Year One

13217439_10208456490026480_1823867623152654897_oHere I am, sitting in the empty room that I called home for the past two semesters, at the oldest (and best) university in Kansas- car packed, goodbyes said, hugs given, final grades pending, and memories made.

It’s crazy to think how fast this year went. It quite literally feels like yesterday I was moving in all of the unnecessary stuff that I packed up in August, meeting the three other girls that I would share this 50×30 space with for our first year of college, and getting to know my new teammates.

This first year at Baker was a year that I will cherish forever, and I’m pretty sure I changed more this year that any of the past 18 years of my life- all for the better, of course. I made so many true friends that I know I will  have forever, from Alpha Chi Omega, to classmates, to study dates, and everyone else on this little campus that is one, big, family.

This year was extremely eye opening, seeing and experiencing things that I never thought about in high school. Fortunately, I am extremely grateful for that.

In August, there was move in, training camp, a trip to Miami, rush week, school starting, and more volleyball. It was so fun to see everything that college had to offer, seeing friendships be formed, being apart of new friendships, seeing the support and love that Baker gives, and becoming part of this family.

I came into this place as an International Studies major and Spanish minor.. I am leaving as an Early Elementary Special Education major, without a minor. I came into this place as simply a volleyball player, and I’m leaving as a coach and player. I came into this place speaking a little Spanish, so after a 3 week trip to Spain, I am leaving speaking more than I thought I would ever know. I came into this place as a Christian, and I am leaving as an even stronger Christian. Oh, I came in thinking that I was a normal human with two kidneys, but I’m leaving knowing that I have one, so that’s cool.

Moral of that, college changes you. You are unveiled to so many new opportunities and chances. You meet so many awesome people that are going through the same thing you are going through, but with a different story.

I think that the biggest thing that you learn throughout college is acceptance and friendship. Here, you will cling to people that you will make so many memories with and spend countless nights with doing homework, watching baseball, and procrastinating. These people come from different places- from itty bitty towns in Kansas, or from the other side of the world in Australia- but you all have a common home now. College brings so many people from so many backgrounds and unites them, befriends them, and makes memories out of them. You meet so many different people, you learn their stories, and you suddenly become friends, and ending up celebrating this new friendship at Pizza Shuttle.

“College is the best four years of your life” was a quote that I didn’t believe, because I loved high school, and having my boyfriend’s locker right next to mine was pretty much ideal. But, college did it- it has become my favorite. Nothing is weird in here; if you are sitting in class eating cereal, wearing the clothes that you wore yesterday, with the hair that you slept on, you’re probably going to get complimented. If you walk in to your roommate sleeping on the floor, you’re probably going to join them. If you go to the sorority house and they’re… well… being themselves, you’re going to accept them. That’s what college is for- finding yourself, enjoying yourself, making decisions for yourself, and being yourself. There is pretty much zero judgement when you step on campus, and drama isn’t a thing. And, it’s the coolest thing in the whole wide world.

When you do this “adult” thing and the “moving out of your parents home for 9 months” thing, you have to do this “responsibility” thing. Taking accountability of myself and my faith was something that I truly focused on this year. From daily devotions, to bettering myself, to Jesus talks with good friends, to chapel in the adorable church that was once the chapel that Margret Thatcher’s dad preached in(brought over from England, and put back together exactly how it was originally, right here in Baldwin City, Kansas), to trusting God more than ever before, college picked me up and spun me around and opened my eyes. Yes, I have been challenged in my faith before and I have experienced so many things that have made me who I am today. But, being in college, you don’t have mom and dad behind you telling you what is right and wrong, you aren’t going to church with your parents anymore, you don’t want to get out of bed early on the weekends, you don’t pray together before meals, you take responsibility for yourself and your actions.

It was so awesome to hold strong to my values and beliefs this year, making friendships with new accountability partners and taking our faith to another level together. There are so many straight-up-bad decisions that you can make in college, and it is so easy to make excuses, but you have to do what is best for you, and I definitely learned that this year.

College is eye opening, full of opportunities, changes, and lots of food, and it is also full of laughter, friendships, and support. I really don’t have the words to say about everything that I learned in my first year, but I can say that I am so blessed to be at Baker, and I am so thankful for all that I learned this year- about myself, academics, and this whole college thing.

Having your best friends live in the same room/building as you for 9 months is pretty awesome, and I can’t wait until these halls are filled up again in August.

Baker U, thank you. Thank you for the memories, the laughter, the breakdowns, the education, the friendships, and the new way of life. Change is so, so good.

I pinky promise you, college will be some of the best four years of my life, and it only goes up from here. Shoutout to you, year one. I cannot wait for the school year to come, but for now, I will enjoy my summer full of… well, nothing.

Love always,

Mads ❤



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