Summoning the courage to face the unknown

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing.

I realized this as I was thinking about leaving home, starting college and my inability to drive to Truman State University by myself.

At first, I was excited. I probably congratulated myself a bit too pompously for my impressive, courageous spirit of adventure, unafraid to tackle the world -- or at least the far reaches of Kirksville, Mo. As move-in day draws closer, though, I find myself trying to summon -- a bit more humbly this time -- that same daring spirit. Because after thinking extensively on the subject, I've also realized I don't know how to find friends among 5,000 people or how to use art supplies -- which is a problem for us non-artists taking a Drawing I class.

I've realized I don't even know if I'll like being at Truman, which is four-and-a-half hours away from this taken-for-granted place called home.

I would much rather feel over-the-top excited or puking nervous than this fear and apprehension (although my preference might change if said vomit was spewed over one of the football players helping us move in on Saturday). I know that the excited and hopeful feelings are there; they're just being eclipsed by me freaking out at this moment.

Despite this uncertain future, there are a few things I do know.

I have two roommates who seem cool and excited to be freshmen at Truman. We've bonded over a shared appreciation for the color pink and girlie patterns.

My suitcases are going to be heavy. What started out as a corner of my room for college supplies has turned into a bulging mess overtaking my entire living space. Walmart and Target can probably raise their workers' salaries thanks to my consumption of dorm room necessities.

God is holding my hand leading me into this. He loves me and isn't going to harm me. He's promised plans for a future of hope and prosperity.

To my fellow freshmen trying to make a room the size of their closet feel like home, to our families trying to make an emptier house feel like home and to anyone embarking on a new adventure, here's to plunging head-first into an unknown future, no holding back fears, doubts, courage, excitement, hopes or dreams. Here's to having absolutely no idea what we're doing, but relying on a God who has every detail carefully planned and to whom we are more precious than the stars.

I'll be trying to trust God, let my excitement shine through, and not barf on any football players. That's something I'll raise my cup of ramen to.

Mia Pohlman graduated in May from Perryville High School, where she wrote a monthly column about being a high school senior. She will continue her column through her first year at Truman State University.

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