Bold. Brave. Blessed.

College, Life

Scrolling, scrolling, scrolling….

“Wow, she’s my age and ahead of the game with only a semester left. She looks so happy with her life.”

“He’s having such a great time in college because he’s doing _______ and ________ and is in love with such a sweet girl. What a life.”

“Oh, a girl my age is already engaged? What am I doing with my life? Where’s the one I’m supposed to marry?!”

It’s so easy to compare my life to my “friends'” lives. I had a plan that I was going to do so well in college, that I was going to be happy, and be successful. I was going to be in love and be married soon. Fast forward a year later, I am debating whether or not college is for me. I’m sure we have all thought about dropping out of college to earn money a different way instead of stressing ourselves out in every state of mind possible. I know It’s not fun seeing the ones you love having such a wonderful time, living such a fantastic life… without you. I haven’t found “the one.” I like to think I have and that they’re being dumb, but I’m creating false hope. Final exams are just a corner away. All of your friends are coupled up. October is OctOVER. There’s so much change that I cannot process it fast enough. I am going through a mid-life crisis as an almost-20-year-old and I am not even in the middle of my life yet.

Sometimes I wish I could go back and do it all over again. I wish I had pursued what my heart desired. I wish I believed in myself and in the potential I have. There are passions we hold dear to our heart, and we keep them locked up inside of us, too afraid to share and terrified to pursue. We regret the days we lived.

Honestly. Truly. Have no regrets.

Without living the days you have lived, you wouldn’t be where you are now. Every person is at a different place in life. I hate college, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Some people like to take life easy, others like to sail through rough waters. If you’re like me, you’re trying to take life easy but you somehow ended up drowning at sea. I was drowning, but I am now dog-paddling myself through. It only takes one stroke at a time. It takes an inhale of breath, and an exhale of life.

Breathe in, breathe out. You’re doing so well.

Don’t be discouraged when you see others living such a spectacular life, engaged or in love, and succeeding in their dream. People only want you to see what’s good. No one likes to share their struggles publicly, which I believe there should be some information kept from the internet. Instead of being discouraged, be encouraged by their passions, their goals, and their happiness. One day you’ll make it to that level. It takes a couple of falls, a bucket of tears, minor bruises, but you’ll get there. Keep moving.

You have days where you can conquer anything that life throws your way. There’s a day where you are emotionally stable and then there is a day where you have no idea why you are crying. There are days where you can’t handle life anymore. There are days where you want to hide away from the world under a blanket fort wrapped up in sheets and surrounded by pillows with sad music playing in the background. There’s a day where you have your life together, then there is a day where you are completely falling apart.

Don’t quit yet. You made it this far. Do something about it.

Live bold. Live brave. Live blessed.

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)

 

 

 

 

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Faith > Fear

Christ, College

Sophomore slump. They say it’s real. It is. I had expectations for this year. I had it all planned out. I planned on being on top of my school work. I prepped myself to meet new people, to not be shy. I told myself that I was going to be a good steward of my money. In reality, I am exhausted of classes. Everything I am learning goes over my head, making me feel like an idiot with a high GPA. I’ve attended social events and still felt awkward and out of place. I’m broke 24/7. Life has been beating me with so much negativity. I’m more unsure of my life than I was when I first began college.

When you are so focused on yourself and your life, jotting down ideas of your new relationship, outlining the next 4 years of your life, you forget about the One who is in control.

The only person we can control in life is ourselves. We can control how we react to certain situations and respond to how people treat us. Sometimes we become a little of a control freak. We have all of the scenarios planned out to only have them come crashing down in piles of emotions, tears, and questions.

I am absolutely terrified. I had my life planned out from high school. I knew who was going to be in my life. I had an idea of what I was going to do with my life and I was going to take off with it, sprinting full speed ahead. I expected to marry the one I loved. Life turned real REAL quick.

In these frightening and anxious moments, I search for comfort and peace in all the wrong places. I totally forget about God. I’m sure He is looking down at me saying,

“SMH (*shaking my head*) child what are you searching for? I’m right in front of You.”

A man’s heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps. (Proverbs16:9)

It takes great faith to be able to notice Him, to acknowledge His presence and power in troublesome times. Faith is greater than our fears.

He is the Prince of Peace.

 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)

He is the Great Physician, healing us from sin.

But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)

He is the ultimate lover.

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

No matter what we are suffering or struggling through, Christ experienced suffering as well. He suffered 10 times worse than what we are going through. His suffering became fatal, but it later became life for us. His life for our life with Him. There is great joy ahead of us. Keep pushing, keep moving. God is near.

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Brand New

College

Awkward. Weird. Shy. Confused.

Those four words described my freshman year of high school, and they also defined my freshman year of college. I started off a wreck. It was all too sudden. I felt so alone even if I had family, a boyfriend, and great friends. Life was so good. I felt so alone the beginning. No one understood my anxiety. I made friends, but they had other friends. I don’t understand how some people can dive into the college life. I was frightened.

I had goals my freshman year that included going to school only for an education, continuing my relationship with someone I loved, and growing. I noticed my thoughts growing deeper and deeper. I wanted to know more, but the people surrounding me didn’t want to swim that deep in life yet. Goals change. I met none of those goals except growing more independent and more responsible. On a more spiritual level, my love for Christ grew.

I have similar goals for this year, but they’re more specific. My thirst for knowledge in all aspects of my life has grown ever since summer ended. I have too many goals to count on both hands, so I will share with you three of my goals for sophomore year.

