I'm really in a position to give advice, I'm sort of failing the whole trust-in-God thing myself. but I'm trying)
    i know it can be hard a lot of times, but trusting in God really takes a few boulders off your shoulders.

    love this post x)

    -Abby
    quillsandcurtsies.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it sure does :) Thanks for your comment, abby!

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  3. One of the things I appreciate about your posts the most is your vulnerability. It's so easy to make it look like we have it all together, but life isn't butterflies and happy hearts. It's stressful with lots of leggings, coffee and messy grades. I appreciate that you shared your heart in this post.
    I have to say how much I can relate to you. This past finals week I got a cold from staying up so late studying. First semester of junior year was very stressful but somehow I got through it.

    "I wasn't spending enough time with the people I loved and I wasn't spending enough time in the Word".
    I can relate to you in this area because my school has become so much of life. It's hard for me to find time sometimes when I'm not studying for hours for a test or perfecting a paper.

    Just know I feel you <3 College, trying to achieve the grades you need, it is all so stressful. But just trust that you put in the diligence that is honoring to the Lord, and he will lead you where you need to go. Maybe you don't get into a school. Maybe you do. But I'm learning in the midst of this year that I have to trust Him, especially with the financial aspect of college, that He will allow me to go where He needs me to be.

    love love your honesty. <3

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Lauren! I appreciate your comment! Best of luck to you this year in school!

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  4. I just have to say that this is such a lovely post. So raw, and honestly so relateable. That was literally my my junior year... esp. the turtle part!! And I honestly wish you the best as you continue on your academic journey, and I wish you all the best with your dreams and aspirations in 2017. So glad I stumbled across your blog and I can't wait to see what you've got in store (both in terms of acceptance letters and on your personal slice of the internet!) in the new year!
    xx
    Steph
    strictlystephanie.blogspot.com

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