A year ago today, I embarked on what I called a “new era.” I drank up the new so hungrily, basking in its greatness. I could only wonder then what this new era would really bring.
I’ve shared many of my experiences of what really did happen in that first year of university. And now, I’ve come to know the many people who were once strangers and the classes that were just expectations and the success that was only all a dream. It seems so different now, going into it, knowing, sure of myself, only wondering what one prof will be like instead of six, excited to see friends instead of imagining who those people were.
It should be easy. It seems like it would be by the Facebook statuses and the opening week events and even from the way my own face lights up when I hear the word school. I’m excited for year two. Its going to be great.
But to be honest, its not easy. As much as I am looking forward to today, this week, this first semester, and my whole second year, I am dreading it.
I have expectations. For other people, for myself, for this year. As much as I do know, there is much I do not know.
I finished first year, happy in my success but disappointed in myself. I didn’t make many relationships. I hid. I fled from meaningful connections. I didn’t love people. And I regret that about first year.
So now, as I go into year two, its like I have a second chance. And its brimming with possibility, hope, and life. I want to make the best of it. I really do. I have dreams and plans and expectations — almost more than I had last year.
But sometimes, I want to hide again. I’m not sure if I can do it. The dark overcomes me. The light is hard to find. The friendly smiles disappear and I am alone and I just don’t know where to look or even how to say hello.
Rejection is my greatest fear and to be honest, failure is still really hard for me.
But this is a second chapter. The first is gone, in all its glory and regret. This is a new time, a second portion of the era I began one year ago.
I like to talk about grace for others yet can I have grace for myself? I know that God has grace for me, but can I accept that? I believe I am loved but can I open up and live that?
This year will not be as easy as it is to buy books or find my way to classes as a second year. It will be hard, I’m sure. I’ll get sweaty and messy and cry a bit, too. I’ll be rejected and I’m going to fail. There are unknowns and who knows what kind of trouble they will bring.
But in the unknowns, the challenges, the mess, and the failure, comes joy. This is life. The life that God has given me and the life that He will provide for, even when I forget to ask. And for that life I am thankful. Its a second chance to love other people and learn and become.
So here’s to second year!