December 8, 2016

Help! I'm Not Going to College!

If that post title didn't get your attention, I don't know what will. :P

But calm down. It's not that desperate. No, my parents are not locking me in the tower, refusing to let me continue my education. I'm not one of those girls in the movies who yearn to go to college, despite the shocked disapproval of friends and family.

Nope, I simply don't want to go. 

New trendy GIF/ Giphy. omg shocked karen gillan gasp focus world in a valley of violence. Let like/ repin/ follow @cutephonecases

I know several of my blog readers/friends are girls who have decided to forgo the traditional route of going to college immediately after high school. In fact, they've decided not to go at all. I know even more bloggers (not readers/friend heh heh)  who also have done that. So, I know I'm not alone in this venture.

I'm not against college. I certainly don't think other girls (or guys, for that matter) are wrong to go to college; yes, I've thought about going to college; yes, sometimes I wish I were going to college! But, for right now at least, I don't plan on going. (I have seriously thought about doing some college classes locally or online, but for right now, that's not in my immediate plans, either.)

The reason for this post is not to defend my stance or to argue college vs. no college or anything like that. But I really would love some advice. Some ideas. Some encouragement. If any of you non-college people out there have some of that, I would love to hear from you. (College-people are welcome, too, although you might not be able to relate as much. :P)

I've had a pretty tough time getting adjusted to life without the pressure of schoolwork. Rest assured, I haven't been sitting around twiddling my thumbs, but there have been moments where I sit and wonder what in the world I'm doing, because I feel entirely lost as to my "purpose" anymore.

I don't mean my purpose in living. I know what my real purpose is. It's to glorify my King and Savior, Jesus Christ. It's to obey Him and love Him, and hopefully help point some people toward Him.

But life also consists of work. Of making goals, of completing goals, of dreaming and trying and failing and trying again. Being in high school was simple. "Don't worry about anything past the next four years because you're relatively stuck until you finish your education anyways." And I did. Now I'm as free as an aquarium fish released into the ocean and I'm like....whaaat do I doooooo.
Image result for nemo gif now what

I actually told my mom just yesterday that not only did I really enjoy NaNoWriMo, I think it helped me define a goal. I want to finish my book. I want to publish it. And then, maybe publish another. 

It'll take a lot of work, a lot of time, and a lot of energy, but I want to do it. It's possible. And, Lord willing, I'm going to do it.

And that's only one of the ways I plan to keep myself busy. Just because I'm not going to college and am done with high school doesn't mean I can't still learn. There are so many books I want to read. Especially nonfiction.  I want to make myself sit down and LEARN those hard pieces of music on the piano. I want to cook more food. I want to try out for a play or musical. I want to get a job and earn some money so I can travel and visit blogging friends (haha) (no, seriously, though). I want to continue to study photography. I want to expand my horizons and try new things and learn not to be afraid of making mistakes, because that IS how we learn.

But in the meantime, I'm sure I'll still have days where I lament my lack of a social life (blogging IS my social life....) and wonder if maybe I should be going to college "like everybody else".


It's hard seeing most of the people your age going off on their exciting college adventure  (although I know most people say college is anything but fun after the first year or so haha) while you're stuck at home, like you have been ever since childhood. It's hard seeing others get to be independent, make new friends, and basically be part of a world you know nothing about.

But I know that deep down I don't want to go.  At least not yet. I like being different, and I like to be able to do what I love without spending a ton of money and moving away from home for four years (I'm kind of a contradiction, aren't I? First I say I'm stuck at home, then I say I don't want to leave home. See why I have such trouble? I'm hopeless). A lot of what I yearn to do does NOT require a college degree, and I've seen some people become very successful in those fields without one. It is possible to survive in life without going to college. Not going to college doesn't mean I'll be working at McDonald's.

very true.:


For all of you readers (I keep refraining from saying "girls", although I'm pretty sure 99% of my readers are females)  who didn't go to college I'd love to hear what your personal stories are.