1. Be Bold

Our theme for this year on Wednesday nights at church is the idea of being BOLD. I am nothing close to bold. I’m hard to see because I’m short, yet I stand out because of how different I look. 99% of the time, I am the only Asian in the room. I am a soft spoken little human who is afraid of speaking up because I don’t want to say anything stupid. I always think about how intelligent people sound when they talk, and I just sound like a shy 5 year old. I want to be bold. I want to be confident in the Lord, myself, and my beliefs.

Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word (Acts 4:29)

2. Be okay.

This one is a hard one. At the moment, I am okay. I am not great. I am not bad. I am, simply, okay. I want to be emotionally, physically, and mentally sturdy. This process started in the beginning of the summer and will continue throughout the school year until I reach the point of contentment. It’s okay to not be okay, but if not being okay stops you from living life then it’s time to do something about it. I don’t want to go back to feeling numb, empty, and hopeless. I want to be okay. Personally, the only way to be okay is to be distracted by loved ones because if I am left alone with my thoughts, then things won’t turn out so pretty.

Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:11-13)

3. Grow

I am done growing. I will be short in stature for the rest of my life and if worrying adds a couple of cubits to my height, I would be a giant. Similar to being okay, I want to continue to grow in every part of my life. Ah yes, saving the cliche one for last. I always hear the phrase, “I’m working on myself.” Whenever we say that, we limit ourselves. It’s just a phrase to make us feel better. If you keep “working on yourself”, then you’ll never be able to be content with who you are. Give yourself patience, grace, and mercy. Growing takes time.

that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; (Colossians 1:10)

It’s a brand new start. Sophomore year is going to be a good year. I just know it.

A Thank You Letter to Freshman Year

College

Dear freshman year,

I hated you. You gave me anxiety before we even started. I didn’t want to have anything to do with you. I often told myself, “I’m here to get an education, not make friends” when I saw students mingling with one another. No one wanted to mingle with me. I didn’t understand how people could just jump right into college and instantly find a best friend. I just drove to and from school, going through the motions of life. I went to class, worked, and barely ate because I was too afraid of spending money. I forced myself to make friends by joining a social club. I went through the longest week of horror to make meaningful friendships. Best decision of my life. #PhiLambdaOrLeave. Pledge week was when I truly learned the meaning of Philippians 4:13 in every way possible.

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Pledge Week

Throughout the first semester, I invested so much of my love, time, and patience in someone who is no longer mine. I was so attached to people I loved before and so afraid to love new people. I didn’t give the new people in my life a chance because I was afraid that they couldn’t accept me. Silly me. Why did I ever think this? Why did I ever do this? To learn that there were better people, places, and opportunities.

 

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Phi Lambda Beach Retreat

In
the middle of the year, you became tolerable. I found myself again. I found my purpose again. I live for meaningful, deep friendships and relationships. I live to love others even if they choose to not love me. I live for kindness and honesty. I didn’t just learn the life of Christ in the Gospels, how the Wife of Bath wanted women to have a choice in life, or how the sum of two squares is prime. I learned that in order for me to fully live, I must have friendships. Before the year began, I didn’t fully comprehend the definition of friendship until this year. Don’t get me wrong, if I want to keep a friendship I will make sure I keep it. There are just some people you can’t let go because they have been a part of you messy and hectic life for so long.
At the end of the year, I did not want to let you go. The encouraging thing about the end is it doesn’t have to end. It can comtinue. It can be a new beginning or the cliche term, a “new chapter in life.” I’m sad that most of my friends are leaving for their homes, summer internships, or adulthood while I am staying. I have nothing to leave for because all of my home is in Montgomery. It’s not home without my loved ones.

So, thank you, freshman year, for giving me so much anxiety, grief, joy, laughter, tears, and memories. You will be missed, but another year is coming along soon. I can’t wait to be reunited and to continue my life with stronger friendships, wise words, and a new found love for my life. See you soon.

Love,

Jinny

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Freshman Year 2015-2016

 

The Annoying Question: "What Do You Want to Do with the Rest of Your Life?"

College

As you inch closer to the last years of high school, family and friends always ask you, “What do you want to do with the rest of your life?” and “What are you going to major in?” It becomes a popular topic in daily conversations. After they talk about their life plans, they ask you about yours. You answer them with an “I don’t have one. I’m not sure what it’s going to be yet”, and they give you a look of pity, or they just awkwardly laugh, or maybe both. The constant questions do not end at your senior year of high school. They continue through college.

I am in my second semester of my first year of college, and people still ask me what I want to do with my life. In one of my classes, we had to go around the room and introduce ourselves. I was hoping it would be a quick, “Hi, my name is Jinny”, and I would be done. No. Each person went around the room proudly stating their name and proudly stating their majors. The teacher would then praise them for whatever major they chose. When he got to me, I just said my name, hoping he would not ask me my major. HE DID. The moment I said, “I don’t have one”, I felt ashamed. Everyone had a plan for their life except me.

I wanted to let everyone know that I do have a plan for my life. I am not just wandering aimlessly in college. Half of the adults who are further into adulthood say we should know what we are going to do with the rest of our lives. The other half tells us that we do not have to know and that we have so much time left. So which one is it?

Don’t be discouraged. If you choose a major before you enter college, good for you. You have an idea of what you want to do. You have something to build off of. If you don’t declare a major before you enter college, good for you. People change. Plans change. That’s okay.

Reminder: There’s more to life than your salary, college degree, and GPA.

Do not compare yourself to those who seem like they have it put altogether. In reality, they are struggling also. All you can really do for the first two years of college is explore. Find out who you are. Find out your likes and dislikes. Discover your strengths and accept your weaknesses.

Most of all, believe in yourself. You are capable of doing anything if you just believe that you are good enough. Because you are good enough.

Measure your life in love.