2015 was a year of lessons for me. I felt that this year against all my pride, I was forced to humble myself and listen. I just began to listen to those around me and not just listen but acknowledge that what they told me was true.
The year could be divided into two parts: the post A level break and Uni Y1S1.
The post A level break I spent it working because I was too afraid to face myself. But over time I had no choice but to face myself. I came to the understanding that whatever I did or chose to do was my own conviction and none of my parents’. If I chose to follow certain set of principles it would be my choice. When I was younger, growing up in a Christian household meant that you’d generally pattern (or be expected to pattern) after what I would call more godly virtues. We never really had a say in our upbringing. But it came to a point when I realized that as I grew older I couldn’t rely on my parent’s convictions. I had to have to my own, to ground and root me, to shape my identity, to make me the person I wanted to be, for God.
I struggled with faith and belief, with myself as part of the church community, etc. Long nights were spent awake until I got so tired of the wars in my mind I lulled into a restless sleep only to awake the next day to find that the struggles hadn’t dissipated one bit. But eventually I came to a conclusion that I would choose to believe in a certain set of principles and beliefs, in God, not because of my parent’s, neither because of my community alone (although those were both very compelling reasons), but because He had proved to be faithful.
There were many other lessons learned during this period where there was nothing mentally stimulating to do and you were left alone to deal with your thoughts, yourself, your identity, beliefs and convictions. The jobs I did taught me patience and commitment, it also taught me teamwork and interpersonal skills.
The university part of the year came with a lot of trepidation. I was terrified about entering a new world, a new phase of life. I didn’t know what to expect and suddenly expectations of those around me seemed to skyrocket after the release of the A level results. But here’s where I thank God for community, for my parents, for those my age who supported me, they reminded me to trust God, to never panic but maintain my composure, and to also strive for the best.
I entered university with one goal – to do everything out of passion, to do it not just mediocrely, but to do it madly, to never follow the crowd or be afraid of public opinion. On reflection, I can say I did achieve my goal. I took a really insane module combination, did 3 CCAs plus my usual lifting (the time spent on this is more than my 3 CCAs combined), read a lot, made too many friends, etc. I enjoyed myself immensely. I allowed myself to feel, to enjoy, to be sad, heartbroken, to feel so many different kinds of emotions. I forced my pride down many times, to not think I was the best, (because I wasn’t anyway), but to learn from others, from everyone, to pick up new ideas, to expand on what I knew, to understand perspectives.
This was just Semester 1.
I am looking forward to Sem 2, more challenges lie ahead, academically and in many other spheres of life, I’m willing to go further, to keep learning, to open my heart and mind to whatever God wants to teach me. I pray my pride may never be in the way, that I will keep learning, never be just goal oriented (even though that’s important too!) but to relish and go through the process in faith and love, with His grace.