What made you decide not to go to college? 
Did you ever feel purposeless after finishing high school? 
Was it hard seeing other people your age going off to college without you? 
Was it hard for friends or family to understand why you weren't going?
What were avenues you found to explore that helped you get out of your comfort zone and try new things, all while still living at home?
Do you have any encouraging words of wisdom??

Well. I'd better go now. I'm not sure if this post makes any sense, but if you're here, thank you for reading my ramblings. Life is amazing. I wouldn't want it all laid out like a map in front of me. I love the adventure and surprise that it brings, but I admit that I struggle with being content in all the situations God puts me in. 


I really like this song right now. I know some people probably think I won't get anywhere in life by not going to college, but that's okay. In the end, nothing matters more than trusting God no matter what, and I plan on doing that. Even when my life is nothing but a HUGE question mark. :D

Okay, I really must end this. Right now I should be making some tortilla wraps so we have food for dinner tonight.
(.....for tacos. We're not eating JUST tortillas. :P)

Please don't be afraid to spam my comment box, but keep it kind and encouraging, my friends. :)

32 comments:

  1. Hey, I am NOT about to tell you you *should* be going to college, just because it's what everybody else is doing! I went to college because I really WANTED to, and I had a specific goal that required a college education; and it's been an amazing experience for me, but I certainly don't advocate it for everybody. You do you, and I'll do me :-)

    Getting a job would certainly help you feel more structure, I think, like you were saying. I love my job at the tutoring center (my first real one, besides babysitting and such) because it means I'm earning money and "adulting" and having responsibilities and it basically feels pretty nice. So that's something. (Ohhhhhh, here's an idea: Maybe you could work in a public library! That would be a fantastic job!)

    And your goal of being a writer is awesome!!!!!! Go for it, girl!! And now that you're not in school, you have time to write lots and lots, and practice, and get really good at it . . . (Something I do wish I had, sometimes, too. But I love grad school so I think I'll stick with it.)

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    1. Totally agree with Jessica here! I'm currently at uni as I wish to gain my PhD and eventually become an academic or teacher, probably the latter. Uni isn't for everyone and I know some of my school friends who have decided not to go or have decided not to continue.

      Whatever you decide to do my friend I will support you in it :-) love the layout dear!
      Sorry that sounded so teacherish!

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    2. Jessica,
      Haha, thanks! I wish your response was the one I ALWAYS get when I tell people I'm not going. ;) Yes, indeed. I think your reasons for going to college are really cool, and when someone's pursuing something they love and/or really want I think that's just plain fantastic.

      Exactly!! "Adulting". Haha. Definitely something I want to work on. :'D (Ahh, you read my mind. The library is actually one of the two places I've been considering applying for a job. I have the application printed and almost filled out...I just gotta send it in!)

      Aww, thanks! It means so much when people encourage my writing. Thank you. :D

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    3. Evie,
      I think that's amazing, Evie. The world needs more fantastic teachers! And I'm sure you'll be great!

      Awww, thank you. I appreciate your support SO much!
      (Heehee, not at all. ;) And besides, you might as well practice, right?)

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    4. DO THE LIBRARY THING. JUST DO IT. Seriously, I think it would be a great fit for you :-)

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    5. I'm 99% sure I'm going to, this coming January. :D

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  2. I had my thoughts all ready, and then my eyes fell on that picture of the soldier in the snow. :) I think I need somebody to revive me, 'cuz there is just SO MUCH STORY IN IT!!!!!

    Anyway... there is also so much in this post! I'm at a really, really similar place in life right now and hearing that someone understands is very nice. :) You may be sure we are here to talk whenever you need to, girl. :)

    And the blog look, I love it, A LOT.

    Also, the photo of you is stunning!

