I have been lucky enough to have had a wonderful year of discoveries. My first year of college taught me so much, but this year has had its own collection of gifts to bestow. These are the things I have learned this year in college:
1. My mom is a mama bear who can’t be stopped.
After I finished my final exams, I set out to drive home to Illinois from Florida. My brakes went out in Tennessee, and I ended up having to stay overnight in Manchester. When I called my mom to tell her what happened, she turned into a mama bear.
“OH MY GOD, MY CHILD IS STRANDED. ARE YOU HUNGRY?”
She ordered me a pizza and a 2-liter of root beer.
I didn’t ask for this. My mother will have her way, and that’s all there is to it.
2. I don’t do all-nighters. I can’t even do half-nighters.
I may be 20, but I can’t do what these young folks are doing – going to bed at 3 A.M. and waking up at 7 A.M. for 8 A.M. classes. Unless I’m allowed to sleep on the desk, I can’t pull it off. And I’ve tried all the tricks. Coffee, caffeinated chocolate, all of that. I have to have a solid six hours of sleep if I’m expected to function at midrange.
3. Putting technology away makes me happy.
As much as I love people, I don’t always want to see their news feed. I want to talk to them in person, really get to know them. I want to look them in the eye and tell them what’s going on with me. That’s why I ended my sophomore year of college by deleting my social media apps from my phone. This summer, I want to be present with the people I’m with. There is a time and place to talk to people, and I think we all could use a little time away from our phones and laptops.
4. Spur-of-the-moment gut-driven decisions are the pathway to lifelong friendships.
Back in November, a friend of mine invited me to go to a Christian conference in Denver. I said I would go and almost chickened out at the last minute. Listening to my heart led me to go, and I ended up making some friends with other conference attendees. On New Year’s Eve, we had one of the most memorable nights of our lives.
But it was that initial gut-driven decision to go that led to the beautiful friendships I made.
So I have resolved myself to listen to my heart just a little more in the future.
5. The unexpected happens and can be better than what was intended.
A lot of things didn’t go according to plan this year. But this year in college, I’ve learned to think about the unexpected like how I think about this picture I took during one of my photoshoots.
That photo-bomber bicyclist wasn’t supposed to be in the picture. But I love him there. It was completely unexpected, but the picture is great because of it.
We have to go with the flow sometimes. Take life as it comes at us and enjoy the ride.
The unexpected is what makes life so thrilling.
6. I can make a difference just by showing appreciation for what people do.
On Halloween night, I went out to eat with my friends and had the best BBQ sliders a starving college student could ask for. They were so good, I just had to meet the person who made them.
We follow each other on Instagram now, and I’m constantly hungry because he posts pictures of some bomb-looking food.
Meeting him made me realize that we really should express our appreciation for people more often. Spread the love to everyone, especially those who spread the butter on our food.
7. I haven’t learned enough.
What I came out of this school year knowing with absolute certainty is that I don’t know enough. There is a lot to learn from my peers and the people I look up to, and wisdom is in constant circulation.
For now, I will continue to learn and grow, hoping that one day, I’ll know something that I can pass on to someone else, too.
HC with care,
Megan Christine Hammer