Four-thirty a.m. I roll off my bed and onto the floor. I slam my hand on the snooze button, a habit I have not and will not break.
5:00 a.m. I stumble to the shower, following my usual routine as I get ready for early morning seminary.
5:55-6:40 a.m. I bear the 60 degree LA winter as I rush to class, excited to get out of the “cold” and see my friends.
6:45 a.m. Throwing the door open to my car, I rush my little brother to the bus where he sleeps on the drive to the middle school campus, exhausted and not used to the early mornings from his first year at seminary.
Every morning, Monday through Friday. Repeat.
This is my last year attending Mormon seminary class.
For some, the conclusion of senior year means the freedom of leaving home, for others the excitement of a new campus.
Though I look forward to the same things, graduation feels bittersweet as I grow closer and closer to leaving my seminary class behind.
Looking back, the column I published my first year on The Chronicle titled “Musings of a Mormon Girl” feels like it could have been written yesterday.
They say time flies when you’re having fun, and while I cannot truthfully say that I’ve enjoyed getting an average of five hours of sleep a night, I also cannot deny how much I’ve enjoyed attending seminary.
However, it has not always been this way.
While I’d like to say I’ve appreciated seminary my entire high school career, at the beginning of my freshman year, I had no intention of enjoying the class. As I stressed over my GPA while attempting to balance my packed schedule, I believed the last thing I needed was to lose an hour of sleep for religious class.
Despite my presentations on the horrific, life-altering effects of sleep deprivation, my parents encouraged me to “press forward with faith” that I would learn to enjoy it.
That year I learned that the outcome of most experiences can be determined by my outlook and attitude.
When I approached seminary expecting it to be miserable, it was miserable. However, when I finally began giving it the chance it deserved, it became the highlight of my day and I found myself looking forward to each and every class.
From seeing my closest friends first thing in the morning to one-upping anyone who complains about waking up early, seminary class has given me the opportunity to find joy in unexpected places.
Some of my favorite memories are of celebrating birthdays with cake before school, early morning hikes as object lessons and taking videos of my friends as they fall asleep in class. While it would have been easy to give up, I am more grateful than ever for my parents for pushing me to learn the importance of an optimistic attitude.
Maintaining this outlook has benefited me in every aspect of my life.
From attending a hyper-competitive college preparatory school to wearing my iconic orthopedic boot for 10 months, learning to remain positive has allowed me to find happiness in the most difficult situations.
I learned that my attitude, even if it is the only thing within my control, can give me the power to define my experiences and influence their outcome.
With 2018 rapidly approaching, I want to invite the senior class to make the best of the time we have left on this campus.
Let’s take risks and make memories as we face our futures head on, unafraid of new experiences as we decide to find the good in all situations.
It wasn’t easy for me to love seminary, but it has become an irreplaceable aspect of my life that I will be heartbroken to leave behind.
We are surrounded with opportunities to find happiness if we simply change our outlook to see the good.
So, if you’re ever looking to tackle a challenge with positivity, come join me at early morning seminary. It starts at 6 a.m.