//Semester 2 of #gradschool//

I feel as though July came and went! How is it September?! WHAT? I hoped and prayed I would make it through August and I am more than thrilled to say I did. I’ve worked myself into a somewhat more managed schedule and with the help of friends, coffee, and my little sister Hailey, I have held it together somewhat better than last semester.

There’s been so much that’s happened, I couldn’t just write about it. I have to show you. So enjoy the journey through the last couple of weeks…

  1. When your sister sends you this, you may cry because you realize just how grown up she really is. ((I did cry and then I was laughing because it brought a sense of relief to my, at the time, anxiety ridden heart))

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2. Her last day in Tulsa happened to be one of the biggest weeks in this current position I hold as a Graduate Resident Director here at OU. She moved in during Panhellenic move in day, which was crazy. I woke up before the sun, had no coffee until it was too late and then had my wonderful family in town, who probably saw me a little more beat down than excited. I have since apologized and we have all recovered. ((Well, they have recovered. I am still trying to pull it together to get through this semester on minimal sleep)).

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3. RUSH. Have you all ever rushed a sorority? Because if you have, my hats off to you. I don’t think I could do it. It was hard enough asking a friend to be my roommate at ORU and to ask to be on the “cool girl wing”. I watched Hailey go through the highs and lows of recruitment, which if anyone tells you it’s an absolute blast, they are lying to you. Hailey held it together so well and ended up right where she needed to be. But I remember after her first heartbreak, we planned and started our first Sunday night tradition: pizza night. We went to Hideaway and then she said “I need to get some things. I’ll wait til mom and dad get here though.” This was my response…

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**I bought her all her things… 🙂

4. Bid Day. It’s a big deal. After the week of hell you’ve gone through, waiting on pins and needles for that knock on the door and that final piece of paper with your new sisterhood on it… OH MY GOD, it makes me want to break out in hives just thinking about it. But watching your little sis run over the hill to South Greek is one heck of an experience. Seeing all the joy and relief escape for just a brief little bit makes the whole family breathe a little easier. I’m so proud of Hailey and I’m so thankful she’s here in Norman with me.

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5. Class of 2019. Y’all. OU just admitted it’s largest class ever, which I know is cliche because every year it’s the biggest class. But this year, 4200 kids left their parents and made the jump to college life here in Norman. I’ve had the opportunity to meet lots of them working move in, and I’m excited to see what comes of this class. I’m sure that’s said every year, but I mean it. I’m working in residence life, which is great, but when you’ve never done that before it’s intimidating. I’m surrounded by people who know way more than I do. Mostly, I sit and smile and nod my head but I have no idea what my colleagues are talking about. Needless to say, this group is one of the most diverse and definitely has huge things ahead of it. So cool to be apart of it.

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6. Class of 2016. If y’all would’ve told me that I would enter grad school and then spend a year working my butt off to earn 36 hours of credit to graduate and do it all in 3 semesters and 2 sessions of summer school, I would’ve laughed. Because it sounds like a joke. It sounds like it can’t be done. I posted a picture today of me and my dad when I was probably 2 or 3 years old. I’m sitting in the front seat, wearing a sweatsuit decorated with OU all over it. I had to work hard to get good grades in school. I had to work hard to show myself approved. My dad and mom both can attest to this. When I was a Junior in High School, I had to sit in my guidance counselor’s office at the end of the year to prep my schedule and talk about college planning. My mom was with me and little did we know that we would sit there in that office with our mouths hanging open in disbelief. My guidance counselor had the audacity to hear my college plans, which I was so happy and excited about, and tell me that I wasn’t smart enough for college and that I should probably lower my standards. I couldn’t believe it. I was so sad. I felt defeated and had to go through a whole freaking year with this woman as my counselor. My mom walked with me to the car that afternoon and sat and cried with me. She then proceeded to do as she always had done…build me up. “Lindsay, don’t listen to that. You are smart. You work so hard. You are beautiful and you CAN and WILL DO whatever it is that God has for you, I have no doubt! Don’t you dare let one person determine your course. I can’t believe she said that. OUTLOUD. You’re going to college. You will graduate and you will do great things”. I went my entire senior year with that statement silently hanging over my head. It took me close to 7 or 8 years to finish my undergraduate degree. It took me 7 or 8 years to figure out what it was I was called to. I am so glad I stumbled into counseling. And knowing that in a short amount of time, I will be a Masters degreed female in the mental health field feels like a triumph in and of itself. This journey hasn’t been easy. Actually, it’s been really tough. It’s had it’s moments of pure bliss, but also sadness. You never really notice how alone you are until you’re 2 hours away from home, without your tour guide (my dad). But you wake up and you face the day. You don’t let the worry or fear of not having everything together stop you. You position yourself for what God wants to do and let Him move. I have been proud a few times in my life for different achievements throughout my life, but for picking up, moving to a new place, knowing no one and finding where I fit… I am so PROUD of this moment. I have learned what it means to stand by myself, to stand for what I believe in, to show the Love of Jesus when it would be easier to blend into the wallpaper, and I will never look back at this moment and despise it. I will always look back in thankfulness and love and absolute happiness. I hope that when I get married and have children that I can share this with my daughter (or daughters) and tell her that she doesn’t have to be scared about the future, but she can look at it with pride and joy. Moms and dads wait for the moments where they can share their experiences with their children. If you haven’t lately, you should. Your kids are waiting for your stories and your input in their lives. Share.

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I am thankful for this season I’m in. And I’m thankful for each of you. Thank you for journeying with me. And thank you for your prayers, your encouragement, and your love. It means more than you’ll ever know.

Linds

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