If I were to describe my experience at Jamestown in one word, I would use the word transforming. I have learned a lot in my time here. For example, the walk to the Reiland in the winter when there is a strong wind is a brutal one. Or, always approach the dumpsters carefully because you never know how many squirrels will be ready to pounce at you!
I’ve also learned so much academically and could tell you about the different timpani and do a harmonic analysis on the spot. However, in my time at Jamestown, I’ve learned the most about myself.
Learning to be my best self
Coming into college, I was a very quiet person (Yes, that is possible!) and kept to myself. I remember driving to college in my car by myself, and I was bawling. Thoughts were running through my head about whether I was ready to be on my own, if I was going to find friends, if I would survive college and if I would be comfortable driving in the city.
I jumped right into activities to keep busy and not allow a lot of time for thinking about such thoughts. I was in all sorts of music ensembles (Jazz Band, Concert Choir, Wind Ensemble), Cru Ignite (Ignition at the time), and got involved at church.
About halfway through the first semester of college, I became a little social butterfly – talking to anyone who would listen because of those activities. I grew a lot in those first few months, but I’ve grown even more since then.
Going to college is more than just getting a degree, it’s learning how to be your best self while doing something that you love and are passionate about.
It’s okay to not be okay
I’ve faced many challenges in my time here. Losing a relative at the beginning of a semester, some anxiety, contemplating why I am studying music, and the death of a family friend just to name a few. But through those experiences, God has shaped my heart. I’ve been drawn to scripture during these times and have learned to enjoy my time reading them.
I’ve learned that it is okay to not be okay. It’s okay to ask for help. But I’ve also learned that sometimes you may need to be the “help” for someone else. UJ has a ton of wonderful people to surround yourself with when you need help.
I’ve been transformed in multiple ways during my time at UJ. I am no longer the quiet young lady bawling on her drive to Jamestown. I am loud and energetic and am usually sporting a smile. I am someone who loves people and wants to make a difference in their lives. My faith has been transformed and has transformed my heart and my attitude toward others. I’ve become a more well-rounded and educated musician. I have been transformed in my time and Jamestown.
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” 1 Corinthians 5:17
God has worked so much on my heart and will continue to do so even after my time at Jamestown comes to an end. So maybe there was a reason I was a huge fan of butterflies as a child, because like them, I have been changed and quite possibly, for good.