As the seasons turn, we are reminded of the ever-evolving nature of life. Nothing stays the same–at least not for very long. It always blows me away how you can think you have everything figured out, and in an instant you can feel like you are living in a different lifetime. Lately, I have taken a lot of time to reflect on the changes in the last few months. I revisited my goals and reevaluated what was important to me. 

I tried planning. Last week I went to visit an academic adviser. When I first made the appointment I intended to talk about my plans to double major and how these plans conflicted with my desire to study abroad in college. I spent a couple hours the night before the appointment sifting through the course guide, and trying to envision what my next couple years in college would look like. Eventually I became overwhelmed. I started to realize that maybe, just maybe, I was getting a little ahead of myself. I could no longer justify my reasoning behind wanting to double major. A few months ago I decided to study TV and film, and Strategic Communications (PR, advertising, etc.). In my heart all I want is to work in TV or film production, but my head was telling me that I needed something more. I needed this super, dual degree that would allow me more flexibility (you know, in case the whole making movies thing doesn’t work out). As I sat at my desk, drowning in my fears, I decided I need to talk it over with someone. I called my mom, and she reminded me of what she has told me from the beginning: she doesn’t think I should double major.

So I walked into this advising appointment last Thursday, wondering what I was really there for. I already knew the answers to my questions in my heart. But verbalizing them made it real. I talked about my fears and my dreams, and what I was already doing to achieve my goals. The adviser smiled at me, and she told me that as I was talking about working in film and TV, that I was beaming, and she could tell how much it excited me. She said that college students can have this idea of needing 4 or 5 majors to be able to really market themselves, but that it wasn’t what was important. When an employer looks at your resume, she said, they will be looking to see what type of degree you got, but then they will look at all of the experiences you have had and what kind of person those experiences made you.
Experiences. These are the things that shape us, and the things that push life forward. And then, I realized everything changes. It’s how we react to those changes that make us who we are.
I realized that it is okay that I changed my mind. It is okay that I don’t want the same things that I wanted a few months ago, or even a few days ago. At the beginning of the year, I wrote a post called, “How to Deal with Change in the New Semester.” To me, it was about taking the time to recognize that life is always changing, and that while some things may hold constant, it’s important to embrace the things that don’t. I wanted to start the semester off with clear goals in mind, and do everything that I could to reach those goals. Little did I know, that part of this process is taking the time to reflect and make sure they are still things you that really want.

Sometimes you will encounter road blocks. Life doesn’t always change for the best, and you don’t always get a choice. Sometimes the changes are messy, and they can hurt. A diagnosis. An end in a relationship. A loss of a loved one. But through the pain, through the heartbreak, and through the confusion, we learn–we learn that life requires time, patience, and faith. There are different kinds of change. Some changes happen instantly, and others require patience, because you might not be able to see the ending. That’s where faith comes in. At times, you might feel hopeless, because all of pressures and stresses of life can pile up and try to break you down. Your faith will be tested–time and time again. 
One of the most remarkable lessons that I have ever learned is that hardships can make you stronger. I believe that I would not be the same person I am today if I didn’t encounter certain things earlier in life. Watching how other people react to the stressors in their lives, I am proud of how I have dealt with my own. I am proud of the choices I have made, and I have no regrets. I have hopes for the future, and while I fear the uncertainty, I have faith. 
Life is about learning what decisions you get to make. My mom’s favorite quote is “We make plans, and God laughs.” I expect everything to change. I expect to have new goals and new visions as I change from my experiences. I expect to feel more pain, and for life to bring more hardships. But more than anything, I expect to grow and learn from my experiences, and I trust whatever plans He has for me. I am in charge of how I feel and what I do, and I choose how to react. And as of last Thursday, I am Communication Arts major, who intends to follow her dreams no matter what they end up being.
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