During the summer I worked in a daycare, as a Summer Day Camp Teacher. It was tiring, amazing, sometimes frustrating, draining, but incredibly rewarding. It was a wonderful experience that taught me so much, filled me with joy daily and never failed to make me smile. As I left that job to begin school again, I marveled at how quickly the summer had passed. I remembered the entire summer dreading the day that it ended. Dreading the day I had to go back, back to school, back to long study nights, but most of all I was dreading feeling locked in. I reminded myself it was only two semesters left, and that I would be okay.
I was uneasy about the fact that I had chosen to stay at Columbia, but concluded that not gaining the degree I had worked so hard on would be a decision I would regret. Staying seemed like the best option, even though everything inside me was screaming to go. Going into the school year I was eager to begin so that it could end, and at the same time dreading beginning because it meant feeling caged. Through that internal conflict there was also happiness, it was nice seeing some of my closest friends again, and meeting new ones. And I knew I only had two semesters remaining, and I was determined to enjoy them.
Then, in my first week back to Columbia in the fall semester I received an email from the director of my program asking for a meeting.
Immediately, I was nervous.
I went to meet with her and found out that there was a distinct problem in my classes, schedule, and program structure. I’m not entirely sure how, but it was there.
She told me she thought we’d have to meet with the registrar to discuss options. We also had to meet with one of my teachers about a class that they wanted me to take privately.
The meeting with the teacher went smoothly. We came to a reasonable agreement, and I felt so much better, but was overall very emotional. At that meeting my director said I would probably have to take an extra year regardless but we’d talk to the school registrar before we made that final ruling.
The following week I went into the registrar’s office, and got told, gently, that there was no way I could graduate with a two year degree in Worship Arts by the following April. I would have to stay another semester (possibly even a year) at Columbia.
This was the point where I began to cry.
I had been struggling for months about the decision whether or not to stay, and when that decision had finally been made, it was ripped away.
My director looked at me sadly, as the tears began to stream and I apologized (slightly embarrassed) for being so emotional. “It’s okay,” she said kindly. “I know it’s stressful. I would cry too.”
“It’s perfectly normal, you’re going through a lot.” The registrar confirmed.
“Do you think it’s possible for her to finish with Columbia One by the end of the year?” My director of Worship Arts asked.
“I think so,” the registrar replied.
Staying another semester was not an option. I knew that, deep down to the center of my core. I got up and asked if I could have a minute, and hurried to find a washroom, where I closed the door and bawled my eyes out. After a few minutes, I manged to regain my composure (somewhat) and re-enter the office where my Worship Arts Director and the registrar were waiting for me. During my time in the washroom they had looked over my transcript and what classes I was in and had discovered that I could finish with a One Year Certificate in Theology by the end of the semester. I was in six classes, and only needed one of them to leave with the certificate. They told me to go home and think about it, and they also suggested I drop a couple classes, since I had a heavy course load. (6 courses, a voice lesson, and a piano lab in case you were wondering.) I told them I didn’t think I wanted to drop anything, and that I would have to think and pray about whether or not to leave or continue. “It’s okay,” they said, “you can decide whether or not you want to graduate with Columbia One by December. You have plenty of time.”
I left the office and cried.
“I guess I’m leaving.”
Because, what I knew was that my skill set needed something else…I had known that all through the summer, and I had known that as I started the new semester.
If I wanted to grow I would have to go.
My commitment to stay was based solely on finishing something – finishing with a degree in Worship Arts.
“Are you going to stay? I think you should stay!” One of my friends said the following week after my meltdown in the registrar’s office.
“You know what, this is what I’m getting: I’m going unless God gives me some big flashing sign that I shouldn’t.”
I knew that wasn’t the way God worked. He doesn’t just drop out of the sky and audibly say: “I think you should stay.”
What I wasn’t saying to my friend that day was I thought that this was God’s big flashing sign for me to go…because all through the summer I had been thinking: “Victoria. Something new. Art. Adventures. Working on my leadership skills and my adventure skills in a bigger art center.” Even though I felt I should go, I had felt obligated to stay.
But, for things to come together a lot of things had to fall apart.
A/N: Thanks for reading everyone! If you haven’t read part one yet, you can see it here.
Prayers, and Music!!