It’s the middle of my last semester of college. I’m working on my capstone project for a show in the auditorium at the center of campus that smells of old wood and carpet cleaner. Deadlines for big projects are drawing closer by the minute. Applications for grad school lurk on my laptop bookmarks. I’m holding down two jobs to save enough money for a study-abroad trip to Europe beginning five days after graduation. I still haven’t ordered my regalia. In the midst of the hustle and bustle, I barely have time to grasp the fact that I am becoming an adult. I am an adult, but I sure don’t feel like it.

In high school I thought I would have it all together once I was in college. I would have a boyfriend, live in an apartment, and be set on my career. Now—at twenty-two years old—I’m still single, living with my parents, and trying to figure out what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. Kind of a disappointment to myself, right?

After almost four years of college, I’ve never gone out with a guy besides two Artist Series dates my freshman year. Whenever my friends would start dating or get engaged, I felt that flicker of jealousy and quietly asked, “God, why not me?” Looking back on my early college years, I realize that I didn’t need a boyfriend during those times. God gave me incredible friends and mentors who have helped me and shaped me to be the person I am today, and a romantic relationship, most likely, would have hindered that growth. Some people find their person when they’re younger, and that’s okay. I’m learning that I’m just not one of those people. As nice as it would be to meet a guy and marry him a year later, I realize that a slow relationship that allows for individual growth on both sides is more appealing to me. God has taught me through college the importance of being patient in a season of waiting and the blessings that come with that. As I grow, I’m learning to be thankful.

When I was in high school, one of my best friends and I were determined to get an apartment together after our sophomore year of college; however, those plans changed when the COVID-19 pandemic hit senior year of high school, and she got engaged the summer after freshman year. All that time looking at wooden furniture and patterned wallpaper seemed to be for nothing. Inflation rises, and people fall in love. That’s life. During my sophomore year, there were so many changes that would’ve made it almost impossible to live on my own. I went through a pretty dark time that year, and I needed my family to be there to support me through it. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how much of a blessing it is to live with my family. They are my support system. I’m learning to cherish these moments that I often take for granted while living at home—my brothers making dumb jokes, my dad jamming out to ’80s music while doing chores, having conversations with my mom and sister while the dog begs for our chocolate chip cookies, etcetera. There will be a day when I won’t be able to see my parents or my siblings as much as I see them now. Even though they can all be annoying at times, I still love them and want to keep making memories with them while I’m at home.

When I was in ninth grade, my dream was to win an Oscar. To be honest, I still have that dream. Film is one of my favorite art forms, and I want to get more involved in it. I even have a very rough first draft of a screenplay I’ve been working on since senior year of high school. However, I don’t know if that dream is even possible; but the Lord has laid more dreams on my heart. He gave me the passion to tell stories. I’d like to continue doing that, whether that’s through film, theater, or writing—maybe all three. The grad school applications I’m looking at are for an MFA in creative writing. I know that’s a step in the right direction. Recently I discovered that I also have a heart for ministry regarding those who struggle with sexual sin and LGBTQ+ ideology in the church. There isn’t much I’ve heard about this type of ministry, even in Christian circles. With the number of people who struggle with these sins and the lack of information to help them, I know something has to change. Currently, I’m working on finding more research on these topics, as well as talking with people about this ministry. I may not know what career path I want to take, but I do know the stirrings in my heart that come from my great God are there for a reason.  

I still have a few weeks left of college, and there’s still time for things to happen in between homework, study-abroad meetings, and painting chairs for Our Town. Maybe I’ll get coffee with that cute guy I want to get to know more. Maybe I’ll move to a different place for grad school. Maybe I’ll win that Oscar or start a ministry—or both. Maybe none of those things will happen, but something better and more beautiful than what I can imagine will happen instead. Looking back on these past four years, I’m sad to see this time in my life draw to a close, and yet I’m excited to step forward into what Belle calls it in Beauty and the Beast: “the great, wide somewhere.”