Wow. I just finished my Junior year of college. I never thought I’d make it out to make that statement… Junior year…
It is accurate to say that junior year, especially the second semester, was one of the hardest times in my life, not just in college. At one point (at least), I was spiritually dry, mentally bound, physically challenged, and/or academically taxed.
Junior year is the year that I changed my outlook, the year that I learned new lessons, and the year that I learned more than I ever have before.
When people say that junior year is the hardest year of college, don’t brush it off, because it’s 100% true. Looking back, freshman and sophomore year were a breeze compared to this year.
Junior year is hard. It really is. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not good.
Junior year was the year that I found my true and best friends. Junior year was the year where I discovered my passions. Junior year was the year that I became a whole lot stronger in my faith. Junior year was the year where I learned how to teach kids.
All throughout this year, I was taught by my professors to reflect. Reflect on everything. Therefore, I’m reflecting… If my professors ever read this, hi there! I’m reflecting- aren’t you proud?!
The most noticeable difference between Junior year and the years prior was the work load. This year was just my education classes, so I was not taking any general education classes this time around. Academically, junior year was very strenuous. There were projects upon projects and deadlines day after day. Our teachers really challenged us (in a good way) and pushed us to our limits.
Going into junior year, I really didn’t have that spark or passion to teach, but coming out of junior year, I can say that I am excited to teach and I am confident in that ability. My teachers taught me how to think like a teacher… My friend Julia and I were laughing because at the beginning of the semester, our teachers said it was their goal to change the way we think in order for us to think like a teacher. Considering Julia was noting the McREL strategies her pastor used in church, I think it’s safe to say that we are definitely thinking like teachers!
My teachers have been such a blessing as they have supported us and they have cared for us. Yes, there were times where they were not my favorite people on Earth, but now I can say that I am incredibly thankful for them. You can’t change or grow unless you are pushed and challenged. Although I thought I wouldn’t finish all of the assignments and projects, I did it and made it out alive!
If you are going into your junior year, know that academically, it will be the hardest year for you (most likely), but it will be the most rewarding. Put in the effort to get the results. Y’all, I am excited to teach and to have my own classroom. I don’t think that I could say that at the start of this year. God is just so faithful through everything!
I have touched on my spiritual life throughout this semester through blog posts, but all in all, spiritually, it was hard. It was hard finding God in the midst of the crazy. It was hard seeing the good in the trials and it was easy to dwell in the darkness. It was around February where I was at my lowest spiritually and I felt almost numb. I couldn’t see God nor did I want to. I just wanted to live my sinful life, rejecting God and His goodness so that my life could go as I planned it…
With the help of my sweet friends, prayer healed and helped me get through that tough trial. Just like academics, I was pushed and challenged, but I was also greatly rewarded. Ever since that low point, I can’t say that everyday has been perfect or even near perfect, but I have seen God’s goodness throughout it all. I can clearly see how good He is, how well He loves, and how He is always there.
If you need some encouragement in the form of a song, I recommend NEEDTOBREATHE’s “Testify” and Ellie Holcomb’s “Find You Here,” “Living Water,” and “He Will.” These songs truly helped me through this semester, reminding me of God’s goodness and presence in all things.
That’s all for now! Stay tuned for the next post where I finish up my recap of junior year! In the next post I will tell how junior year affected me physically and mentally as well as my favorite memories from this year.
Make sure you read that post that will go up on Wednesday to get the whole reflection of my time spent at Samford for my junior year of college!