For the past five years, my goal for after high school has been to go to a University in Hawaii. Because of my desire to be a marine biologist, I really just wanted to go to school near the ocean, because marine life ya know? I applied to a total of eight different schools and got accepted to seven: Hawaii Pacific University, University of Hawaii at Hilo, Howard, University of San Diego, Western Washington University, University of Tampa, and University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
I’d say that for a while, my top choices were either Hawaii Pacific, Howard, or Western Washington. Hawaii Pacific because it’s in Hawaii and I loved how they had a very hands-on approach to education. Howard because it’s probably the most well known HBCU (historically black colleges and universities) and has a really good reputation in the black community. I liked the Washington school because of how pretty the campus looked, and it would allow me to go to an area I’ve never been to before.
For a while, the thought of deciding how I wanted to start off my future scared me. We were 3 weeks away from May 1, the day that all acceptances to colleges had to be turned in, and I still didn’t know where I wanted to go. Well, I knew where I wanted to go, Hawaii, but I didn’t know which school was the BEST for me. I had been praying and crying and praying some more. I was trying my best to be still and wait to see where God led me. It came to the point where anytime I thought about College, I cried. Not in public of course, cause I’m really not a big fan of showing my emotions. But chances are, if you asked me about what I wanted to do, I would make up some answer and then immediately after you left, I probably started re-evaluating my whole life and then realized that I was in control of practically nothing, which in turn made me freak out. Fun.
Aaaaaaanyways. I didn’t even know where I was going to be attending school until last Saturday. Despite wanting to go to Hawaii, I knew that ultimately my next step needed to be led by God, and as we know, God’s plan isn’t always the same as ours. When we follow the path He has set for us, everything changes…
With that being said, I decided to choose the school that I felt I was being led to which is why this fall, I will be attending UNLV. Crazy right? I always said that I wasn’t opposed to leaving Nevada or staying, but to be honest, I would’ve preferred to leave. I’ve been here for the past 15 years, and it would’ve been cool to experience something new. But I truly felt like I needed to stay put and listen to the small voice that was telling me to go to UNLV.
The hardest part about making this decision is when I have to explain it to people. After saying where I want to go, there are usually follow up questions like “what? Why do you want to go there?” “Didn’t you want to go out of the state?” “Are you sure?” And I know that people mean well and that they only ask because they care, but these questions really mess with me. The more I talk about my decision, the more I start to doubt it. I start thinking about all the reasons of why I should leave and go somewhere else. Sometimes I think to myself “I went to a magnet school for math and science for four years, took a billion AP classes, was stressed out all of junior year, and now instead of going to some other well-known school like some of my friends going to Harvard or NYU, I’m staying here.” I almost feel as if by going to UNLV, I’m settling. But then on Tuesday I was listening to a sermon from Transformation Church, and the whole thing was confirmation that UNLV was the place I needed to be; one of the quotes was “When your faith is challenged, it means you’re going the right way.”
And that’s exactly what this feels like. I’m feeling led to go to UNLV, but then my flesh is wanting to do something different. Part of me doubts that this is part of God’s plan, and it’s causing my faith to be tested. But by talking to some of my friends, listening to sermons, songs, and coming across different quotes, they’ve all pointed back to the idea that I’m exactly where I need to be. I feel at peace with my decision to attend UNLV in the fall, and even if this turns out to be the wrong decision, I know that God can still use it in my favor.
I may end up transferring somewhere later or studying abroad, but right now, this is the move. “And even if the mountains take a little while to get to, and even if you have to tread a little further to get to them, God is still faithful in leading you where you need to be and everything He does is with divine intention. So slow down…He will always give you what you need, and lead you right where you belong,” -Morgan Harper Nichols.
You’re right where you belong!