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    1. Isn't there, though? I fell in love when I found that photo on Pinterest. :) (I'm sorry it distracted you, though! ;))

      Awww, thank you, Eowyn! *hugs* I'm sorry you're in a similar spot, but I'm happy you understand. Hopefully we can encourage each other through the process. :)

      Thank you so much!! :D

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  3. I'm glad you know what you want to do! I always wanted to further my education, but not necessarily go to college. I definitely got some pressure from outsiders about NOT going to college. I'm twenty one now, and I just started going to college in August. I wouldn't have gone, except I'm pursuing a medical career, and ya kinda have to go to college for that ;)

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    1. Thank you, Morg! Ahh yes, pressure from outsiders is hard. I haven't gotten TOO much of that, thankfully, but I definitely get a lot of strange looks and mystified replies of "oh...." when I say I'm not going. ;)
      It's always encouraging to hear of people who didn't go to college right after high school. Good luck with your medical career! And thanks for your comment. :)

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  4. I prooooobably shouldn't relate to this this much because 1. I'm still in my last year of being homeschooled and 2. I am going to college next year. (In Belgium it's basically impossible to ever achieve anything without a university degree; it's not like America. Also, it's way cheaper here; like, way. :-) And well, also, I want to go. ;-))
    HOWEVER. Due to my imagination, I can relate to this. In fact, as I read this it felt very relatable. Especially because I've recently felt that way, being homeschooled, sometimes. Not that I don't know what to do, because school definitely keeps me busy, but you know, IS MY LIFE AS EXCITING AS OTHER PEOPLES????? :-P
    Sooooo that said, I'm going to pretend to be wise and give you 'advice.' If I were in your position, I'd help out in Church on Sundays - could you do some volunteer work there? Like, regularly play the piano? Or help in Sunday school? :-) Suggest it; that'll be one thing.
    Like Jessica said, I also think a job will help you get more purpose. It doesn't have to be every day of the week... but it'll definitely keep you busy. (*thinks about the holiday job I had at the old people's home* Yeah, it'll keep you busy.) AND THEN YOU CAN COME VISIT MEEE. :-)
    HOBBIES, duhhhhh.
    And there are other ways to socialise! ;-) Finding 'real-life' friends IS important though, but you don't have to go to college for that! ;-) It'll require more of an effort though.... I agree.
    Some sort of online class, like you said, would keep busy. :-)
    Anyways, I'll stop this email of a comment. :-P I loved this post; and how real you were and for some odd reason I can relate to this. Keep on making an effort to be busy and useful, and keep on being different. ;-)
    PS Tortilla wraps are my favourite.

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    1. Well, it certainly sounds like going to college in Belgium is way easier in the sense of there being no choice and a lot less money involved! And that's great that you want to go. :D

      Heehee. Anne Shirley would be proud. ;) (Using your imagination, I mean.) YES. I wonder that all the time. I mean, I KNOW it's not as exciting as other people's. That doesn't make it any less nice or happy, but still. It's different. I don't have loads of friends from school and tons of social engagements and the like.

      I love your suggestions. :) I've thought about some of them before, actually. I used to regularly play the piano at our old church, but we're attending a new (bigger) one and I'm not sure if I feel comfortable volunteering yet. :P I'm definitely looking into a job soon.
      YES. I want to come to Belgium so much. :D

      Awww, thank you for your "email of a comment". ;) I really enjoyed it and loved everything you said! Thanks for being so encouraging, Naomi. *hugs*
      PS. Mine too!

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  5. Currently I'm not in college. Not against it just never saw a need to go. That might change in the future and God might lead me in a totally different direction but as of right now I have no desire to go. I still want to learn though (if that makes sense). Love studying history, literature, and music. I've been teaching piano since highschool and now also shoot photo sessions for people, but sometimes it can be difficult not to look at people my age and think: she works so much harder and will be so much more successful than me. Basically it's a pride thing but hopefully you can relate.
    Love your blog. I've been reading it for awhile but don't know if I've ever commented before!

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    1. Your situation sounds so much like my own! I totally relate to wanting to still learn. I too love history, literature, and music. Ooh, you teach piano? That's so cool. I've sometimes wondered if I could do that someday, but it'd have to be beginners. I'm not that good. :P And I love photography, too!

      Yes, I totally relate. I think it's very easy for pride to creep into my feelings about my future...especially when I feel as if people won't think well of me for not having a "successful" career. But, I'd much rather live my life in a way that makes me happy. Not in a way that's "successful" to the world. :)
      Aww, thank you! I'm really glad you commented!

