Done. Finished. Completed. That's the end of my first year of college. The crazy thing is, it happened so fast! My second semester was stressful, busy, yet fun all at the same time. However, something this semester was different from last semester. Although I didn't have much free time, I made an effort to see more of Austin and what it had to offer. This semester of college felt more like college to me. I don't know why, but it just did. Maybe because I had the chance to get to know my college friends even more. Classes were stressful and challenging, but that's what it's supposed to be right? Even though at times the work was overwhelming, I really enjoyed the classes I took and everything I learned.
So back to this semester. I really had a chance to really get to know people. It's interesting to me how college friendships work. The first semester, you make new friends that are in the same organizations or classes as you. However, I don't think I truly got to know them until these past couple of months. After a semester of just being good friends, I ended up just taking my friendships to the next level. It's crazy because I never imagined I would get super close to these strangers I just met in August. They become like your second family, kind of like a home away from home. These friends in college will see you cry, will laugh with you about something silly because you are all delirious from studying, will bring you coffee or food when you need it, and just frankly be your support system. Everyone is kind of on the same boat, that college struggle boat where you have no option but to row together. I'm truly blessed to have made amazing friends that have prayed for me and helped me grow as a person. I'm grateful for all the memories that I made and the birthdays and holidays I had a chance to spend with each one of them.
I finally had the chance to go to Oasis for a friend's birthday! Ahh, you guys have no idea how excited I was. We arrived just in time to take some photos while the sun was setting. I definitely have to come back though to eat outside, but the view was amazing. The ride to Oasis was very hilly and it had a really cool California vibe to it. I was kind of surprised that I was still in Austin. Oh and speaking of pretty views, Hula Hut and Mozart's were definitely pretty cool too. Mozart's was a cute little place to take a break from the regular studying at the library and Hula Hut just made me wish I could visit Hawaii. Hula Hut had a really cute Hawaiian feel to it since all of the workers dressed in Hawaiian style clothing. Hahah. I also had a chance to eat at this really cute pizza place called Conans Pizza. It was one of those quirky food places because it had comics all over the wall and it gave off a cool pizza shop vibe that made it different. I also had the chance to eat at the Cheesecake factory for the first time (I know it isn't an Austin thing), but it was really good and it definitely hit the spot with my sweet tooth. Discovering different food places in Austin make me really happy. Did I mention how I'm trying to eat at every food place on the Drag before I graduate? (Sorry Mellow Mushroom, I didn't get to go before you got closed down).
Oh! I also had the chance to go to Mt. Bonnell which was so beautiful. It made me realize even more why I loved Austin. I had the chance to get away from the "city feel" while I was still in Austin, if that makes sense. The Austin Zoo was super fun too. It was smaller compared to other zoos that I've been too but it was really cool because all of the animals there were rescued. I also recommend going to the Peter Pan Mini-Golf place because that was super fun too. It had a lot of quirky statues with each hole so that was cool. Make sure you go to the course on the right if you actually wanna end up at the Peter Pan because I went to the one on the left so I didn't get to do that. Haha. Guess I'll just have to visit again! I FINALLY had the chance to go to Castle Hill (Grafitti Park) and take photos. It was super fun seeing all the artwork and getting the chance to see the view of the Austin skyline form the top. I was also lucky enough to go see an opera called "Don Giovanni" by Mozart with a friend. Our tickets were only $12 because we were UT students, but normally they're like over $100. Yay! It felt really fancy because most of the people that attended there were I guess the upper high-class Austin people and there really weren't many students there either!
Earlier in the semester I had a chance to host the TIP Scholars Banquet with a friend. Now that was definitely an experience because I had a chance to get to know the associate dean of the UT College of Natural Sciences. Plus it was really cool that Vince Young was there too, sadly he left early so I didn't get to take a photo with him. Being in TIP and having the opportunity to help host the banquet was a blessing. I also had the opportunity to be a part of Longhorn Chi Alpha (and the worship team!) which I could not even begin to describe the love from everyone there. Let's not forget the awesome pre-med group I'm in, Alpha Phi Sigma. Those organizations were the ones I was heavily involved in this past year and I met some of my best friends there. I would definitely recommend getting involved in some kind of organization your first year of college!
ALSO. I had a chance to see The Kooks in concert at Emo's and wow. They were amazing, that is all. I'm so thankful to be living in the Live Music Capital of the World aka Austin. I plan on going to more concerts for sure.
