The Last First Day

Late last Sunday night, I sat on the couch beneath a blanket, eating a bowl of Froot Loops and watching Disney Channel (judge not). 

As I went into the kitchen for Round #2 on the Froot Loops, I contemplated two things:

1) Who in the world decided to spell it like Froot Loops? Look, I get that it “matches” the word Loops or whatever, but still. It almost pains my English major heart as much as stuff like “Krispy Chicken.” This is why I blog, to spread awareness of things that should not be.

And the love of Jesus. I blog to share about the love of Jesus, too.

Anyway…

2) I was hours away from my last first day of school. The last traditional picture taken by the front door with my book bag slung over my shoulder and some caffeinated reinforcement in my hand. The last time I would commute to campus to find a parking spot (which is akin to finding the proverbial needle in a haystack), my classrooms, and hopefully some of my friends in the process.

securedownload (2)The next morning, I crawled out of bed after reading a passage from my Bible and praying for fortitude. Here it was: the last semester of Senior year. As I drank my coffee in my Grace mug and got ready to leave, I received a text from my friend Allison, who has been by my side ever since we met as underclassmen (she’s also guest-posted several times on the blog—click here to read her words). Her message was something along the lines of: “Are you ready for this?” and my reply was something eloquent and inspirational along the lines of: “No.”

Because, really, who is ever ready for something so significant as your college years to come to an end?

It still didn’t fully sink in until I’d wedged my little car into a parking spot and walked through the doors of one of the buildings for the last first time. I saw some friends, talked to them for a minute, found Allison, tried not to tackle her (mostly succeeded), and gave up on my resolve to not be emotional about this thing (which I should’ve done a long time ago, since I could probably get emotionally attached to a nice piece of toast).

Then I offered Allison the other half of my granola bar (which she declined, because who would want a half-eaten granola bar?) since I was too antsy about the day to finish it. 

After my first class, there was more reuniting and disrupting sidewalk traffic to hug one of my dear friends as she tried to hurry on to her class. Meanwhile, one of our professors oversaw all of that. She was probably thinking, “Kids, please. Move.” Except in a more English professor-y way.

Later, as several of us congregated in the student center, I made everyone pose for pictures and then I took a picture with my younger sister Abby, who is a freshman this year.

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Abby is thrilled to be at the same university as me. And I’m never, ever an embarrassing older sister.

The whole day, I kept watching all of the freshman, remembering what it was like on my very first day of college. Remembering trying to find my classrooms, figuring out which restrooms have the good automatic hand dryers, and praying God would let me meet some new friends.

Fast forward back to now, and I can step onto campus and smile, knowing some of my best friends are nearby. I’m so very thankful for these friendships.

After the meet-up, there was another class and a mocha frappe at Starbucks and a nap at home becausesecuredownload (1) processing such nostalgia about your undergrad years takes it out of you.

By the end of the week (this past weekend), my friends and I decided we deserved some fun. Since two of them have birthdays within a week of each other, we decided to have a good old-fashioned sleepover to celebrate, which included slip-n-sliding, a movie, games, and staying up until an insane hour.

Public service announcement to those of you who are a few years younger and dread leaving the teen years and crossing into your twenties: Growing up doesn’t mean growing boring. 

It also doesn’t mean you always make wise decisions concerning adequate amounts of rest at childhood-throwback sleepovers.

And now here I am, typing this late Monday night after finishing Shakespeare homework. I’d love the opportunity to blog more often this semester to document things, and I’ll try my best to make that happen.

I started blogging at the beginning of my second semester of college, and I love looking back over the journey I’ve taken. When I read my old posts, I can see how I’ve settled into my writing voice, grown in my faith, and learned a little more about this Anna Schaeffer person. When I started this blog at age eighteen, I had no idea what was ahead in my college years, but I’m thankful younger-me decided to start a blog and talk through it.

Now, blogging is a part of me I don’t like to go without it. Whenever I don’t write for a while, my best friend gets all kinds of interesting texts because I have to channel this stuff somehow.

So I’m looking forward to this new semester, and I hope you’ll join me as I blog my way toward graduation.

I pray the same thing now that I prayed as a blogging freshman; that everything I say and do will be for His glory.

Because God is so worthy of it all. And this journey is all about how He graciously works in and through the life of this college kid.

In His love,

Anna

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And here I am on my very first day of college, compared to my last first day of college. God is so faithful.

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One thought on “The Last First Day

  1. Hey Anna girl. I can so relate to this blog. I am in the process of putting together a video for my 42nd college reunion. Yep, you read the number right. 42. We haven’t had 42 reunions. We’ve had one, but that ONE was so amazing that we decided to have another. Being back in touch with friends from 40 years ago is an experience that goes beyond words. Doing this video has reminded me of the feeling in my heart and stomach as I was driven to campus my freshman year and the same but different feeling as I drove myself my senior year. You nailed it in your blog. You nailed a feeling that has never before been described. You nailed a feeling that even makes your arms hurt. That’s the only way I know to put it. So thanks for sharing your heart. And you hang on to those friends!!! Don’t just sign a yearbook and say you will be friends forever…. Plan on DOING IT!!
    Love ya Kiddo!!!!
    Judy

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