Death & Rebirth in College- Anastasia's Story

I have just completed what feels like the busiest month of my life. Family, school, two speaking engagements, a week long fabulous getaway and writing a holiday book! In all that fun, I realize that I miss my natural flow of blogging. I'm back...

Months ago, if you remember, my friend Lucy shared her parenting journey with us, involving one daughter with a disability and how God has led them through difficult paths into beautiful places. (Lucy and I shared a fun missions trip together for a summer back in the 80's. Good times...lots of laughter.)

Today, another daughter of hers, Anastasia, is sharing her experience of college life.

I remember when Lucy was posting her sadness on Facebook as she learned to deal with her oldest going to school. I noticed because she was one year ahead of me, so guess whose turn was next? She mentally prepared me for what would be coming for me a year later.

I also remember not too long ago seeing Lucy post about a horrible tragedy, as Anastasia's roommate and dear friend died unexpectedly during school. So sad and hard to deal with. Anastasia has graciously agreed to tell her story of college life. I think my favorite thing is hearing from young people, how they view the world and their experiences. So grab a cup of coffee and listen as Anastasia bravely tells a touching story.

"I am now a Senior at a University in North Carolina. I am graduating a year early but I’ve learned so much even in the two and a half years that I’ve been here. I was so anxious to get out of the house and become my own individual the summer before I left home. I was sure that I had everything under control and wouldn’t need my parents/my family for anything once I was 'on my own’. That was not the case at all. I cried like a baby the first two weeks at GWU. I missed my family so much. I wanted to call my mom and fill her in on every little thing that happened. GWU is only about a 45 min. drive from home but over time I would learn that home is however close or however far you make it. It took me about a month to really get settled in and adjusted to GWU.

In high school, there are specific cliques that one must fit into. It’s just too bad if you can’t seem to find your niche. Thus, creating the feeling to need to be fake. Unfortunately enough, in high school I did myself an injustice and pretended to be someone I was not, simply to ‘fit in’. College was a totally different world and I planned on reinventing myself. I was successful in a matter of speaking. I realized that being myself was OK. I made friends who enjoyed me for me! This revolution transformed me. My self-esteem skyrocketed. I was willing to try new things. My relationship with God became so much stronger, and for the first time I was happy and I enjoying my life.

My world came to an abrupt halt the second semester of my second year at GWU. Ariane Patterson, my roommate, my friend, my sister in Christ, and my inspiration passed away.

Her death was completely unexpected. I found myself sinking deeper and deeper into an unforgiving black hole. I couldn’t find any reason to get out of bed. My life had lost purpose. This beautiful girl had so many plans for her life. Just a few days before her passing, we had stayed up talking about our futures. She said she knew that God had a wonderful man waiting for her among other things. How could a girl so sure of what God had planned for her, pass away so suddenly? And why, if we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow, is there any reason in trying, in living? These are just a few of the questions I asked myself every minute of every hour of every day.

There is a beautiful ending to this story, I promise. My friends, my teachers, my family and people I didn’t even know wrapped their love around me. They pulled me from my sorrow and lifted me up. Every day got a little easier. Of course, there were days that all I could manage to do was cry myself dry but even on those days, I wasn’t left alone. My friends were there with boxes of Kleenex and bear hugs.

Everyday, we are tested. We run into obstacles, big and small, but obstacles nonetheless. It is what we choose to do with them, that makes us who we are. Sometimes it is okay to lean on others. While I wish that Ariane was still here today, her death taught me so much about life. However, all the changes that have taken place in my life, over the past few years, are from my college experience as a whole. College, for me, has been somewhat of a death and rebirth. The immature, naive, and selfish little girl passed away making room for who I am today; a loving, mature, and God strong woman."

1 comment:

  1. life has many unexpected turns but it is not what happens around you it is how you react to it that truely defines us. In what you experienced have found a path that few discover. Ana keep looking forward and you will fulfill the purpose God has for you.


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