Happy August gorgeous! Can you believe we are starting a new month? August for me means last days in my cozy, white fluffy bed at home, last days reliving memories with old friends, preparing all my new notebooks filled with empty pages, and starting a new chapter in my college experience. I recently just got back from visiting USC in Columbia, South Carolina and what a wonderful weekend it was in one of my favorite states. Join me today as I give you some incite on this new college town, what experiences I made and what experiences you can and I hope you make as well.
“Document the moments you feel most in love with yourself- what you’re wearing, who you’re around, what you’re doing. Recreate and repeat.” – Warsan Shire
This weekend was a weekend worth documenting. Finishing my last days at work. I gave every last moment my best effort and surprised my coworkers with donuts as I said goodbye! There is nothing like a hot donut from a small local shop where everyone is happy because what donut doesn’t make you smile? Make someone’s day by putting a small note or treat on your coworkers desk because you never know what impact that could make. Did I eat the donut, no, but I made up for that by getting a box of pizza, a bottle of wine and a deck of cards. Yes, this weekend I found myself sitting on the floor of an almost empty house in a new city with a few old friends, a few new friends and had a night I wish I could recreate and repeat. We live for experiences. College is an experience that everyone pictures in their minds. What do you picture? For myself, I pictured parties, tailgates, long study nights, hard tests, and multiple nights filled with that box of pizza, bottle of wine and deck of cards.
High school was my bubble where new people, parties and tailgates didn’t exist. As I have mentioned before, I chose to go to a school where I didn’t know a soul and that was the best decision I ever made. After visiting USC, sitting in a different coffee shop, full of strangers, I started to think how college is a different experience for everyone. I bursted my bubble and want to continue to visit all of my friends in their college towns. I had the joy of visiting friends, one of which I have grown up with, and saw them in a different town, experiencing new traditions I never thought about. My point of view and appreciation for where I am has changed. I put myself in my friend’s shoes and realized how happy I am to see how college has made my friends grow and shape into amazing adults.
My college town has shaped me. Bowling Green is close to home and the perfect size. I have found my favorite places to study in the libraries on campus. I have found where my church home is and where my favorite local shops are for salads and coffee. While touring this South Carolina, college town, it made me so happy to see how people I care about from home have made their college town their home. I got to see where they found their favorite local coffee shops to meet, sip and study. I pretended to be a student at this school by working at a local shop called the Cool Beans one morning and it is no Spencer’s, but I enjoyed the change. Change can be a scary thing, but with an optimistic mindset, you never know where you will end up. I tend to worry that people will change when they leave their home and not come back the same. Today, I can say that not only have I seen my friends change, but they have grown with a positive light in so many ways.
College is what you make it. USC still has the large stadium and tailgates, full of Greek life that I also get to experience every weekend. I even got to see the huge ADPI house where my sister has stayed and the fact that I can be a part of an organization in another state amazes me! I mean look at how gorgeous…and all the houses on Greek Row were this beautiful. From building to building we walked and I grinned every time they passed a friend on the street they knew because it showed me that people from so many different cities that chose that school see my friends exactly how I see them, amazing and loving in every way. Change can be such a gift and today I want to share with you that placing yourself in a new experience, whether that’s on a new college campus, in a new job or a part of any opportunity, that it is okay to embrace a new mental image because change can be magnificent.
Continuing on this past trip, I look back and realize how many long naps I took that I never take at home. I ate a croissant every morning with my breakfast, which I never eat, and was filled with coffee from every new shop we went into. We went bowling late one night after we ate a bowl of cereal for dinner then played cards because their house did not have wifi or cable. What a breath of fresh air it was without all the technology. My memories in my friend’s new home were filled with laughter and the smell of pizza. I chose to eat more than one slice of pizza and I did struggle to not show how nervous I was to eat more than once slice, but when I told my mom what I did, she looked at me with a large smile when I got home and said, “I thought about you and it makes me so happy you are experiencing life as a college kid.” A kid…that was exactly what I was and embraced every second.
Let’s embrace this time in our life when our time as a kid is fading away. Today I chose to wipe away a tear that fell from my face when I remembered a doctor’s appointment I have coming up where I have to face the scale. Today I tried to take a picture and compare it to the time I was my lowest weight and tried to convince myself I was beautiful after this long weekend of bad eating. I know someone else in this world did that today and I pray that we can embrace our bodies and live life to the fullest! Your body is your home and health is more than the food you put inside you. Moving forward, my home is my healthy body, my friends I love and the place I am in, whether that’s in Nashville, Bowling Green or a new location. My life took me to another state this weekend. Where did your life take you? I am already counting down to the next time I get to go on another college visit. I look forward to picking up another box of pizza, bottle of wine and deck of cards. Maybe next time I won’t shed a tear after eating that extra slice but instead shed a tear from laughing too hard or singing too loud in the car ride.
I want to leave you with a verse that I read today and an image that makes me smile and want to road trip every weekend! I want you to imagine driving on the interstate, windows down, blasting Back Down South by Kings of Leon, and seeing a rainbow like this in the sky. Do you have that image in your mind? Now, read this verse below and recognize how beautiful you and your life is. Time for us to go create, recreate and repeat.
“Or do you know know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20