Wow now looking back at it, I made so many fun memories this past semester and this entire first year of college. Although not everything was always pretty, I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to attend UT and make such wonderful friends. It's great to be back home though with my supporting and loving family as well as my loving church family and friends. If I've made so many wonderful memories during my first year, I could only imagine what God has in store for me for the next couple of years.
I hope you have a wonderful and safe summer!
As I look back on this past semester, I realized that God really does have everything all planned out. All you have to do is trust him completely, which isn't always the easiest thing to do. At times, I questioned myself and I questioned God. Was I really supposed to go here? This city was so different from the small conservative town I was from. Was I really in the right place? Will I even succeed?
Even though I had so many questions, I knew that I could only trust God and what His plans for me are. As a person who has known what she wanted her whole life, trusting God about the unknown future was kind of scary at times and then this verse hits me.
"In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps."
I've known this verse for a while now, but I guess it didn't really impact me until I got to college. I had so many plans to do this and go there and I ended up completely opposite to where I thought I was going to end up. But in the end, it was all in God's hands. I just had to trust in what His plans are for me, even though sometimes it was confusing and unclear.
I was blessed enough to have made a wonderful and amazing group of friends and church family in Austin. The people God has placed in my life to help me through this transition are truly a blessing. The adventures that I had with many interesting people truly made my first semester truly memorable. The late nights of studying and worrying about exams was stressful at times, but it only lasted a little while. In the end, we were all in this UT community together experiencing similar things.
I was walking to class one day and I guess I was just taking everything in. I looked at the beautiful campus and the group of diverse people attending this university and realized that I am in the right place. God's plan will always prevail and all we have to do is trust Him and know that He is working it out for our good. I would love to say this semester and college was super easy, but it was definitely challenging at times. I truly did enjoy the football games, free t-shirts, study dates, and concerts that came along with it.
I'm super thankful for my family, my new friends, my old friends, and my church families for always being there to encourage and support me. I'm grateful for the laughs, the stress, the memories, and the adventures I experienced this semester. I cannot wait for what else God has in store for the next semester as well as the rest of my college experience.
Well I recently moved to Austin to go to college at the University of Texas at Austin. Wow. Just wow. I don't even know where to begin... coming from a small town and moving to such a lively city was definitely interesting. It definitely has a different environment and I really love it! Everything is within walking distance and the whole atmosphere is just so new to me. I'm taking two classes right now and I'm not going to lie, it's kind of challenging at some points. I thought taking two classes would be a piece of cake and that I would have plenty of free time, but both classes definitely have its work cut out for each one.
During the school week, it was just filled with lots of homework, reading and writing papers so I mean it wasn't THAT interesting. The study lounges are cool because you get to be with other people who have to take the same classes as you! However, I get distracted sometimes with other people being there and I just want to talk to them so it might not be the best for everyone... haha. Speaking of which, the people here are so equally diverse and different and I absolutely love it. Students from all walks of life, from all over Texas and the world, just wow. It blows my mind yet makes me super happy at the same time because I love seeing different types of people. The people I've met here are genuinely sweet and fun and at first, it was awkward because we all had to go through that phase where you meet new people and just bleh. But after all that, it was great and I'm so excited to make new memories with the new, crazily wonderful people in my life.(:
One of my favorite parts about Austin is the fact that there's soooo much to do and so accessible! I went kayaking with my friend along with our mentor group and it was so much fun. Even though we kept running into trees and other kayaks and canoes, I still had a blast! Oh, and the view was beautiful.. definitely worth waking up at 8 am for. Haha. Kayaking is definitely a workout btw, I underestimated it, but yeah. It was intense. Oh and I tried some delicious s'mores pancakes at Kerbey Lane which was super sweet but yummy! Kerbey Lane was really adorable and I loved the old timey vibe it gave off!
A group of friends and I attempted to have dinner at South Congress, but it definitely did not go as planned. We had the bus route all planned out, but our bus driver told us to get off at the wrong place so we ended up walking like 40 minutes to Soco. It was definitely a night to remember because with all the walking and running and attempting to catch buses, we were all tired and hungry. After two hours, we finally got to Soco and most of the food places were closed! We ate at Home Slice though, which was SO YUMMY. I don't know if it was that yummy or it was because we were starving or probably both! The pizza slice was huge though.
Coming into Austin, everyone always talked about Pluckers and I didn't think it would be a big deal, but it's pretty great. I've been there twice already. Freshman 15 here I come? Hahaha.
Well that's the first week of Austin summed up for you and I'm super excited for the rest of my little adventures that I will make in this weird, beautiful town! Hook 'Em!