As each semester comes to a close, I make a point to reflect on the collection of months passed. I gather up the courage to dive into the questions I've asked myself: where was I a year, half a year, a month ago? How has God surprised me, remained near, opened my eyes?
Jumping from being a college freshman to a sophomore seems a little like returning to a familiar place after being away for awhile, only to find it's been "remodeled". You start seeing the old with new eyes, and are able to tap into potential you didn't know was there. My third term spent in Clemson has been brief (5 months), and already purpose has been revealed- most significantly, I've been shown a refined definition of home.
This year much more so than last, the lines have been blurred, ever so slightly, gradually. Parts of home have spilled over into school. Without my noticing, going back to my apartment started to mean going home. The candles and the twinkly lights, the desk of my own, the steady flow of friends coming in and out, somehow became home while I wasn't paying close enough attention.
I'm thinking it's a commonality when you find people who get you, when you transition from a wide-eyed freshman trying to find her place, to a soft spoken sophomore who's stopped trying to spread herself too thin. You start taking your shoes off inside, because it's just so comfortable you can't help it. You've given tirelessly circling the track a rest, and have stopped where you belong because the invitation was too good to decline.
Now here I am, with a handful of friends while the slow and steady path breathes life into me as long as I'm willing to traverse. Slow and steady does not mean boring, nor insignificant: it was once said in an old story that a tortoise beat the hare in a race by taking this path, this pace.
Unlike in the fable, being a real-life hare isn't all bad. In fact, taking on the role of the hare is such an integral part of college- it was for me at least. I just wanted to run around and go and do and be. It's not only because I wanted to; I had to. We all need to spend some time in the hare's shoes. Testing the waters is the only way to stumble upon the place where we're supposed to dwell. You'll never be the tortoise if you are not first the hare.
Sophomore year: thank you for teaching me how to be a tortoise, content in the role that comes with the territory. Thank you for the late night movie marathons, the dance parties, the face-buried-in-a-book nights every once in a blue moon. Thank you for the accompaniment of friends who have become my people. Thank you for pushing me to chase my dreams. Thank you for allowing home to know no boundaries. Thank you that you are not finished with me yet.