Mariah Laure-2 Three things that I learned with only a few months left in EPIC Commission that I would have literally paid money for to know at the beginning are:

  1. Leaving home is hard, but everything will be okay.
  2. Homework can be completed minutes before class, naps can be taken on Sundays, and house life will be, hands down, your favorite part of the entire year.
  3. You NEVER remember the nights that you got enough sleep.

Leaving Home Is Hard

I know many of you will not relate to me at all on this one, but for those of you that do, here’s to you. Most people are more than ready to leave home after they graduate high school. College is exciting, and being on their own is what they have wanted since they turned into an ‘adult’ at 16. But for some, like myself, leaving everything you have ever known is daunting and scary. I love adventure, I love long trips, I love to travel, but the day I graduated from high school and it hit me like a slap in the face that I would be moving out in three very short months, all I wanted to do was cry. My family is my world and I loved being home more than anything. And although I knew that the day I had to move out was coming, I never expected it to come so quickly. I spent many of my nights in EC crying because all I wanted to do was be at home with my family. I spent every weekend at my house and returned to my condo only when I had to. Thankfully, this only lasted for the beginning of the year, and one day it hit me...I only get nine months with my roommate who I adore and my housemates that I love; what the heck am I doing going home all the time? Home will always be there and EC is a short season of life that goes by much too quickly. So yes, leaving home will be hard, but I promise it gets better. The days get brighter and the bonds that you create by being away from home will be bonds that get you through the rest of your life.

Don’t Allow School To Run You

This was my second hardest lesson. I attend Western Michigan University, and although it’s no Harvard, it’s no cakewalk either, especially with a double major. College is not high school. And although it’s fun and an adventure, it’s challenging too. You will have weeks that the homework pile is higher than your ceiling, and group projects will make you consider becoming a professional beach bum. You cannot allow this workload to become your life. Don’t get me wrong, grades are incredibly important and you still need to get all of your work done with excellence, but it is okay to take a break and go longboarding or get coffee with your girlfriends. Don’t let school take over your social life or your EC life. It’s a juggling act but you will find a way to get everything done and still get a few hours of sleep. Embrace house life, have movie nights, and never be afraid to pull all-nighters. You will get caught up on your sleep… eventually.

You Never Remember The Nights You Got Enough Sleep

AMEN! You have heard this said a million times, but oh my goodness is it true. You will have nights that you set aside strictly for homework and then some crazy EC guys will come knocking at your door, asking you to hangout. Your initial reaction is to shut the door and tell them to go away, BUT DON’T. I promise you the nights that are random, sporadic, and not at all in your schedule are hands down the best nights filled with the most memories. Homework will always be there, you can sleep when you're dead, and you can always look at the bright side – we have curfew so we can only stay out for so long before everyone has to go to sleep! Be spontaneous, be adventurous, make life a party. You won’t ever reminisce on that night you got a full 8 hours of sleep, but I guarantee you will remember the nights you were practically kidnapped from your condo, forced to stay out until curfew, and then had to stay up all night finishing homework before your class at 9:00am. Sleep is for the weak anyway.

So, if I could leave you with any advice, it is simply to EMBRACE THE CHASE.

Embrace the chase of seeking the Lord above all else, even when you think you don’t have time. Embrace the chase of making memories with some of the best humans you will ever meet in your life. Embrace the chase of letting go of your comfort zone and truly loving where you’re at. Embrace the chase of life and live it, to the fullest, every single day.

My favorite saying of this entire year was on repeat for 48 hours while I was stuck in a van with a bunch of smelly people that I have grown to love. The saying was simply this – We live till we die and we party even longer. Embrace the chase of the party because you will regret being left behind when you had to study. And this is coming from a girl who has a 4.0 and only accepts getting A’s.

XO,

Mariah Laure

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