August 12-December 17, 2015: First Semester
First semester kicked my butt.
The first day, I came home sobbing about AP Biology, college applications, prefect responsibilities, and the fear that I couldn’t do it all. Enter stress: the kind that kept me working until I felt like my brain was about to fall out and resorted to taking Buzzfeed quizzes for an hour and a half. For several months, I functioned on this endless loop of work, sleep, repeat, work, sleep, repeat, punctuated by freak out sessions and the occasional good weekend. Though I accomplished a lot this semester – I applied to nine schools, sang lead on a song in my school’s annual Christmas concert, and didn’t die – I think I’ve learned from mistakes much more than I’ve avoided them.
The biggest lesson, and the one I’m taking with me into 2016 and second semester: Rest is good and necessary. I’m committed to taking some more time for myself. Part of the reason I read a shamefully low number of books this year is because I said sayonara to the library once first semester started. Reading is one of my favorite things to do, but I thought I was too busy. Now, I’m learning to rest. To read, even when my to-do list isn’t entirely crossed off (because isn’t there always one more thing to do?). To commit to The Muppets every Tuesday night at 8. To set aside the busy for the beautiful.
First semester kicked my butt. I guess it made me stronger, and I am proud of what I’ve achieved. There were bright spots: church retreats, Young Life camp, the day I finished college applications. But having your butt kicked isn’t fun or easy, and this semester hasn’t been, either. That’s okay, though. I’m learning from it. I’m still growing. We’re getting there.
Like one of my favorite Ben Rector songs: We’re almost home. First semester is over, and we’re almost home.