There is so much I wish I could tell you about your next four years. I wish I could tell you everything that I did wrong so that you won’t make the same mistakes, but then where is the fun in that?
College is hard.
People tell you, "you will grow so much over the next four years" and that won’t make any sense to you until later so don’t worry about it. Something else I was told, but couldn’t believe, was that it gets better. Freshman year is just the rough/awkward first date that you have to go through with a handful of good times. Everything is new and fresh and overwhelming. Classes seem hard, finding your friends seems harder, all the while trying to live with roommates, share bathrooms and make your own decisions.
It gets better. You find friends. You choose to show up in people's lives and sometimes they let you down. Other times you let them down. You fail a test. You skip chapel (Unbelievable right?). You figure out how to afford food off campus every once and awhile.
But it takes time to build a life.
I am sitting in my own room as a Senior, within her last semester, not ready to leave. I am not the emotional type but gosh since I got back everything that I am going to miss is hitting me like a ton of bricks.
So here’s what I’ve got to offer. My advice to you as a freshman preparing for what’s to come.
How annoying is this advice that teen girls hear over and over again. This happens to be the one thing I didn’t grasp until the end of Freshman year. Do Not Settle. Find YOUR people. Don’t try to fit into a mold you think you need to. Don’t compromise when it comes to your tribe for they will grow with the years. Sometimes this takes a while. GOOD friends are not easy to come by, they are worth the wait.
Every moment. Every awkward encounter. Every community service hour you have to do for breaking the rules. Every good group that you have in class (If such a thing exists). Every movie night, Bible study and church date turned weekly routine. The moments will fly by faster than you think.
Do the Things.
The things that scare you. The events that you know will make you uncomfortable. The mission trip overseas. Going somewhere by yourself. Go & Do. Your free, act like it.
Don’t be afraid to answer.
YES or NO. The decision is yours, so make it confidently. FOMO should not drive your decision making skills. Don’t be pressured into doing anything you don’t want to.
Grow in Every Way You Can.
Take every thing you can out of college. It is only four years but they can build and equip you. They can tell you so much about yourself. They can surprise you and disappoint you. They can lead you to the path you will take stepping off the stage with a diploma in your hand.
That's the advice I have to give.
So breathe it all in and exhale the fear.
You will be just fine.