WOW, where do I even begin with talking about my LAST Fall semester at Greenville College? It is hard to believe that I have been a GC student for seven semesters now and that in a month I will headed back into it with my last semester EVER as a Greenville College student. I decided to write a blog about this semester instead of doing a LONG Facebook post and this way I can write a little more and add some pretty great photos that were taken over the course of this semester. I will say this has probably been the most difficult semester I have ever faced and yet it was also the semester that blessed me the most. So let’s start at the beginning, or as Julie Andrews would say, “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.”
The picture above shows the three incredibly talented musicians and friends who I got to live with this semester. It was a lot different living in a house this semester, but it was and is probably the best thing because it is a house and just has that atmosphere that makes everything seem better, plus we don’t live in a dorm, so that is a perk, haha. I have enjoyed living with these three this semester and even though I haven’t been able to hang out with them as much as I would have liked to I know that I am able to go to them and they will be there. It is sad knowing Matt will not be returning for our last semester because he graduated this semester, but I am looking forward to seeing where our last semester takes us and I am really grateful to live with people who are not only understanding and awesome, but share the same passion for music.
Above is one of the most rewarding blessings that I was able to experience this semester. I was a TA for COR 101 which is a program/course through Greenville College that everyone must take in order to graduate and there is a series of four classes. COR 101 is designed for freshmen and 10 others, plus myself were chosen to be TAs(Teaching Assistants) or SAs(Student Assistants) and I was assigned to be with Professor Jessica Evaul who was given the Pre-Med, Pre…, Bio/Chem majors/students who were interested in the subject and I was freaking out a little on the inside because I knew and continue to know not much about the subject. Over the summer I had the privilege of being a part of the first ever Science and Engineering Camp at GC and that gave me more confidence going into this because I didn’t know much then, but I was still able to make an impact. This class was such a blessing to me this semester, they worked so hard and that made me want to work just as hard to make sure that they knew that they were important and that we appreciated them and the work they were producing. I did not know how it was going to be when I first started during NSO, but once we all bonded over the NSO trip in St. Louis I felt like I got an understanding of who they were and how their personalities went and I just knew from that day that I was really going to like this class. This was my first time being a TA and it was one of the best things about this semester and I was able to learn a lot from them and how a classroom really looks from the teacher’s perspective and gave me a lot more respect to my professors and past teachers because it is not easy and I realize how fortunate I am to go to Greenville College where the professors show an extreme amount of grace and love. One of my favorite days of COR 101 was when I was given the opportunity to teach and that was personal for me because I got to talk about being vulnerable and being okay with not being okay. I took a little bit of that lesson from Girl Meets World, but that just means it made it even better. But the fact that I had students who got something out of it and also to have had students who wanted to learn and get to know one another was incredible. One more thing about this whole experience that made everything worth it and just touched me was one day I was physically and emotionally not okay and it showed badly and throughout the day I got an overwhelming amount of texts from my students who genuinely cared and one even went as far to take me to get ice cream to talk and just take my mind off things and that just showed me that I must be doing something right to make these students care and I just appreciated them so much and I will miss having them in class, but the nice thing is that I now am able to see them and whatnot as a friend and that is pretty darn cool.
Vespers is the next thing I would like to talk about because after being a part of Vespers for the past three years (one year being on Welcoming Staff and two years being on Cabinet as the Welcoming Coordinator) to this year being one of the executive leaders of Vespers as a whole, it is crazy to see this come to a full circle and I could not have been anymore blessed to have been able to work alongside the people who I have been a apart of it all this semester. We each bring something different and new to the table and yet we are all such a sassy and fun family that just clicks and I think when we started out at our retreat in the beginning of NSO, I had this feeling that this was going to a be a great year for Vespers and that we as a cabinet were going to be close and I could not have been anymore right. I love these people and I love being a leader on campus because it allows me to give back in a way to the community so they can start to have an experience with Vespers the way I did. But seriously, I love these people to death they all have become a part of my family and I am grateful for them, we are all there for one another and genuinely care about each other and I appreciate all the long hours and work they each put in to making Vespers so great.
