What I Learned This Semester

Well, this is officially the last week of the spring semester- and I could not be more thrilled, honestly. I only had two classes this semester but I was working a lot and just doing a lot of life in general.

But just because I was only taking two classes doesn’t mean that I didn’t learn a LOT. From both my classes and my personal life, I learned so much this semester and have grown in so many different ways.

To be honest, though, I put off writing this post for a while. It is the only post since January that hasn’t been scheduled ahead because, duh, I hadn’t learned these things yet. I was supposed to start writing this several days ago, though, and I kept putting it off. Why? Because learning these things, while good and beneficial in the long run, was sometimes really hard and painful. So, writing about them can also be difficult.

But writing about them actually helps, once I can convince myself to do it 🙂

So… what did I learn this semester?

I learned the importance of a positive attitude in a negative environment. My work environment isn’t great right now and I have often found myself slipping into the negativity with everyone else and letting it drag me down. But I’ve learned that the more positive I can be and the better attitude I can maintain, the better the bad things feel and the more I can brush off the difficult days.

I learned the importance of consistent exercise. One of the classes I was taking this semester was a Pilates course, which required exercising multiple times a week. Often, I would end up either getting a quick workout in right before work because I work at a gym, or I would come home from work and do a workout right away. I quickly found that the more I was working out and the more I was pushing myself, the better I felt. I would feel energized going into work right after working out because I was still riding the high of exercise. I would come home from work exhausted but needing to be productive and as soon as I would work out, I would immediately feel so much better and have the energy to finish the rest of my day. Not only that, but I felt myself getting stronger with time, developing both more muscle and endurance. Taking this class may have been what required me to start exercising more but now that it is over, I don’t plan on stopping.

I learned, more than ever, that the steadfastness of God does not depend on my own faithfulness and my own performance. Even when I stumble, even when I doubt, even when I struggle, He remains. He is steadfast and He never fails. I may stumble of my own doing but He will never let me fall. And while I am still learning to trust this completely, reminding myself of these things has become one of the most important parts of my life.

I learned in my Human Growth and Development class the impact that the decisions we make right now have on who we are, what we do, and how we operate later in life. It’s not just about the present. The things we do now, the people we surround ourselves with, the way that we exercise, it impacts our future in ways that we can’t even grasp right now. Living with the future in mind is important.

I learned the meaning of being joyful without being happy. And yes, I am still working on perfecting this skill. Often this semester, I have not been either. But as I am going forward in life, I am trying to work on constantly living with the joy of the Lord in my heart, regardless of my circumstances.

I learned that there is nothing wrong with going after what you want and chasing your dreams, as long as you are not dishonoring God and doing something that you know you shouldn’t. It’s okay to not always do what everyone else wants you to do or what you think will make you the most money or would be considered the wisest thing. God places desires in our heart and it is okay to follow those desires, so long as they are not idols and they don’t become more important than doing what is most important, which is obeying and honoring our Creator. Growing up, I would do so many things because I thought it was what everyone else wanted me to do or because it was what everyone would say was wise. And they may have been wise things. But that doesn’t mean that it is wrong to pursue what you want, as long as it is within the proper, biblical limits. I was reminded of this by a friend this year as I go into figuring out my summer plans so I figured I would include it in here.

I learned the importance of having people in your life that will support you in your best moments, love you in your hardest moments, and call you out when you are wrong in a loving way. Having people that truly love you, no matter what state you are in and will encourage you towards Christ with both their words and behavior, no matter what is coming your way is SO important.

I learned so many more little things this semester. But I’ll stick with just those couple big things for now 🙂

So what else happened this semester?

I graduated with my Associate of Arts with a focus in Social Work.

I finished work at a job I had been at for almost two years.

I got a new car- which is pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.

I finished The Strongest Jewel 2.0, my story that was originally deleted from google docs.

I got to see the coolest solar eclipse ever.

I crocheted a matching cardigan, tank top, and bucket hat set.

I got to see Jordan Feliz and Colton Dixon live in concert.

I got to visit the Cleveland Museum of Art for the first time in forever.

I got to go to Severance Hall in Cleveland and see the orchestra perform.

And overall, I got to grow and experience so many things that I am so very grateful for. It wasn’t an easy semester, by any means, but I wouldn’t have traded it for the world.

Summer 2024 is going to be one for the books and I cannot wait to share it with you all as it comes… stay tuned for all the adventures- and, as my new typewriter suggests… all the writing!!

Check me out on Instagram @rcalife for updates!