My Story: Part II - Grade 12

by Lavender Elizabeth, March 05, 2016

If you missed the beginning of my testimony, you can read it here:

Part II: Grade 12

My senior year of high school brought so many changes and beautiful memories.

The previous year I had decided to run for ASB (All Student Body) Treasurer and won. This meant that I was a part of our ASB class, one with about 25 other officers, who handled student affairs. It was a lot of fun and a decision that I was so happy I made. It forced me to get involved with my school in a way I hadn’t before, which was a wonderful thing to do my last year of high school.

In September, I started talking to a boy who would change my life in so many ways. We started to get to know each other as better friends and officially started dating in the middle of November. He was funny, smart, had a lot of friends, and made me feel special. I had never been in a true relationship before and neither had he, so we were navigating a whole new world together. In January, I knew I was in love with him. Each year, my school hosts Winter Ball, a formal for all four grade levels. The night of ours, I pushed through my illness and tried to enjoy myself, but by the end of the night, I was beat. Brian was sure to help clean up (something ASB was supposed to do), get all of my belongings, and despite not liking to drive, drove my car for me. He took care of me at every moment of that night – that’s when I knew.

In February, I returned to Paris, this time, with even more friends! My sister, four of my best friends, Brian, and his best friend Marcus all went. What a crazy-fun adventure. Not only was I in Paris, but I was there celebrating Valentine’s day with my boyfriend; was touring around a beautiful city with my best friends; and was expanding my horizons with my younger sister. It was in Paris, on top of the Eiffel Tower, that Brian told me he loved me and I finally told him. It was straight out of a movie and I was on cloud nine for the rest of the trip. This trip will be one of my favorites to date because of Kristina. One distinct memory I have is walking through crowds of people, hand-in-hand with her, weaving in and out of people, laughing the whole time. It was such a small moment, but one that is such a simple representation of our friendship. I’ve never laughed so much than on that trip with her.

The summer before senior year officially began, I started hanging out with a new friend, one that was already best friends with two of my girls. To date, it’s the fastest best friend I’ve ever made. We started hanging out constantly and even celebrated our three month “friend-iversary.” The four of us started hanging out almost exclusively, calling ourselves “The Wolfpack.” She was a wonderful friend to me, but for some reason, brought out a different side to myself. I stopped being so kind to my sister, was flaking on other plans with my friends, and wasn’t as concerned with my grades. At the time, I didn’t think there was anything wrong, until part way through second semester. There was a time where I was standing in the hall and looked around and realized I had no idea what was going on in any of my friends’ lives – something very rare for me. I always knew everything that was going on; my friends confided in me and went to me with their problems and excitements. It was then that I realized something was wrong and that a change needed to be made. I spent the remainder of the year and the following summer working on my friendships to get back to the way they were. I stopped hanging out with that girl and felt myself returning to my typical self – a girl who loved school, respected my sister, and cared about her friends more than anything in the world.

Senior year also meant deciding where to go to university and what to study. The hard part wasn’t deciding on a major, as I had known for a very long time that I wanted to major in biomedical engineering (I wanted to make prosthetics); the hard part was choosing where to go. Since I had moved every 3-4 years during my life, I was itching to move to another state. My plan was to only apply to schools outside of California, but my parents made me apply to a couple in state. When I got my acceptance letter to the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, I knew that’s where I wanted to go. My dad and I flew there in March to tour the school and when I got there, I hated it. I can’t even really put into words what it was about that school, but I knew that it wasn’t where I was meant to attend. That’s when I started to freak out. I had been accepted into four other schools, but wasn’t interested in any of them. My dad, however, knew I would love one of them. He had previously been on the University of California at Davis’ campus for work and had a strong sense that it was where I was meant to be. I went on a tour of the school with an open mind and fell in love. It was perfect. God was so in charge during that whole process. I didn’t want to apply in California, but I did; I wanted to attend Tennessee, but hated it; I wasn’t interested in any other school, but He showed me the most amazing one. I accepted UC Davis that night when I got home.

Graduating from Valley Christian High School was so bittersweet. I am one of the rare people who absolutely loved high school. I graduated with a group of ten girls that impacted my life in so many ways. They’re the friends that are on the pedestal that all other friends are judged against. Throughout high school, we laughed, supported each other’s’ dreams, and created a bond that would last a lifetime. I also graduated with a group of guy friends that would set the stage for how every man should treat a woman and friend. And I graduated with a boy who loved me and took care of me.

The August before university, Brian and I almost broke up. We were questioning some of the decisions we had made together and the lack of God in our relationship. It was something that happened gradually, without us even realizing it. God wasn’t at the center of our relationship, and the further we went in our relationship, the further away He want. That August we made the decision to stay together and to work on our relationship in a different way. We wanted a strong foundation before I left for university (he was staying in the area), so tried to rebuild the things that had been missing. By the time I left for university, we were in a good place, trusting each other 100%.

One by one, all of my friends left for university, some moving across the country, some staying closer to home. In the middle of September, I, too, left for Davis. University would bring so many obstacles to my life, but God was there every step of the way. Read about it next week in My Story: Part III.
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