By Beth Winze
“If you can survive university mid-term week. You can survive anything. Including an Apocalypse with zombies and vampires and stuff. But only if you’re into that.” – random cafeteria person that decided to drop me some arbitrary advice
It is the doomed week that has been hovering over my head and lectured on by professors for weeks. Mid-term week. So since I am officially half-way through the week, and I still have the larger majority of my brain cells still in tact – I will write. I mean – hey – I have watched enough TED talks this week to provide the inspiration needed for a new post. This is how I study anymore. Listening to others inspirations of life, is enough for me to push through twenty more margin of error problems.
I recently watched an excellent TED talk about trying something new for thirty days. Which caused me pause.
It is amazing how quickly this video hit home for me. I begin to think of new things I could try for thirty days. The possibilities were endless, but that is when I looked at my calendar.
I have been at Western for 1 month and 22 days…..
or 7 weeks 4 days…..
or 53 days.
I have almost doubled the thirty day challenge that Matt Cutts presents in his talk. And the unbelievable thing is, he is completely right. The past month has been memorable. Sometimes good memories, other times, memories that I would much rather keep in the short term memory bank to be thrown away in 15 seconds. As much as I originally believed I was attending college for the academic acquirement, I have also retained lessons about myself and the world I am living in now as a responsible adult.
1) College easily becomes one of the loneliest places
A friend from back home and I were talking the other day. I made an observation that everyday I walk to class I see new faces. Yes, a lot of them are becoming familiar, and some even stop to talk now, but everyday I see new people. I am one person among nine thousand others. I have completely removed myself from the comforts of my old friend circles and have started off finding entirely new ones. The first month has provided a lot of time to think for sure. The cyber image of your family through a digitally pixelated screen is not entirely satisfying as the warmth their close proximity provides.
2) I am Beth.
No one ever tells you that when you go to college, you quickly find where you stand. There has been several times in which I re-think everything I have ever learned or been taught. It becomes scary when the very person you thought you were is not you anymore. But I would like to think that the change I have gone through has made me better than before. Strength is what I feel now. I am responsible for every decision I make for myself and I have to be sure of that decision. It has provided a core strength that had never needed to be fully developed until now.
3) Faith is a struggle
Along with re-discovering who you are, comes re-defining and solidifying your faith. I will be completely honest when I say that the church thing has been a major struggling point for me. I have this image of my home church and no church on campus measures up. But they are not supposed to be the same. This is where I discover exactly what I want to glean from the church experience without my parents or friends dictating or influencing my decision.
When I kissed my parents and sister good-bye and watched my dorm room make a final cut between my 18 year dependency on them, I never realized how I would change in 53 days. So, I have completed the thirty day challenge, and I know I will survive mid-term week. Because in my rearview mirror of a month and a half, I see an incredible strength that has risen inside me because I have done something new for over thirty days.
In the words of Matt Cutts, “There’s a few things I learned while doing these 30-day challenges. The first was, instead of the months flying by, forgotten, the time was much more memorable.”
As I move into the creative stages to find the next thirty day challenge for myself. I challenge you, the reader, to do the thirty day challenge every month. It doesn’t have to be a major goal. But for me, the past college month has been memorable, and has caused me to re-discover myself. Are you ready to try something new and potentially find a new you?