first semester? check.

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what better way to wrap up my first semester at Mizzou with my first real blog post?  the world of blogging has always been deep in the back of my mind, and I’ve finally came around to starting my own which I am super pumped about.  it might take a bit to get used to the hang of it, but wow I am so excited to get this thing going!

after growing up in the same small town my entire life, I was definitely more than ready for something new.  I will always have a special spot for Bentonville and the countless memories it holds.  quite frankly, I couldn’t imagine/want to grow up anywhere else (quick little overview of the place i’m proud to call home here).  but, behind all the pride I have, it was time to do something for specifically for me. something that was out of my comfort zone. at this point of my life, anything outside the town of Bentonville was outside of my comfort zone.  I was beyond ready to change that.

packing up everything I owned, saying goodbye to dear friends that I wished I could bring to school with me, and making sure I hit up all my favorite local restaurants before I would be without them… and I was off to Columbia, MO!  I vividly remember on the drive up that it still hadn’t hit me that I was actually leaving the only town I had ever known.  it felt like summer camp, and my mind was racing with the “did I forget _____?” thoughts.  how was I already old enough to leave home?  go to college?  not  have my mom make me breakfast every morning?

well, 123 days filled with dining hall food and endless hours spent at ellis library later… and here I am!  it was, no doubt, the best semester I could have ever imagined.  i am so incredibly blessed to be able to love the city I live in, the people I am surrounded with, and the school I am so proud to attend.  this feeling of happiness and content is so hard to describe to people.  I am asked the simple question “How do you like Mizzou so far?” very frequently, and there is this overwhelming wave of temptation to just start pouring out my heart to them!  I want to list all of the people that I have met that have made the most positive impact on me.  I want to share all the experiences I encountered being a student on campus.  I want to show the abundance of pictures I have (probably annoyingly) taken of cute, random buildings I obsess over as I make my walk to class.

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I still might be in the “honeymoon” phase of my college career- floating on cloud nine, without even being phased of the stresses I am very likely to endure.  I do realize that college isn’t really supposed to be all fun and games…. and I still have to go to class…. and get good grades…  but, why not have some fun while I’m at it?  isn’t that what this whole adventure called “life” is meant to be about?

as this semester came to an end, my five hour drive back to my family and friends was filled with all I had learned thus far while living in Columbia.  although the most education-related lesson learned was the importance of studying prior to the night before an exam (you won’t regret it! I promise!), I continue to learn more and more about myself by the day.  I learned the importance of living in the moment: not passing up late night breakfast runs, going all out for themed-costume events, and taking advantage of any and every opportunity that’s thrown my way.  I also learned how great my parents are, and how consistently supportive/uplifting they continue to be… even when they’re 288 miles away. tipdon’t wait to go to college to truly realize and appreciate all they do for you!  they always have been and always will be the coolest people in your life, so take advantage of living under the same roof as them.

most importantly, I learned the impact that genuine friends have on you, and how vital it is to hold them near and dear to your heart.  it’s been four months, but it is so comforting to know that i have found some forever friends.  this very instance brings me so much hope for the seven semesters I have left at Mizzou.  not only am I surrounded by these crazy awesome people, but I can’t wait to see what is in store for us as we live our lives to the fullest potential here.  how cool is it that I get to grow into real adults with these people?  we all have passions and interests that are vastly different from each other.  we are all doing something different with our majors/career paths. I have to admit, I’m looking forward to seeing where I’ll be working/living/doing after college.  but, i might be just as (maybe even more) excited to see where my people end up too.

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