As I sit back at home, I can’t help but look back and reflect upon my freshman year. It all started on August 15. I packed my car full of as many belongings as I possibly could and stuffed what couldn’t fit into my parents Camry. We left and headed to Baton Rouge so moving in the next morning would be much more manageable. Seeing Ruston shrink in my rearview mirror was such a scary, uncomfortable, unbelievable, and exciting sight. As cliche as it sounds, it truly felt the end of one chapter of my life and the start of another. The whole drive my head was clouded with memories. Memories that were happy, sad, and everywhere in between. Hanging out with my parents the day before I moved into the dorm was beyond strange. In just one day I would no longer be under the safety of their umbrella. I would be on my own. I knew it. They knew it. I was going to miss them more than they knew, but I was excited for all the new possibilities. They were sad I was leaving but were excited for me. After moving in I went to lunch with my parents. It felt like I was dying or something. On the way back to the dorm I received the most encouraging card from both of my parents. Truly flooded with emotions, I hugged my parents goodbye and said “Well… I guess I’ll see you when I see you.” Walking away then was the hardest, saddest, and most thrilling moment of my life so far.
Class started a few days later, and I settled into the groove of school. I started to meet new people and get used to college life. The semester flew by, but not before I could jam as much as humanly possible into those few short months. I fled from a hurricane and was part of mass evacuation from campus stemming from a bomb threat. I took an unforgettable road trip to Gainesville for the LSU/Florida game with some new friends and went to the beach for the first time in my life on the way back. While in Gainesville I met Bobby Jindal, the Governor of Florida, and Tracy Wolfson. I got to attend three consecutive top ten football games in the two loudest stadiums in college football. I joined an awesome community group. I started playing in an indoor soccer league on Thursday night. I survived my first finals week. When December rolled around, I was ready to get home and take a breather. Seeing my family proved to be a relief, but sitting in Ruston for a month left me with an even bigger desire to get back to Baton Rouge.
During the second semester, I accomplished just as much, if not more. As soon as I got back to Baton Rouge I went on a Leadership retreat with the Refuge. I came onto Leadership as an emerging and I’m so thankful I got persuaded into doing just that. I had wiser, older guys discipling me and showing me how to not be a stupid LSU freshman. Anything good that has come out of me or will come out of me, they have a hand in it. I managed to break my hand in an indoor soccer match after being trucked by a 6’6″ Romanian. It reached a point where it looked more like an inflated latex glove than a hand. I fought to do the most basic tasks with my inferior left hand. Writing, typing, and eating became a huge struggle. I went to the LSU Shakedown. I saw one of LSU’s best baseball teams in recent years play on opening day at The Box. I went to the Baton Rouge Blues Festival. I got my passport. I got to go home to Ruston to see my brother graduate from Louisiana Tech and I’m pumped to see what comes next for him! I saw Lupe Fiasco and Grace Potter play live at Groovin’ On The Grounds. I ate a lot of crawfish. After one year, I didn’t think so much could change. However, I can legitimately say that I’m better off for the year that I’ve spent in Baton Rouge and for meeting the people I have.
The adventure doesn’t stop there! I’ve been home for 4 days and by the time this goes up, I’ll be headed to work at a ranch in Wyoming! I don’t know exactly what my summer will look like. I don’t know where I’m going to be living in the fall. I don’t know what God has planned for me in the next few months, but man, I’m so happy to be on this crazy ride and excited to see what comes next!