Why am I at college?
I sit here, halfway through my university years, and I can’t keep that question from haunting me.
Why am I really here?
Why did I travel 36 hours from home to spend 4 years at a small campus in the middle of Ohio? Why do I write papers, work long shifts, take tests, eat mediocre cafeteria food, and sleep in the smallest dorm rooms in existence?
There have been times I thought I knew. When I first showed up on campus as a freshman, it was clear: I’m here to get an education. Right? I mean, it’s COLLEGE. That’s what you DO.
Around Christmas break freshman year, my answer was different. As I tried to see through the fog of hormones, it was clear to me: I’m here to find THE ONE. You know.. meet the most wonderful Christian man and have the cutest Instagram-worthy relationship. After all, everyone has always told me that college years are THE YEARS to meet THE ONE. Letting that opportunity slip through my fingers would be idiotic, right??
Fast forward several months, and I found myself stepping back foot on campus to begin my sophomore year. Considering I was a single 19 year old girl who was questioning her major choice, I needed to find a new reason to be here. Without meaning to, my time became about knowing the most people and being the most well known. That’s what I though would make the most mark. And being at college is all about making my mark, right?? Isn’t it about being the funniest, most fashionable, most talented?
Isn’t it all about me? And what people think of me?
That’s why I’m here, right?
In moments of weakness, I thought so. Then I found myself midway through the spring of my Sophomore year. I found myself anxious and lonely and burnt out. Frustrated. Every reason I had to be here fell through.
Grades? I mean, I do well, but I’m not spectacular.
Boyfriend? Nonexistent. Not without pretty pathetic attempts by me to get one, might I add…
Popularity? I can never know enough people to be satisfied.
So why am I here?
Why am I at college?
It’s taken me too long to realize, but now it’s becoming clear. I’m not here for the Facebook status’s or late night McDonalds runs with friends. I’m not here for intramural sports or Pick a Dates. I’m going to be so bold as to say that I’m not even here to get a job or study for tests or get a degree.
Yes, those are all things that come with being at college, and they’re good things.
But they’re not why I’m here.
I’m here to love. Simple as that. I’m on this Earth to love and I’m at college to love. College can get so crazy that if I’m not careful it quickly becomes all about me. But it’s never supposed to be about me- not at college and not anywhere else.
I’m not here to simply spend 4 years in classes and walk across a stage to get a diploma. I’m here to hug a hurting friend. I’m here to hear stories and share mine. I’m here for the 5 minutes in the coffee line when I get to hear about someone’s day. I’m here for the dinner dates that turn into excuses to cry. For the quiet moments to myself when God reminds me who I am in His eyes. For the laughter I share with hall-mates at 7 in the morning.
I’m here for moments.
And I pray that you are too. I beg you to look closely at the reason for your life. Is it to sit back and enjoy and hope to make some kind of difference along the way? Is that why you live? If you find yourself answering “yes”, then bring that to God. Take your selfish ideas out of your heart and give them to Him. He wants you to have life abundantly- life that matters. I can tell you from experience.
When we give our lives to God, He takes every meaningless moment and gives it life. In these last couple of years, He has reminded me who I am. He has shown me how much I’m loved. He has shown me the work He has me to do. And He has reminded me the real reason I’m at college. Because of Him, I know…
Why I’m even here in the first place.