Music has played a HUGE part in my life and this semester has been just music overload for me and I have loved every second of it. This summer as some may know Carrie Underwood shared one of my videos on her Facebook and Twitter pages and that gave me a platform and it was incredible. When I got back to Greenville College once the summer ended I was not really feeling like myself when it came to music, I just stood back and just tried to find my voice again. It was a really weird period of time for me and I found my groove at the first open mic night. So I was not planning on going and then a friend was like come on out and listen if anything and so I went and stood in a corner and people were like, “Are you going to perform?” “You need to do a song.” And so a friend actually made me sign up and with my luck had it they ran out of time before they could get to me and inside I was feeling relieved because I had nothing planned and I don’t think it would have went very well. So they mentioned how those who were on the list who didn’t get a chance to sing would be on an overflow list for the next week. Which meant two things: 1) I would have to perform 2) I would have time to practice something that would hopefully be good enough to do live. I got together with one of my friends who was in a band with me the previous semester, Sami and we came up with a version of “Who You Are” by Jessie J and at that point I felt like that song was one of the most important songs to me because I was just in a weird funk and I could not get out of it. So I ended up practicing with her a lot and just wanting it to be perfect and so the night we performed it I was nervous because even though I performed every week with my band, EGC the previous semester, I haven’t done open mic night since my freshmen year and this was a whole new crowd. I get up there and I remember my mind just taking me away and just putting me in a place of feeling like this was my last song that I would ever sing again and so I gave it my best and the feedback was amazing. Little did I know based off that one performance the Blackroom Cafe and the Music Business group would offer me a show based off that song. At first I thought they were mistaken because originally to get a show you had to audition for it and I never did, so when they made it clear to me they wanted me after that song, I was just overjoyed and also a little panicked because in the past it was always through a class that I was able to perform, but this time it was ME and the focus would be on me and people would come for me and I am not one to like a lot of attention when it comes to stuff, so I was nervous, yet very humbled and honored that they wanted me. That night and also throughout that whole process I was able to work with a bunch of different musicians who are friends and I got to do it with One Voice, an extremely talented group of girls (Ariana, Kandis, India, and Ariel) and the friends who I knew I wanted to be a part of this night who helped me with the music side of things, as well of the encouragement I don’t think I could have done it without the help of Sami, Justin, Josh, and Vandes and even the musicians who helped out One Voice Jared, Jesse, and Bryson. It was just an incredible night and I just cannot express the feelings and emotions I felt that night, like those performances were some of my best and I still cannot believe that I was given that chance. But music has played a very big role this semester and I even got to cross something off my college bucketlist that I placed on there during my freshmen year and that was to sing at Midnight Breakfast and that was a whole new world of feelings and energy. Like it went by as if time was slowing down and yet still sped up all at the same time. That moment was incredible and I owe a HUGE thanks to #Currisma for allowing me the chance to sing with them.This whole year when it comes to music, it just makes me want to keep fighting to be in the music industry and to continue to have that drive and that fire to pursue it until I get where I want to or just wherever it is that I am suppose to be at. Greenville College has helped me so much with my confidence with music and from where I first started three years ago to now I can see my growth/progress and I know that I am not done and I want to keep going.
One of the top honors that I was given this year was being nominated and then crowned Greenville College’s 2015 Homecoming King. I was shocked, I did not expect that at all, I was and still am kind of speechless because I just did not think that coming into this place three years ago that people would like me and that I would make an impact on people and this was such a honor that I cannot say thanks enough because it was such an incredible time and I got to just take it all in and just experience what it was all about. I kept saying to people, you really know how to spoil me and that Greenville College has been WAY TOO nice to me and this was just a reinstatement of that because I did not feel as if I deserved it and it was just a really kind and rewarding feeling that there are no words that could explain it all.
