12/26/2016 0 Comments
Plans are fun until...
I'm a junior in college. That statement is exciting yet nerve-racking at the same time. Saying that time flies is so cliche, but I feel like it's flown even faster this semester because I had an exam or a paper due every week. Next thing you know it's Christmas break and another semester was finished! This semester wasn't as academically stressful compared to my other semesters, but I definitely think I grew the most as a person. This fall, I had the wonderful opportunity to be a TIP Mentor as well as a Small Group Leader in XA. Both roles really made me question myself at times and made me wonder if I was even qualified to be doing both things yet alone one. It was challenging yet so much fun mentoring the amazing people I met and watching them grow as students and as people. One of my favorite moments as a mentor was definitely when one of them would text me about getting a good grade on an exam/quiz/project! Being a small group leader was definitely something. I didn't think I was capable of helping the beautiful ladies that were in my small group grow in their relationship with Christ because all I saw were my flaws in my relationship with Him. How was I supposed to help them stay faithful when at times I would fall short? However, God constantly reminded me that He is there to help me through it all and that His will be done and not mine. I really enjoyed getting to know those beautiful ladies and I'm thankful for their hearts and willingness to open themselves up for what God has for them.
As many people know, I'm a Public Health major, pre-med at UT Austin (Hook 'Em!). Being a student at UT is challenging enough as it is (we're ranked like 30 in the world and number one for Texas public schools), but being pre-med adds another load to that. I commend those that somehow have it all together-- with a 4.0, social life, and a decent sleep schedule. But in reality, does anyone actually have that? If you do, please feel free to contact me and share me your secrets because I am super impressed!! I say every semester that I continue to learn how to trust God even more, but it's crazy how much that gets tested the semester after that. After a visit with a health professions advisor, lots of prayer and talks with my parents, I decided this year to take a gap year instead of applying to medical school this summer like the traditional applicant. It may not seem like a big deal to some people, but for me, it shook my world. This isn't what I planned and it wasn't what I wanted. Although it's not the path I imagined for myself, I just had to really let go of it and trust God that His plans for me are for more than I've imagined. It reminded me of one of my favorite verses.
Proverbs 16:9 says "In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps." It was a gentle reminder that at the end of the day, although I have set my dreams and goals, I know that I should continue to grow my trust in Him because He's in charge.
I constantly had to remind myself that I am good enough to achieve all of my goals and dreams one day. It may not be the way that I planned or expected, but I know that I will get there one day. More importantly, I realized I could not do it alone. I need to completely and wholeheartedly trust God and let Him use me for whatever He has planned for me. I also will not be able to achieve any of it without the unconditional love and support from my family, especially my parents. I am grateful for my parents who support my dreams and are always encouraging me. I'm also so thankful for all of the friends I have met while in Austin who constantly encourage me and make me laugh. Thank you for the late night study dates, food runs, and long conversations about anything and everything.
Okay, enough of what I've learned. Let's talk about my little adventures in Austin this semester! I don't think I did very much compared to other semesters, but I did get to visit and try new places! Around October, I went to Barton Hill Farms to take pictures at their pumpkin patch!! It was my first time at a pumpkin patch so you bet I took a bunch of pictures after we found our perfect pumpkin. It was a really cute environment that included a corn maze and lots of family friendly events! One of my favorite parts of that trip was eating a turkey leg tbh. It was also my first time carving a pumpkin and we carved a cat. Surprisingly nobody got hurt, and the cat ended up being really cute.
Every fall semester, I try to go to at least one football game! This time I went to the Baylor game and guess what? We actually won!! It was the first game that I attended where we actually won, so I now know that I'm not the bad luck charm. I'm super excited though for football season next year to see where Coach Herman will take the team. Hopefully we'll have plenty of great games like our Notre Dame game this year so it would make senior year more fun!
In October, I had a chance to attend Altitude with my Longhorn XA family. It's a North Texas district conference that involved North Texas XA campuses. I haven't attended a conference since high school so it was nice to be able to attend one again. The message that the pastor gave us was really eye opening and really changed my perspective on certain things. It was a really nice break from all of the studying to just really unplug and have my attention on Jesus. My family and I had a mini family reunion this year as well! My grandma was visiting from the Philippines and so my family from Illinois came down to send her off. It was so much fun seeing all of my cousins, aunts and uncles again because we rearely ever see each other. My family threw a going away/joint birthday party for my parents and that was pretty exciting too. There were so many people and even more delicious Filipino food at our house!
This year my friends thew our very first Friendsgiving and wow. There was so much food and they were all so good!! We even did the mannequin challenge which surprisingly turned out pretty decent and a lot harder than I thought. I'm just not capable of sitting or standing still. I think the best part of Friendsgiving was just seeing everyone and enjoying the food we brought and made together. Nobody really ate the vegetables I brought, but it's fine I guess.. Lol. But really though, it was right before Thanksgiving break and finals and it felt like I was with my Austin family. I was glad everyone was able to take the time out of their busy schedules and to just catch up/complain about our UT struggles.
My friends and I went to the carnival by Ben White Blvd and it reminded me of when I used to go to the fair in my hometown. There weren't many people so there weren't any lines and we rode several rides multiple times. Fyi, they were the spinny-make-you-dizzy rides so I got dizzy pretty fast. Luckily, I didn't puke though because I didn't have anything to eat beforehand. It was still super fun though!
When December rolled around, let's not forget the famous Mozart's light show and Trail of Lights. Of course it was a must visit as a study break for finals/post-finals!
For new places to eat/study, I had a chance to go to Bribery Bakery and Irene's. Monkey's Nest, a 24-hour coffee shop was cool too and I really liked the coffee I got from there. The vibe had a more restaurant feel instead of a coffee shop though. At Irene's I had the chicken avocado sandwich and it really good! Bribery Bakery was so aesthetically please and it was super cute, so you know I took many pictures there! The desserts at Bribery Bakery were soo delicious too. 10/10 would recommend!
Although I didn't do as much compared to other semesters, I really had a chance to develop new friendships and deepen the ones I already had. I'm grateful for my Longhorn XA family, especially my resource group and leader for being my second church family away from home. I'm thankful for my friends and my super sweet boyfriend for our late night study dates/meltdown sessions, motivational pep talks and everything in between. Last but not least, I'm so blessed to have a wonderful and amazing family that sacrifice so much so I can reach my goals. Without them, I would not be where I am today and I'm so grateful for their unconditional love and support.
Until next time!
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