It’s a New Year

This is the draft of the post I started writing in early September, just after the school year began:

Things I regret the most:

  1. Not going to state school.
  2. Not at least making an attempt to run cross country here (or somewhere.  Although, I suppose that doesn’t apply to my DI state school.)
  3. Not branching out more in my church-hunting last year.
  4. Not going to state school.
  5. Not appreciating/spending time with my friends/peers more when I had the chance.

Things I’m glad about/grateful for:

  1. My friends back home, even though I don’t get to see them very often.  It’s crazy to think that I’ve known the person who was essentially my biggest mentor in high school (and continues to be now) for more than four years.  Also that I’ve known my two best friends for fourteen and eleven, respectively.
  2. The new friends I seem to have found at a different church here.
  3. The prospect of a gap year after college!
  4. The fact that God drew me back to Him during my senior year.  It was an…interesting…year, but God knew what He was doing.

The best days so far:

  1. Forest Park Cross Country Festival (September 2012): I miss it.
  2. The day of TubaChristmas and WUPops Winter Concert (December 2012): So much tuba.  So much tuba.
  3. USATF Cross Country Championships (February 2013): Joe Newton spoke the night before, and then I got to spend the next day watching incredible athletes.
  4. Kristi’s thesis defense (March 2013): That moment when you realize that the place you work has become a little less like a place you go to and a little more like a place you belong (even if at the bottom of the totem pole).
  5. The last day of being on campus for the year (May 2013).

That was a little less than two months ago.  A little less than two months ago, I could list my positive experiences here last year on one hand.  This isn’t to say the rest of them were negative; most were just neutral, mundane, and otherwise forgettable.  I will admit that I had few to no friends.  I tended to go for periods of more than one day without talking to anybody but the checkout lady in the cafeteria.  As a result, the attitude with which I approached the new school year was one of dread–and perhaps a bit of fear.  I knew I could survive being here for three more years, but the prospect of three more years of mere subsistence was undesirable at best.

And then, when I arrived on campus, something was different.  I changed churches.  I have friends now.  (You can start to see this change reflected in #2 of the Grateful list.)  I talk to people–usually my church friends–pretty much every day.  The funny thing about them is that I knew all but one of them from outside of church before figuring out that they went to the same church (one was in my mandatory introductory writing class; one went to high school near me, and I met though mutual friends; one is in orchestra with me).  Moments worth repeating don’t happen every couple months now; they happen every couple days.  It’s not just the big things, either: it’s standing in the middle of the sidewalk and talking for half an hour at midnight; it’s throwing a football around with people who don’t know how to throw a football when we should be doing homework; it’s listening to my friends play guitar while I (attempt miserably to) play drums; it’s walking for thirty minutes to the grocery store with a friend instead of biking by myself in ten minutes just because we can, it’s being the only science-related major at a tea party full of art, architecture, and English majors.

In the Regrets list, I wrote that I wished I had spent more time with my friends in high school while I had the chance.  I’m realizing that if I’m not intentional about spending time with other people, I’m liable to hide in my room with my computer/my homework/a book.  I don’t want this to be my regret for college, too.

This post is clearly starting to dead end, so I suppose what I’m trying to say (aka, the TL;DR version) is that people matter.  So, act like it.

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