San Luis Obispo, CA, Fall Quarter 2016:
A quick and partial life update:
I will be the first to admit that I have this irrational fear of completing something imperfectly, and ironically that same fear often leads me to fail to complete certain things altogether, (one of those certain things being updating my blog). But there is a time and place for striving for perfection, and I know my perspective on when that time and place is has become completely off base. Because when I think really think about perfection, I am actually opposed to the concept as a whole.
So by starting to write imperfect, but yet authentic posts during these crazy weeks in my life, I am reminding myself that my definition of perfection, is imperfect. And more importantly, by giving up my obsession with presenting a refined and articulate online self-image, I am reminding myself that the only God who knows True perfection can beautifully use his children’s imperfections to point to His ultimate perfection.
First and foremost, I cannot reiterate how blessed I am right now. And no, this is not to say that difficulties are not present in my life right now, (because trust me, they are), but this is to say that in order to truly express my gratitude for this life of mine, I am intentionally focusing on my countless blessings rather than my minor stresses.
So in an effort to focus on my countless blessing, I am going to talk about three, (of many, many more) blessings of living in SLOME this quarter.
Blessing #1: My Living Situation:
Just in case anybody is not aware, (*cue "You're so Vain" in the background because no one actually cares Allison), I am suppose to be a freshman right now, but plot twist: because I took classes at the CC, I am now a transfer student.
For a long time before transferring to Cal Poly I was thrilled by the prospect of living in the dorms and therefore thoroughly disappointed when I realized that such an arrangement was not logically possible as a transfer student. I still remember the feelings I experienced just months ago after I found this news out...I convinced myself that I would feel like an outsider at Cal Poly and miss out on typical “dorm experiences” (as if I really wanted those experiences), if I lived off campus. And in all honesty, I have no idea why I was terrified of taking the road less traveled on, especially since that’s the precious road I’ve walked on for most of my life, but nevertheless if I'm being vulnerable: I was.
Now flash forward four months later and when I come home to a group of crazy giggling Branch St. babes or spend two hours talking about Jesus while eating Halo top ice cream (both are not rare occasions, seriously), I am continually reminded of how naive I was just months ago. Naive to think that somehow the dorm life would have offered me something of more substance than the authentic, wholesome relationships and environment I have right now. And to this day I still don’t know how I got so lucky to spend my first quarter with the group of mature, Godly, friends, mentors and sisters in Christ that I do. All this to say: I am thankful for differing roommate personalities, sleep schedules, diets and habits being, that by God’s grace somehow blend together perfectly.
Blessing #2: My Academics:
Where do I even begin? The quarter system is rigorous, there is no doubt about that. But despite its rigor, in seven stressful, yet fantastic weeks, I have been surrounded with dedicated and inspiring professors, as well as endless opportunities to pursue my passions for learning. When I first transferred to Cal Poly I doubted my passion for Communication Studies after getting the same belittling head nod time and time again after I excitedly declared my major.
But as of right now, I can confidently say that I would choose ten times over to use coupons for the rest of my life, (which believe or not may not happen with a Communication Studies major--shocker right?), so long as I am inspired, intrigued and engaged in a major/career that truly fascinates me with its never ending opportunities.
So in summary, this quarter has shown me that from the course content, research findings/opportunities and unique internships, every aspect of my major truly fascinates me and I want to responsibly use the rare opportunity I have to obtain an education at Cal Poly.
Side note: I am still struggling to accept that my grades do not define me. Thankfully however, with the help of my loving community, (especially my parents-God bless their preserving souls), I am making gigantic strides in terms of learning that I am not defined by my grades, but rather by a combination of far more important influences such as my passion to serve, learn, my involvement with my community, interpersonal relationships, and so much more.
Blessing(s) #3: CRU/Grace Church/Front Porch:
Despite their unique differences, I decided to batch these three blessings together because they all represent the welcoming, inspiring and encouraging Christian community that God has graciously allowed me to be apart of this quarter.
It seems like at any college campus, there is an ever present pressure to conform and engage with the secular world. Many college campuses, (like Cal Poly) are filled with millennials who are obsessed with themselves, and quite honestly, it makes sense. I mean how can your world view not become incredibly narrow if your schedule is filled with essentially all self-focused tasks (i.e. school, work, career prep, extracurriculars, etc.)?
All this to say that until starting at Cal Poly I never grasped how tempting it can be to become obsessed with the vicious self-centered cycle we millennials affectionately refer to as “the hustle.” And for that reason, I am so thankful for the strong, service-orientated and Christ-centered community I am surrounded by this quarter
. I am finally understanding how valuable it is to have a community that continually reminds me that was uniquely created for a purpose that is exceeding more important than my ability to master hustle or popularity, truly is during these peer-pressured years that we call "college."
Well as you can this is a partial update, but until next time (which will be super soon), here are some of my favorite photos from this quarter: