Things I Learned from College: Throwing Away

May 15, 2008 at 5:57 pm (Real Life)

Okay, so I’m bored. I have lots of free time, and blogging tends to eat it up. Besides, this is something I actually wanted to write. I don’t know how many College Lessons I’ll have, but at least two or three. Here’s number one.

The Art of Throwing Away

The title reminds me of a poem from senior year. One Art, by Elizabeth Bishop. I’d suggest you read it if you haven’t. Really a favorite of mine, and something a lot more true than I though. Strangely, I started at one end and worked my way to the beginning. You see, I’ve always been a pack rat. I’ll keep anything, hold onto something forever. Because, who knew when you’d need something that you had just thrown out. How sad would that be?

But college worked on that in so many ways. I can’t tell you how many things I threw out when I was packing everything up. Anything that wasn’t necessary or definitively helpful went into the trash. If I wouldn’t need it next semester or over the summer (or it had significant sentimental value) , I tossed it. It was kinda refreshing in a way.

But my art of throwing away was more than just physical. I learned to throw away relationships, too. At first, that would probably sound terrible. But, you see, I have friendships that I’ve carried for fifteen years or more, despite the fact that these people haven’t been friends for fourteen of those. And, when I got to college, I realized I couldn’t keep carrying them around anymore. Just like everything wouldn’t have fit in my car had I kept it all, all those relationships were going to stall me from ever moving forward. So, I decided that they weren’t adding anything, they weren’t helping me grow, and they weren’t necessary anymore.

Beyond that, I learned that part of life means throwing away opportunity. Because there are thousands of opportunities, and you can never hope to try them all. Life is deciding which ones to take and which ones to throw away. I mean, I came to HU alone, confused, and completely oblivious to everything. I met hundreds of people, saw so many things I could do, but I had to decide. Who was I going to spend time with? What was I going to devote myself to? I think I made a good choice. I have great friends there. I have lots of fun. And I manage to fit in a little studying.

So, life is about, periodically, cleaning out. Throwing away the things that don’t help you to grow, giving up on things you don’t have time for, and living life with a few more openings to fill with God only knows what kinda of blessings. Throwing away. Huh. Who knew it was such an important lesson


By the way, tacked on the end here, I’d love your prayers right now for Lucas. he’s a six-year-old little boy that I babysit. One of the most adorable kids I’ve ever met. He’s very smart (reads chapter books on his own. He reads you a bedtime story.), very sweet, but very sick. He has leukemia and had to have a blood transfusion today because his counts are so low. While recovery rate is pretty good for his condition, it’s going to be very difficult. And transfusions are terribly straining on the body; they’re dangerous for healthy adults. So, if you’d just remember him, it’d mean a lot. Love you guys!


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