A month into my last year of undergrad. What a feeling. What a crazy, crazy feeling. Between running around campus trying to get graduation verification forms signed, making sure all of my scholarship funds have been released to my account, taking all of the final classes I need to take, all while remembering to do things like sleep and eat, I haven't had much time to process the fact that my time here at Spelman College is coming to an end.
You would think that since it's my senior year I would be looking forward to the end of this chapter and the beginning of a new one, and I promise I am, but it's such an overwhelmingly emotional experience. I'm happy and eager, of course, but also, for a lack of a better word, sad. But out of everything that I have been feeling in the process of returning to Spelman for the very last time, I couldn't help but also feel regretful. Which is something I'm not really accustomed to feeling.
Prior to walking through those pearly Spelman gates for the first time as a student, I was so optimistic, but I was also naive. I had so many things I came to college wanting to accomplish. My list of dreams and goals was as long as a football field, but I was unsure of how I would go about achieving them. While some of these goals were my own, some of them were goals that I had set trying to make others happy. I was conditioned by others to think I had to follow a certain formula in order to have a memorable and "successful" college experience, and it wasn't long before I began to believe it. It's as if my environment caused me to place value in temporary things that would not matter outside of Spelman.
The pressure to succeed in the Atlanta University Center is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it teaches you how to push yourself beyond your limits, and a curse because it can cause you to feel inferior and inadequate. And I foolishly compared myself and my successes to others, not realizing that success cannot be defined or determined based on someone else's idea of it. I let my insecurities get the best of me. I was so used to being the best at everything I had ever done that I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I was finally immersed a place that actually challenged me. All of a sudden my life had turned into a constant competition that I didn't know how to win.
As cliché as it may sound, if I had known then what I know now, there are so many things that I would do differently. I wouldn't have trusted certain people, I would have taken certain classes more seriously, I would have gone to more parties, I wouldn't have come to college in a serious, long distance relationship. I would have tried harder. I would have been more involved. I would have embraced my environment so much more. I would have appreciated the experience while I was in it. I wouldn't have convinced myself that I wasn't good enough or smart enough to be at a place like Spelman. What I wouldn't give to go back to freshman year and do it all over, but I'm beginning to understand that going back would be counterproductive to my progress. I've grown so much over the past three years, and my experiences have molded me into a person that I never knew I was supposed to be. Every loss, every failed relationship, every triumph, and every accomplishment, was preparing me for greater battles and greater accomplishments. The growth wasn't easy, but it was worth it.
Every time I regret something that I've done, said, or even every time I regret coming to Spelman, I have to remember that God had a plan for my life and sooner rather than later, I am going to be able to fulfill the plans, purpose, and vision that He has set for me. With that being said, senior year, I'm ready for whatever you may throw at me. May 15, 2016 will be here before I know it.
Moral of the story? Trust whatever God has for you. His plan will prosper you and never harm you. His plan will be better than anything you can plan for yourself.