Senior Year Reflections

I meant to do this post in May, but summer caught me of guard! ❤

I have learned so much in this past year! Today I am going to share my journey through senior year with y’all! (Please read through the end)

I’ll start at the beginning! August 2016 started the toughest, most trying year of my life so far. I knew right off the bat that this year was going to be hard, but I never imagined it would be as hard as it was!

Anyway, it started with my sister graduating high school and going to college 6 hours away from home. We are a year and a half apart in age and basically been together all our lives! So needless to say we are very close. I lost my best friend (besides Jesus). I felt I didn’t have anyone to hang out with, talk to, or do “sister things” with. Sure, she came home through out the year, but that wasn’t enough for me!

And then coming back home from helping my sister move in I started schoolwork. I don’t even like to think about it. The first class I started was Physics. Now for those of you who don’t know I was homeschooled through senior year, so I mainly taught myself at this point. Physics. Ugh, I never want to see that book again! I read the first chapter, which the author said was the easy chapter, and thought ‘I’m going to fail’. It was so confusing! I’ve never been a technical person, or a math equation/formula person. Throwing me into all of this was so overwhelming! Me and physics did NOT get along. At the same time I started my first (and last) dual credit class. I thought it was going to be easy, until I took the first test/quiz and almost failed it!

On top of all of my school work, I worked over 20 hours each week. That took time out of my weeks that I could have been doing school work. So now I was always either doing schoolwork or working ALL THE TIME.  I didn’t want to cut my hours at work, because I felt I would let them down. And I ended up doing schoolwork until 10 or 11pm every night. I needless to say I got stressed out, BIG TIME. Before this time I never knew what stress felt like, so I didn’t know how to handle it; making the whole “stressed out” part, worse.

Then 2017 hit. More chaos, more stress, more worry, and more challenges. In February college prep hit fast and hard. I had to audition for the music department at 2 colleges. I was stressed out in general because I lack self confidence in my abilities. I had only been working on these songs for a month too, and they were musical theatre songs! I had NEVER sang a musical theatre song before! That made me even more nervous. And then the long waiting process, to see if I even get accepted! UGH! How much more stressful could it get!

March, April, and May didn’t get much easier! I was so behind on my schoolwork that I wasn’t going to finish before my graduation on May 20th. Through all of this my positivity and faith went down the drain. I got upset easily and snapped at my family and friends. All I wanted to do was graduate. Lastly I realized how inadequate I was at church. I was leading a small group, on the worship team, and in a leader position being one of two seniors in youth. I knew how inadequate I was to be doing any of that. I couldn’t even keep myself and my faith together. How was I supposed to help them?!

BUT…

This is not the end of the story!

Yes, my sister left and I felt alone, BUT I learned how precious friends and family are. And I was able to learn more about myself and grow into who God has made me to be.

Yes, I struggled with my school work, BUT I learned to cut out distractions, focus, and how to ask for help. It all paid off in the end; I passed all my classes!

Yes, working over 20 hours a week was hard, BUT I learned how to communicate with others, be dedicated to a job, be patient, multitask, and serve others. I also gained so many amazing friends out of my co-workers!

Yes, college prep and auditions were nerve racking and stressful, BUT I got accepted to the music program and am so excited to see what God has planned for me in the fall! To read more about this experience click here!

Yes, I almost gave up with schoolwork because of stress, BUT Beach Trip in November 2016 came where I learned how to show reckless love to others, and learned how God can be my peace in all the stress and chaos of life! And my youth group became more than a group, they became family!

Yes, I lacked self confidence and was afraid of others judging me, BUT I had my first performance in December 2016 and learned how to be confident in the talents and gifts God has given me! Since then I have sang for more people, and have had more opportunities to use my talent to serve the Lord!

Yes, I dreaded 2017, worried that more stress would come upon me (which it did), BUT in January my youth pastor spoke on a sermon called Renew Year, and I learned how to celebrate the life I live, and live every day like it is my last. To read more about this click here!

Yes, I felt inadequate to be a leader in youth, BUT I learned that maybe the reason God put me there was for me to learn from them! They have ministered to me more than they know! They have encouraged, inspired, and completely amazed me in these past 10 months!

Yes, I didn’t believe that I could possibly finish all my schoolwork before graduation, BUT I graduated! I graduated on May 20th, and learned that closing one chapter of your life might not be easy, but God will always be there for me (and you)!

Yes, I struggled in my faith, BUT I learned how I (and you) can accomplish ANYTHING with God by my (and your) side!

As I close this chapter of my life I look back and yes, I see the stress, chaos, and pain of this past year, BUT I choose to focus on what I have learned and how God has changed me! My prayer is that I will continue to grow this next year in this new chapter of my life, and see what amazing opportunities God will place before me. Whether I am on a hill or in a valley I am NOT alone!

❤ Mandie

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