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  6. I'm in my senior year of high school and thinking about the same things, Naomi! I will, in essence, take a "gap-year" to work, finish up studies, travel, and discern whether I'm called to go to college or not. Stay strong and follow Jesus!

    Love your Christmas theme! Do tell how you got the falling snow! I can't seem to get it to work over in my corner of the world!

    Blessings,
    Sarah

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    1. Gap years are great ideas, I think. :) (I'm not sure if your were referring to Naomi in the comments section, but my name is Natalie. ;)) Thank you!!

      Aww, glad you like it! Here's the link to the site I used for the snow. :) http://www.helperblogger.com/2014/12/snow-effect-for-blogger.html

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    2. Hahahaha, two people called you Naomi. I guess it's those confusing N-names? ;-P

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  7. I can TOTALLY relate to this. Like right now. At this point in my life. I don't regret not going to college, and I'm not seriously thinking of going, but I do sometimes think it would be a cool experience. (Mostly for the friendships you can make there, not so much for the school work. heehee.) I'm definitely in the same boat as you with regards to a social life. (What IS a social life, anyway? ;)) "It's hard seeing others get to be independent, make new friends, and basically be part of a world you know nothing about." Aw. I hear ya. But college isn't the only way to make friends and experience life. It really isn't.

    I think if you got a job that would help a lot. I know my sisters got a lot more independent and confident, and made lots of friends, when they finally got their own cars and started working. But remember, too, in every stage of life you're going to have moments of feeling aimless and questioning what your purpose is. So don't feel like you're wasting your time right now simply because you're not doing something "big" with your life. After all, it's the little things that go to making up the "big" things. God knows where He's taking you, even if it seems like you're going nowhere. :)

    But about that job...yeah. I really do think it would be a good idea for you to get a job. Especially if it provides you with money so you can travel and see people...like MEEEE! (hint, hint, wink, wink.) :D

    Keep being different, Natalie. Keep walking the road God has placed before you. He won't let you go wrong. :)

    Love you, friend! *hugs*

    P.S. The opening to this post was awesome. "No, my parents are not locking me in the tower, refusing to let me continue my education. I'm not one of those girls in the movies who yearn to go to college, despite the shocked disapproval of friends and family." Haha. And that gif!! ;)

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    1. Aww, I'm sorry you can relate, Miss March. (But, you know...glad I'm not alone. ;)) Heehee, I know what you mean. And ahh yes, the elusive social life. :P
      True. It's just definitely a lot harder.

      It's really encouraging to hear that your sisters found it helpful when they got jobs. Awwww. Thanks for the encouragement. All that you said is so true!

      Heehee. Everyone wants me to get a job! (But I do, too, so it works out.)
      And YES. Like so much yes. You and I need to meet, and soon. :D

      THANK YOU, my friend! You're always such an encouragement to me. *hugs back*

      PS. Hahaha, I'm really glad you enjoyed that. :D

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  8. YES. THIS POST. :) It was EXCELLENT!!!!

    I'm still in school, and heck, I'm only 15, but I can't see myself going to university either. But I can so easily imagine what you're going through, because I often imagine what it'll be like when I finish school! And as well, I have two older sisters who finished school years ago and never went to uni. :)
    (ALSO. THAT FINDING NEMO GIF IS HILARIOUS.)
    Everything you said I agree with! In fact, what you were saying sums up pretty much what I've been thinking. I think not going to uni (or college ;)) leaves a girl open to do things you wouldn't have done otherwise. (Even if she had a full time job, as well. Part time jobs, I think, are a great idea.) I know for a fact my sisters have been able to help out so many people simply because they weren't caught up in studying or their work. They were more flexible and available to people. And that wasn't an easy choice - even myself have been pressured by family/friends to get a good career for myself. (Personally, I don't think I'd have the brains. ;P)

    (Going by the gifs in this post, you and I like a lot of the same cartoon movies. ;D)

    And I can also relate to the social life thing... as do my older sisters. ;) It's hard! Being homeschooled, not gonig to university, (going to 'church' where there aren't really that many young people)... it can make one feel a bit deflated, and left wondering, "So where are all the fun people in this world?!!" :P At least, for me, it does. (I'm an exrovert. I suffer from that more than my sisters. ;))

    "I do many things well, none of which generate income." HAHA. You hit the nail on the head!

