A couple days ago I went zip lining and it was not enjoyable in the least. We had three separate lines to zip, followed by a free fall. Mixing my insane fear of heights and a hatred for feeling like falling led to a terrifying time for me and a great laugh for the guys working. It took me over a minute to convince myself to jump off for the free fall (which my brother so kindly caught on video) prompted everybody on the property to gather for my jump.
After all of the scary stuff, we did some sort of obstacle course and bubble soccer which was much more fun and much less scary. When we arrived back to the entrance/exit (where the free fall deck happened to be), a couple of the guys told me that a second jump was mandatory before I left. I told them they were crazy and I did not pay for it so I could not possibly steal that fun experience.
As we were walking back to the car, my dad shook his head in disappointment and repeated a few times how I missed a great opportunity to have a free jump. Had I not done the first jump or the 1200 feet of zipping, I would say I missed a “great opportunity” to try something new, but I can hardly see how declining an offer to do something that I had given a fair try is missing an opportunity.
This all comes back to a major decision I made a few months ago that my parents still do not support: I decided to leave the university that I went to for my freshman year of college.
While transferring in college is far from unheard of, my situation was very unique. I went into my freshman year as a sophomore (39 credits from dual enrollment and an AP class) and I had a full ride plus room and board plus roughly $1,500 in refunds each year. The only reason I chose this university was because of the amazing financial package they offered me. It was about four hours from home, which I so desperately wanted to get away from.
I was going to give the school a fair shot and see how it went from there. I tried so hard to like the school. It is located on a beautiful campus with a very, very small student population where everybody knows everybody. Things were great for the first few months. Classes were easy. I was making friends. I was getting involved. My internship was teaching me so much.
Sounds great, right? HA. Wrong.
The school was so small that I was seeing the same people all the time. I knew who was whose sorority sister and who played for what sports team and everybody’s major by Thanksgiving without even meeting most of the people. It was that small. The population of the town was approximately 34 people and 34,000 cows.
This was not my style. On top of that came about a million more stressors from a far too awkward roommate situation (s/o to Erin if she’s reading this) and a lack of class availability. How does a school offer a major but not the class required to graduate? The school was honestly a joke. I struggled in my job in the Office of Admissions where I was forced to lie to students touring the school by saying how great of a place it is.
I wanted to leave so badly. I was not happy at all. The first day of the spring semester came with more issues at the fault of the university and I was done. It was too late to go anywhere else for that semester and I was thinking of dropping out altogether. I applied to another school where I knew I would get decent scholarships because I needed a backup plan even if I did temporarily drop out. Spoiler alert: I toughed it out, counting down the days until I would never have to be associated with that joke of a school again.
So after a few months of major prayer and reflection, meetings with people who offered spiritual guidance, lots of fights with my parents, and more tears than the ocean could even hold, I decided to transfer. I decided to move home and commute to another university in Miami, about 40 minutes from my house.
I would be going from paying -$1500 a year to about $4000 a year, and it would all be on me. My parents only asked me about a thousand times if I was sure of my decision, which made me more unsure.
Even after the decision was made, I was very lost and I prayed so much. I begged God for guidance and for the support that I was lacking. I knew it was going to be hard. I had never had a real job besides babysitting so I was not having much luck getting a job. I applied to over 50 jobs (in retail, event planning, and child care) and did not hear back from many of them.
I ended up getting a babysitting job where I would make a couple hundred dollars a week for about 6 weeks. It was decent money but it would not be enough. I started to wonder if I had made a huge mistake by transferring, but I continued to pray and pray.
Soon, I was offered a full time nannying job making double minimum wage. I met with the family and it was as if it was a match made in heaven (s/o to the Big Guy for that one). With this job plus my refund from the old school plus my savings, I would have enough money to cover the next two years at the new school plus some!
Things were going really well until…they got even better! A few weeks ago the state of Florida proposed a bill to increase a certain scholarship that the state awards to students that graduate from a FL high school and continue their educations in a FL college/university. Although the bill was vetoed, the money was already planned in the funding for this upcoming school year which means I should be getting about $3000 MORE in financial aid which will cut down what I will owe for next year by 75% which is huge when you’re a on a college student’s budget!
I took a huge risk by moving home and transferring and God proved to me once again that giving it all up to him was the move. I gave up a great financial opportunity but I also gave up a situation that was holding me back and making me miserable.
I have learned a lot from this past year ( and especially the past several months). I have learned what it is like to work 50 hours a week. I have learned how to budget and save to prepare for a large financial burden. I have learned that I have some very supportive friends.
Most importantly, I have learned to give it all up to God. If he brings you to it, He will help you through it. I, a mega control freak, let God take control and he has steered my life to a great place where I will be able to continue to learn and grow. I have dropped so much of the confinement and negativity that my old university brought into my life and I am truly flourishing.
My advice to you is this: do not be afraid to take the jump. Letting go is so freeing. There is a greater power looking out for you.