Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Finals Week = Changes

Finals are a funny time. It is, like I blogged in December, a scary time of preparing for judgment. It also precedes a period of blissful freedom from academics, especially following winter semester. As the seasons change from spring to summer, this semester's finals are a particular time of transition for me. What am I transitioning to, and why is it exciting and slightly dreaded?

Plus side: Spring term means I'll get more hours at work (usually between 30-40 a week) and consequently, bigger paychecks. Also, I LOVE this time of year: hiking in the mountains, late-night bonfires, sitting on the balcony simply enjoying the warmth as it soaks into my skin, swimming every once in a while, dancing late on the weekends, I'm usually less stressed about school (I only take 2-3 classes during the summer), and I usually get to visit home for a couple weeks. And this summer, I'll be doing a study abroad in Austria for a couple months before school in the fall.

Negative side: Most of my roommates and best friends leave - sometimes I get stuck with less-than-fantastic roommates who don't do their dishes or buy toilet paper, and I have to find new friends to hang out with. Most of my sunlight hours are also lost as I walk into work in the morning and leave at night, doing the same thing everyday. The negatives are hardly the worst things in the world, but they're things that drag on every day and are hard to avoid. They form a dark tunnel that can make it hard to see the light at the end if I get stuck in there.

Not only will the summer be different from the school year, but it portends other coming changes. I have a roommate getting married next month. I am so happy for her, and I look forward to the day I can marry the man I am as blissfully in love with as she and her fiance are with each other. But, she's moving on, and this fall will be different because she won't be living with us anymore. I have another roommate who will be serving as a full-time LDS missionary in Europe, and she won't be around anymore to teach me how to cook, to share her creative recipes with me, to be in my classes (we're in the same major), or to spread her beautiful happiness, smiles, wit, and looking-out-for-others-ness in the same sphere of influence as me. I'll only be able to reach her by letter for 18 months, and I'm going to miss her. The first girl I'll see at her wedding, and hopefully again in the fall; the other girl I might see briefly at work in several months. I have other friends who will be gone for the summer, but will be returning in the fall.

Now, change isn't all bad. And pining for the past doesn't lead anywhere, so I'm getting better at accepting the present as it is and moving on. But change always brings uncertainty because we simply haven't experienced it yet, which is worrisome sometimes. I guess the "happy moral" of this post is to take comfort in the things that are certain. For me, the certainty that Heavenly Father is looking out for me is the most reassuring of them all. I can't see my future, but He can, and He's told me that I can get through it, and it will be worth it. Because I know that I can trust Him, and that God cannot lie, I trust that everything else He says is true: when I mess up, I can use the Atonement of His Son, Jesus Christ, to make it up and get back on track; I can keep the commandments He gives me; I can move forward with faith instead of fear. And I can embrace change because change inspires growth and learning in new ways. The more I learn about life, the more I learn that I can trust Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and let go of my fears.

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