    Okay, so 3 more things:
    One, I love Hunter Hayes so OBVIOUSLY I loved that song. :D
    Two, I think talking it over with your parents really helps. Getting support from your friends and family is helpful, and I know my sisters and I get that from our parents. :) Also, keeping busy is great! (But not TOO busy. ;)) As a brief outline, my elder sisters have been working at a farm for the 6 month season it runs, and they play music at concerts and bush dances and markets, and they work on their horses (they do 'natural horsemanship' with Parelli, if that makes any difference :P) and are planning on buying horses, training them and selling them. One of my sisters sells custom drawings on Etsy, and is also hoping to teach violin and piano to private students. We're all 3 planning on taking a barista course in January, which qualifies you to be a barista, as there are a lot of jobs like that around here at the moment, and you can easily get part-time ones, y'know. :) Just some ideas, to show how my family manages! (Of course, we all help with the washing, cleaning and cooking, too, which takes up more time than people realize, especially for 8 people. :P)
    Three, this post was very well written and I loved reading it!

    ~Miss Meg

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    1. Thanks, Miss Meg! :D

      You too? Cool! That must help having two older sisters who have "gone before" you, so to speak. :D They must have lots of advice and wisdom. ;)
      (ISN'T IT THOUGH? :D)

      So true! There's definitely so many avenues to explore by not going to college that you might not otherwise have time for. Aww, that's too bad you've gotten pressure from people. But don't worry! Do what's right for YOU and you alone. Don't worry about other people's expectations (other than, you know, maybe just taking advice from your immediate family. ;)) because you'll never make EVERYONE happy. I'm learning to not worry so much what other people think--it's hard, but worth it.
      Aww, I'm sure you'd be great at any job you put your mind to! :)

      (Hee! Pixar movies are the best. :D)

      We don't attend a church with many young people, either! I'm here to sympathize about the social life. Haha! I KNOW where all the fun people are in the world....they're right here, in the blogosphere! If only we weren't all spread out around the globe! :(

      DEFINITELY talking with my parents is the best. My mom is like my support system. :) And ooh, thanks for sharing your sisters' schedule! It's really insightful to see how others in the same boat operate. And hahaha! YES! Keeping the house up definitely take more time than people realize.
      Thank you SO much, my friend! I really appreciate your thoughts. :D

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  9. GREAT post, Natalie....reading your thoughts/feelings on this was encouraging for me because I've been thinking about and experiencing a lot of the same lately. Whatever you choose to do right now, I hope you find enjoyment and fulfillment in it. :-)

    (And Hunter Hayes always makes life better.)

    ~Emma

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    1. Aww, thanks, Emma! I'll keep you in my prayers. I hope your after-high school adventures are amazing and fulfilling for you, too! :)

      I haven't listened to a lot of his songs, but maybe I should. :D

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  10. Naomi, that was lovely! I totally and completely get where you're coming from, dear! I'm currently finishing up my junior year of homeschool and can really relate to your dilemma :) Life is hard, and it's my personal opinion that there is a crazy amount of pressure put on young women to go out into the world professionally. There's nothing wrong with women going to college, but conversely there is also nothing wrong with not going! That's the decision I've made for myself and if that is what you think is best for you, I say go for it! You're amazing!

    As a side note, I've been following your blog for a while now and love it! Whatever you do, keep writing, you are so good at it! :)

    ~Emma ♥

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    1. Hello Emma!
      Just to preface, my name is Natalie, not Naomi. ;)
      Ooh, good job on finishing up your junior year! I hope your senior year is fantastic. :D Haha, you said it. Life is definitely hard. And YES, EXACTLY! I totally agree. Not *too* long ago, going to college (for women) was such a privilege, and certainly not expected. I'm certainly glad we as women have college as an option now, but it's sad that there is SO much pressure TO go. I think both men and women should be able to make the choice to skip college, if that's what they want to do.

