When I started my first semester of my freshman year at Samford University I really did not know just what to expect. I was anxious about meeting my roommate as well as nervous about my classes. My primary concern was how much I would thrive living almost four hours away from my home near Nashville, Tennessee. I had a very long to-do list that needed to be done when I arrived on campus. However, even though I knew that God had placed me at Samford for a reason, I forgot to ask Him how He wanted to use me at Samford and in Birmingham. This complicated my first year and left me struggling to see why my plans were not going through the way I thought they would.
During the first few weeks of school I met several people and was introduced to multiple involvement opportunities on and off campus. My schedule was quickly filled with 17 credit hours, work study, Young Life training and church searching. Unfortunately I felt that I had no extra time to go to the cafeteria for meals and found myself running through drive-thru’s almost every night. Because I didn’t eat on campus very often, I lost multiple opportunities to meet new friends and grow the relationships I had developed with my roommate and hall mates. I started putting off homework until late hours of the night and lost sleep and good grades because of it. I also was having a hard time holding on to the money I was earning through work study because of the constant eating out and online shopping. I kept dismissing the nagging feeling that I was doing something wrong because I felt too busy. That is, until one Friday afternoon when I came back from class to find that my roommate had gone on a weekend trip to a lake house without me. This trip had been planned by my roommate, two of our hall mates and me almost a month before.
I felt heartbroken and could only turn to God for guidance. While I was upset about missing the trip, God used that weekend to show me how I needed to adjust my priorities. I called my roommate to apologize for ignoring her. Unfortunately I still had to face consequences. While we were able to get along for the rest of the semester, our relationship had been damaged. We decided to switch roommates for the second semester. I then began a devotional plan that I had abandoned at the beginning of the school year. Because I was able to start each day off with Scripture and prayer, searching for a church became easier. I felt called to join The Church at Brook Hills and immediately began to serve in the children’s ministry. I completed the Young Life leader training and was placed as a Wyld Life leader at Pizitz Middle School. And I was able to bring up my grades and focus on studying for finals. I even stopped going to fast food for meals and put a halt on the online shopping. This kept money in my bank account and allowed me to develop new friendships over lunch and dinner in the cafeteria.
Thankfully my second semester was more enjoyable and more successful. I kept my quiet time consistently, joined a Bible study group, made good grades, started a campaigners group through Wyld Life, made several new friends, found new roommates and got an amazing internship! My freshman year at Samford was a roller coaster ride with a lot of ups and downs. Thankfully I was able to listen to God’s call to adjust my priorities in time for my second semester and I am very excited to continue to follow Him as I complete my next three years at Samford University.