We are Mary Shaw and Isabella Poole. The first semester of college was full of change, excitement, and craziness for both of us. We have had completely different yet amazing experiences the past four months. Here is a little about what we learned and endured as we moved to college.
Going into my first semester of college at the College of Charleston was exciting and new. I had no idea the plans that God had in store for me for the next four months. Going to a school in another state, where I knew absolutely no one, was nerve wracking to say the least. My roommate and suite-mates are all believers. They have encouraged me to make the right decisions, be head strong in my faith, and show the love of the Lord to everyone I meet. Through my classes, clubs, and everywhere in between I have had a firm group of believers to stand behind, beside, and before me. One of the first leaps of faith I took this semester was joining YoungLife. YoungLife is a ministry that trains college students to lead and partner with local high students to be mentors and friends that encourage 6th-12thgraders in their walk of faith. I never pictured myself as training to be a YoungLife leader, but with a push from my suite-mates I began the process. Through this ministry I have met countless like-minded people that have made my college experience much more enjoyable than I ever could have imagined. While YoungLife has introduced me to many like-minded people, I have met all sorts of different people through my classes, at the dining hall, and in my dorm. High school wasn’t the most social scene for me, so coming to college I faced a lot of challenges regarding balancing my social life and academics. Being away from home has done wonders for me in regard to my spiritual, emotional, and physical health. I have been able to explore my faith and what it means to me in a completely different sense. I have learned more in and out of the classroom these past four months than I learned all of high school. Overall, first semester was a reality check, and a really great one at that.
These past four months at Meredith College have shown me more change than I had expected. It was filled with many opportunities and new chances to learn things about myself and others. Going into Meredith college, I was really nervous about the transition. It has always been easy for me to fall back onto what I already know instead of going out of my comfort zone, so I knew that had to change when I got to college. It took about a month, but I soon found my people. They happened to be my roommates and the volleyball team. My roommates are on the volleyball team so I quickly became an ‘honorary member’ and fit right in. Balancing academic life and social life was definitely a hard adjustment and something I was not use to, but creating my own schedule was the push towards independence that I needed. I had grown a lot in my faith this summer and I was really worried of how college would affect that. I tried Younglife and Cru, but I felt most connected with God when I was surrounded by my friends at Trinity. I had the opportunity to become a D-Team leader with the 7th grade girls and I have loved seeing them every week. It has given me a push to become someone that they look up to and someone they can trust. I think this was the structure I needed for college. I have become very involved in Trinity over this past year, and it has changed my life, and I am glad I was able to incorporate that in college. My relationship with God continues to grow everyday, and I know that it has become much stronger this past semester. I prayed for a Christian community to surround myself with, I prayed to find my people, and I prayed that college was everything I have hoped for it to be. My first semester of college was much different than I expected, and it had its ups and downs, but I have relied on God through it all, and I would not change it for anything.