      Aww, really? You are too sweet! Thank you so much for commenting! I love meeting new readers. :)

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  11. Good call!! If you don't have a specific goal in mind, I think it's a HUGE waste of money (not to mention time) to just hop on into college just to go with the flow. Most people know that's my opinion. :)

    And I didn't do it myself, even though I'm in college now-- but STILL not for a BA. I'm just getting a humble lil' secretarial certificate (it's not called that but I want to call it that because I am old-fashioned), and then perhaps moving on to pursue some music and/or theatre before I settle into a career.

    There IS one thing I would change, if I could go back-- and that is, I would have taken at least one college course per semester, if I wasn't doing anything else. Especially if you can get financial aid to pay for a good chunk of it. Because any amount of college looks better to employers than no amount at all, and it can be oh-so-tough to get a job with no experience in anything. They also like to see that you're doing it currently.

    And it's easy enough to find *classes* you're interested in (like writing!) even if there's not a degree you want.

    I just kind of look back on my first year out of high school like... what exactly was I doing with my life? o.O And it seems a little silly. I'm not necessarily recommending that to you, just mentioning my only regret now, five years later from where you currently stand. :)

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    1. Thanks, Melody! And eek, yes. I totally agree about it being a waste of money/time if I don't have a purpose in going.

      Your plan sounds really great. And hahaha. I'd probably call it that, too. ;) Good luck with all your pursuits! I hope it's really enjoyable and fulfilling for you. :D

      Hmm, that is an idea. Thank you for sharing it! I love hearing how people who've chosen the no-college route are faring, and what they'd change if they could. :)

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  12. Hi, I'm Emily, and I relate to everything you've just lamented. :)

    I am going to college because I want to, but I haven't started yet. I know that "stuck" feeling. And there was definitely a time when I didn't really want to go, and I've spent extended periods of time encapsulated by everything you just described. I also fully relate to feeling like life is just flying purposelessly by you (aside from the whole "I'm here to glorify Christ" purpose, because I definitely relate to that as well).

    My advice? Don't do things halfway. You want to write a book? WRITE A BOOK. Spend time doing it, learning it, talking about it, researching it. Go to Starbucks, order a drink, and buckle down and write. Nothing says accomplishment like holding your finished manuscript in your hands. :) You like reading? Set yourself a goal. Tackle that tome you've been wanting to read. You want adventures, but are too bound by comfort to find one? Go explore downtown. Go hiking at a local state park. Talk to that stranger reading your favorite book! Sometimes something as simple as picking yourself up and going grocery shopping for your mom can give you that sense of accomplishment you need to get yourself through a slow day. It's all a matter of pushing yourself outside your comfort zone, little by little. :) It can be scary and exhilarating.

    I also highly recommend the whole getting a job thing. It really helps push you in the adult way of life, and it forces you to take on new responsibilities, social graces and demands that, although we as humans tend to despise, revives us and makes us feel good at the end of the day.

    All that to say, this may be stale news, so feel free to take it or leave it. ;) Just wanted to extend a friendly handshake and letcha know you're not in this alone.

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    1. Hi Emily. :D

      Good for you! I hope college goes splendidly for you. :) And wow...I'm sorry you can relate so much, but I'm so glad it's not just me. I know God will get us both through, but the waiting/wondering period is hard, isn't it? :(

      I love your advice!! Thanks a ton, those are all great methods to cope--and great things to do, period! I feel as if I'm always looking to get myself out of my comfort zone, but sometimes I do need a little push. ;)

      Friendly handshake (and advice!) accepted. ;) Thank you so much for commenting; it's so encouraging to hear I'm not alone!

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  13. Just saying NZ is fab and missing you
    Evie on her iPod

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    1. Awww, thanks Evie! Hope you're having tons of fun! Please tell NZ I said "hi"! :D (Miss you, too!)

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