This semester I have been extremely blessed to have such a wide variety of friendships and people in my life who have made it what it has been over the past few months. It is crazy to think that while I still have incredible friendships from past years, just how many new friendships I have formed this semester and how many of them already feel like they are family to me. When I was a freshmen many moons ago, there was a group of seniors who took me in under their wings and made me feel important and that I was cared for and going into my senior year this year I told myself and reminded myself how important it was that I needed to give back and I have to say I love, LOVE the freshmen class this year and I am so grateful to have gotten the chance to meet so many of them and become friends with them. I love that I am able to have them over and just get to hear their stories and their experiences with Greenville College and mix them into my group of friends I have had for a while now. There is a quote that says, “People change people.” and I fully 100% believe that and I love that while I am doing my best to make sure my friends are doing okay, I know that I can count on them to be there for me as well. We have such an amazing opportunity here at Greenville College that community is a focus and I know that word gets thrown around A LOT and it can be viewed as a negative when it is overused, but it is a blessing in itself that we are given this time to invest in one another and to make these friendships and relationships that will hopefully go on for years after we leave the campus we call home. Looking back, freshmen year I had such a tight group of friends and over the years it has changed and we have gone our ways, but we are still friends, just not as close and when I hear people talking about a #SQUAD I am just like I have not had that in a while and I think this semester I started to find my #SQUAD and it is great and also sad because I have one more semester left with them and who knows where we will end up. But I am taking this time and really focusing on them because these are the moments that I am going to want to remember and just take with me. I value my friendships and this semester has been just a HUGE blessing when it comes to friendships. I love being able to do so many different things with people and still have that time where we just sit and talk about life and just everything.
As this semester brought blessing upon blessings to my life, it also brought some challenges for me. Looking back at all my semesters here at Greenville College this semester is probably the most challenging and stressful semesters I have faced, especially academically. I do not think I have ever felt so behind in classes before, and with that being said makes me even more thankful that I chose Greenville College because the faculty and professors are beyond caring and showed me so much grace. This semester just brought a lot to my plate that I am not 100% use too, I am use to being busy a lot, but not to this extent. For the first month and a half I felt as if I took on too much at the beginning, until I started to find a groove. But then I started to just focus on people and music and sadly my school work began to just become less and less of an importance, which was not the best. But, in an overall look I managed to make it out alive this semester with ALL A’s minus ONE B, which I am surprised I even did that well, you see in high school I basically did not care about grades as much, but in college I really have taken it upon myself to be proud of what I can do and I am not very confident when it comes to my intelligence because I have so many friends who are just above and beyond smart and there is that worry of making sure I don’t sound stupid. But as some of my friends, especially my close ones have come to know this semester after midnight my brain just switches to this mode of being slap happy and just not fully capable of producing words and sentences that make the most sense and I find it embarrassing and I find myself apologizing a lot because I struggle with self-confidence and it is something a lot of people don’t know because I hide that from people because I want to be the best that I can be and not show the flaws, but unfortunately I am human and they will show no matter what so you know, go figure.
I have had to deal a lot this semester with feeling like I was in this fog, like I just did not feel like myself 100% of the time and it freaked me out because I wanted to do so much and it just felt as if right when I got an idea or got ready to do something, like something just shut off and it just was weird. The more I am growing up, the more I feel like I do not know what I want to do with my life, I use to think I knew and now I am questioning it all and teaching is something that has been running through my mind for the past few months and it is sad that I am just now realizing this, but at the same time I am very happy still with social work. Who knows what will happen, but I know that God has a plan and that He knows what He is doing. But I will be honest and say it is scary facing the unknown and the unsureness that this world has to offer.
Something else I am coming to terms with is how this is my last fall semester ever as a Greenville College student. Last weekend a group of friends and I ventured down to St. Louis and we went to the Fabulous Fox Theatre and we saw Wicked, which is a musical that I have wanted to see since 2003, and here we are in 2015 and I finally, FINALLY got to see it. Anyways it was a beautiful experience, but when they started to sing the finale song, “For Good” I just lost it, like every last thought of college and all the people I’ve come to know just played throughout my head and I just was balling and it was not pretty, but like I have never been very good at change and leaving behind things and people, especially people and it just makes me worry, which has always been a problem for me and I just am praying right now that God helps me with life as He has done for my 22 years of living and He has blessed me so much that I just pray that I am not running out of blessings.
As I look back this semester as I said was one of the most challenging and stressful semesters I have ever been put through, but it is worth it because it has taught me a lot about myself and what I am capable of handling and it has blessed me with people who I am forever grateful for because I see them as part of my family now and it is such an amazing thing to know you have a family away from your actual family who cares and loves you just as much as the people who love you back at home. “Home isn’t where you live, it is where you love.” So to those who have been apart of my second to last semester and made it what it has been, I thank you for everything and I cannot wait to see what the New Year brings and what the last semester has to offer. Here is to many more adventures and stories and just times of togetherness. I love you all.