Last week I shared how I decided on Southeastern University when it came time to choose a college.
At the time, it was the scariest decision I’d ever made in my life. I was (and am) a homebody, and I had never once even considered leaving my home state of Minnesota for school, much less moving 2,000 miles away. I had never even driven to the Twin Cities by myself before, and now I was packing up my car and committing to spend the next two years of my life in the Sunshine State.
As most transitions are, it was hard at first. I missed home, I was adjusting to sharing a room for the first time, and the one friend I’d planned on had decided last-minute not to enroll that semester, so I was also lonely.
I’m not gonna lie: I cried a lot that first semester. I think I probably cried a lot those first three semesters!
But as time went on, it all got better. I made friends, all the fun things to do in Florida helped with the homesickness (hello, beautiful beaches and the most magical place on earth!), and by my second year at SEU I even got my own room! Oh, and I didn’t hate the year-round sunshine, either. 😊
By my final semester there, I really started to feel at home. I finally felt like I belonged – I had close friends, I was involved with several clubs, and I liked my classes for the most part. (I had some really great professors and subjects I actually enjoyed!) I knew this was the right place for me.
I went from feeling sad all the time because I missed home my first semester to feeling sad at the thought of leaving as graduation neared. Leaving my friends, my favorite beaches, the magic that is Disney, the buffalo chicken wraps in the cafeteria, and the sunny climate.
I also really appreciated the spiritual climate at SEU. Although I had been raised Assemblies of God and these beliefs were not new to me, I grew a lot in my faith during my two years at Southeastern, and I know I wouldn’t have experienced that growth if I’d attended any other school. Sure, the mandatory chapels were annoying when I wanted to sleep in (so, every time 😉), but being surrounded by like-minded students and professors who prayed was invaluable. I think I was challenged to grow spiritually just as much (or more) by my friends as I was by the staff there.
SEU truly prepared me for the next season of my life. I got the degree there, which is the only thing I thought mattered, but I also got the best friends I’d ever had, two years of fun adventures, and, most importantly, a faith that was a lot stronger than it had been when I started.
Was it hard? Yes. Was it scary? Yes.
But was it worth it?
I’d go back and choose SEU every time. Even though my season there feels like a lifetime ago and I know I’ve changed so much since I left, I’d still choose the same school if I was making the decision today, and I’m so grateful I did then.
I wouldn’t have experienced the same growth – I wouldn’t have gone through the necessary process of truly becoming me – anywhere else, and God knew that. He opened the doors for me to attend Southeastern University, I very hesitantly tiptoed through them, and I am very glad I did.
Lesson learned: choosing God’s way is always the right decision, even when it’s scary and hard at first. God’s plan is the best plan and, for me, SEU was that plan! It remains to this day one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.