It's Okay If You Didn't Start Off Well
Freshman year Alex - gimme a second to go back 6 years - honestly, i barely recognize her. Sounds weird, but I'm thankful for that. I had a very atypical freshmen year. I didn't get into any school I wanted to go to, so I stayed at home and went to GGC (Georgia Gwinnett College) for my first semester and then after 6 months of that, I couldn't take it anymore and transferred to Kennesaw State. I had just through a really rough break up in the summer and had spent the 2 summer months partying my life away with all my friends, trying to 'live it up' and 'make the most of every moment' which basically meant making a lot of bad decisions and trying not to regret them until I made them again the next weekend. That lifestyle carried over into my freshmen year.
After all my friends left for school and started to make new friends and experience new things, I was lonely and desperate for anyone who would accept me. So my friends were the people still living at home (with no interest in ever leaving) and making really poor life choices. So I joined in because I was alone. Once I couldn't take living under my parents roof anymore, I transferred to a school where I had a good friend and had to been to good parties. (this is BC (before Christ) Alex btw) I made okay friends, but not great.
Lean Into the Change
What was crazy about the people I came into relationship with was that most of them weren't going places either. Most of them are still in school, but their laziness inspired me. I knew I wanted to amount to something, I had a drive for school and learning I didn't know existed, which is what eventually pushed me into applying to Georgia College (for the 4th time). I knew I wanted my life to mean something and I wanted to do something with it. I now know that was the Holy Spirit whispering into my ear, calling me to Him. I left GGC with no declared major, declared social work at KSU and once I started to take school seriously, eventually graduated with a degree in early childhood education.
Embrace the Beginnings of Change
I grew up in the church. I knew who Jesus was. I knew right from wrong. But I spent my entire freshman year rebelling from everything I had ever known. I wanted a horrible reputation and I didn't want anything to do with Jesus or the life He offered. I had tried the whole church thing all growing up and felt empty from trying to chase the perfect life I thought being a Christian would bring me, so I ran in the opposite direction. Only to bring myself heartbreak, bad decisions and more troubles and drama I could ever imagine. Moving to Milledgeville and going through CollegeLife was really what started to change who I was and opened my eyes to what living a life for and with Jesus actually looked like.
Doing the Summer Well
My first summer in college was spent in Kennesaw. I took 15 hours so I could transfer to GCSU in the fall. I worked every morning at Macy's and went to class every afternoon. It wasn't fun and I built no community. I knew I was transferring so I wasn't really interested in what was going on around me. I wish I could change so much of what happened my freshmen year, but God used every single moment. He had me go through all that for a specific purpose, and I stand here now in complete victory over my past because of how kind and good God is.
- Alex Raines