So…how to start this?
Well, I guess it’s time for me to share where I am and where I’m potentially going.
Over spring break, I started to reevaluate my school choice as well as my priorities. Being at Taylor was very good for me in some ways but I had to make many sacrifices in order to be here. I had to give up being close to family and friends in which I have known all my life for a whole new community where I had no safety net. After being in the program I realized I could not reach my career goals with the education I am receiving. Spring break was the first time in a very long time where I could rest and just think about things without the distractions of a busy life. Friday of that week I had a little freak-out about having to go back to Taylor. Why would I not want to go back to this place that I learned to love? Why would I willingly leave all these people who were shaping me into a better and stronger woman Why would I leave a place that encouraged me in my walk with Jesus? Why would I want to leave this place that on paper seems like the perfect place for the world-hardened young woman who needed to be shoved closer to God?
As the next few weeks progressed, I met with various professors that I have gotten to know as well as mentors I have been able to confide in about the possible change of institution. My eventual career goal is textile/surface design–basically design patterns for everything that can have a pattern like fabric, house-ware, wallpaper, etc. Each person was so encouraging of this new directions, a direction that would lead me back to the east coast. I started looking at schools in New York City and the Boston area. Every conversation I had confirmed that this is the direction that God wants me to go. The more I prayed, the more it felt like a question of, “which new school?” rather than, “Taylor or somewhere else?” For big decisions like this, I like to discuss them with people that are close with the Lord and have wisdom to impart to me. Only one person said that I should wait to make this decision after I’ve been at Taylor for another year. Everyone else told me this sounds like a fantastic move for me, that I have the drive to make this happen, and I have the artistic ability to get into art and fashion schools.
I made the decision to leave in about April which brought on the hard part of delivering the news. The most difficult part about leaving Taylor is leaving the people. Almost every individual I have encountered has shaped my life in some way or another, and I am so thankful for that.
By the time I had made my decision to leave, I had already gotten a full time job for the summer working for IT (which I was already doing.) I love the people I work with and love the challenge of working with computers, so it was a no-brainer to stay. I moved into a house with some upperclassmen that lived on my floor as well as someone who had been living in the house all year along with a wonderful young woman named Deeds that had transferred out of Taylor about a year ago (I think…) Living in Upland as a resident rather than a student has completely changed my point of view on the community. I am so thankful for these new relationships and encounters. I am so thankful for being able to take the time to connect members of the Upland community and understand why so many get a bad taste in their mouths every time they pass by my beloved Taylor University.
If I can give any advice to returning and new Taylor students, I would recommend getting to know the people of the community. The best way to love Upland is to love on its people. Walk around town and take the time to smile at those mowing their lawns and playing with their children. Instead of only talking to teens a the Red Barn, seek them out at their hang outs–gas stations, the park, etc. So often I have heard that Taylor student think they are better than “townies.” That is such a disgusting lie. Jesus died for everyone and does not love any of his children more than others. Taylor is so great at being a beacon for Christ on a global level that it is odd that we fail as a student body of believers to be a beacon in our local community. As cheesy as it sounds, I challenge you to start a revolution of love; just let Jesus speak through you. It’s amazing what happens when you do that!
Anyway, I move home the Sunday that returning Taylor student move into the dorms. It’s odd to have been here all summer and get used to campus being so quiet. As students slowly start to come back to campus, it’s going to be so strange seeing these people who I already exchanged tearful goodbyes with. It will be an indescribable pick up to see these familiar faces again, but I will have a horrendous crash afterwards. It will be worth it, but all I can see is the hardship that comes after…I have a bad habit of dwelling on the negative, which doesn’t help when going through this type of transition.
I guess the most unsettling thing about this whole change is that I have no idea what lies ahead. When I entered Taylor, I planned on being here for 4 years, working here for most summers, maybe studying abroad once or twice, and head back east for work unless I had met someone in which we would have gone somewhere together. God apparently had different plans in store for me. I don’t think it would have been wrong for me to stay, but like is a lot more exciting when I actually listen to what God prefers for my life. Leaving is such an uncomfortable leap of faith…why leave something so apparently stable?
So this fall I am living with my parents back in Pennsylvania. I am spending the first week and a half with my sister to kind of decompress from the whole trauma of leaving Taylor and then it’s back to the grindstone cranking out pieces to submit to schools. I’m hoping that I will be entering school for spring semester, but who knows. I also have no idea what I’m going to do after I finish working on my portfolio. If anyone needs someone to work almost full time with a relatively flexible schedule so I can visit friends and family that I haven’t seen in a year since I’ve been in Indiana, hit me up! Something that I could take on the road would be great!
To those I am leaving in Indiana: I will miss you so much. Please say hi once in a while. I want to visit, but I really don’t know how I’ll be able to afford it. Our house is always open for guests! Fall break anyone? Heheheehe! Road trips are always fun.
To those I am returning to: Please bear with me. It will be a while before I can connect up with you again.
To everyone: Thank you for your prayer and encouragement over the past few months.
Prayer requests: Car, discernment for which path to take as I contemplate directions to, transition from living on my own to living at home, and patience. One can never have too much wisdom! I also pray to be surrounded by those with wisdom to help guide me in the direction the Lord wants me to go.
If you have any questions, dont’ hesitate to comment or send me a Facebook message or something.