Hey, friends. As most of you know, or can probably assume, one of the biggest things that came with senior year was deciding what comes after it. I have never been very good at making decisions, and certainly not momentous, life-changing, four year long ones. But hey, I thought I had it all figured out. (Spoiler: I was wrong.)
March of last year, just before I turned 17, I visited Berry College in Rome, GA. I had found pictures of it online and fell in love- it was a massive, gorgeous school, on acres and acres of rolling land, and I thought for sure it was where I must go. It had so many little, wonderful things that I adored– deer roaming on the lawn, hiking trails winding behind the buildings, a horse stable a few miles out from campus, people riding bikes and swinging in hammocks everywhere that I looked. And I thought for certain the $45k price tag wouldn’t be a problem, if only I tried my best to get scholarships and had enough faith that this college was “the one.” God has made things come together for my good before, I was sure finding a college would be no different. (Spoiler: I was right.)
Well, slowly but surely, things started to fall apart.
I was invited to interview on campus, for not one, but two major scholarships. I received neither. This felt like a punch to the gut– how could they reject me, after I poured my heart into my application essays and spoke passionately about why I wanted to be there, and what the scholarship would mean to me? The money simply wasn’t there, and I knew, though I didn’t want to admit it, that Berry was no longer an option for me. For the first time since last March, I felt lost. I had kept assuming and assuming that things would work out, they just had to…and yet, they didn’t, and I felt like I had nowhere left to turn. Sure, I had applied to other colleges, but I had focused so much on Berry that I couldn’t see myself anywhere else. I began to stay up late worrying about where to go, whether or not I’d be happy there, and how to manage the stress I was already feeling about the inevitable debt hanging over my head. I was lost, and scared, and hopeless.
Let me pause here to remind you, and myself, why I started this blog. I wanted to write about the things that mattered to me, things that inspired me, in hopes of inspiring others. I called it Something Much Greater because I had so much faith in the work that God had started in me, and I believed with all of my heart that he had bigger, greater things in store for me than I could ever imagine. Why would that change now?
Well, quickly and wonderfully, things started coming back together.
March of this year, just before I turned 18, I was offered a full ride scholarship to Young Harris College, a private, liberal arts institution located on the northern Georgia border. I am humbled, honored, and incredibly excited to be sharing this with you all, and I cannot wait to be a part of the YHC class of ’21.
Friends– God answers prayers. I kept asking for some place that felt “right,” a way to reduce the amount of financial stress placed on myself and my parents, and a sense of peace about the whole thing. He also leaves some prayers unanswered, like my many, many repetitions to please, please, let Berry work. This was for my good.
One of my friends, during one of the multiple conversations we had about the shared feelings we had over rejection and letdowns from colleges, told me something that still resonates. God loves us too much to give us “good.” I believe that, wholeheartedly. God loves us too much to give us “good,” when he has “best” in hand. Young Harris is my best, my greater thing, everything that I had been looking for (but in a purple instead of blue package.)
There’s a waterfall within walking distance, and hiking trails wind up the mountains. There’s a horse stable a few miles out from campus. People hang hammocks up on the lush green lawn, and drive less than 10 minutes to a lake to go swimming after classes. It snows in the winter, like, really snows. There’s a gorgeous old chapel in the heart of campus. It’s small. It’s tight knit. It’s my home, for the next few years.
The mountains are calling, and I must go. Young Harris, I’m ready for ya. #classof21