I flipped another page on my calendar this morning and stood in shock that at the top it read “August”. I remember this time last year, how excited, nervous, and ready I was to embark on my next adventure. I had a few thoughts that I wanted to share in hopes that it would encourage those of you who are about to enter into your freshman year of college – coming from one fresh out of the meat grinder herself. I asked some of my close friends to share what they would of told their freshman self and my Type A, of course, made a list:
1. There is nothing you can do to prepare you for this moment. To all of you planners, overachievers, and control freaks inhale and exhale slowly. This is my advice to you – put on your favorite pair of shoes, brush your teeth, empty your head of all your fears and face it. Face fear of failure, of making friends, whatever it may be and go through it.
2. Do not go looking for friends to fill the place of the hole that your high school friends are creating as you leave them to start a life without them beside you. First of all, the friends you’ve made up to this point are irreplaceable so don’t try and compare them to the friends I know you will walk away with at the end of this year. I used to think that it couldn’t possibly get better in regards to the relationships I had built before college but the Lord sure proved me wrong. He showed me how much sweeter my prior friendships could grow, and how quickly He could bring people into my life that I quickly could not live without.
3. Invest in those around you, but remember that everyone isn’t your best friend. It’s very easy to make friends, but it’s not so easy to make friendships that go beyond surface level deep. Please be patient with yourself and others, as you get to know types of people you may have never interacted with before.
4. GET INVOLVED. On-campus job, sorority, clubs, campus ministries.. Just do it and don’t psych yourself out. You can thank me later. But make sure you give everything a fair shot – that being said, don’t settle for something just because it’s comfortable. You may even uncover a passion of yours you didn’t know existed.
5. Nerd talk – try your absolute hardest and accept that sometimes your best is not always going to get you straight A’s.
6. Don’t expect to be BFF’s with your roommate, and just because you get along well doesn’t mean you should spend every waking moment together.
7. Homesickness is real and not uncommon. Don’t be embarrassed. Everyone experiences it at some point, in some way, shape or form.
8. It’s ok to be overwhelmed. It’s ok to feel lost. It’s ok to cry. But do NOT do it alone. Sometimes we don’t like to be vulnerable around new friends but sometimes vulnerability is the best way to spur on a friendship.
9. HAVE FUN but be mindful that falling behind can result in a quality of life that is rushed, surface, and sleep deprived.
10. It doesn’t matter who you are, but WHOSE you are. Listen guys, identity crisis is real and scary. It’s hard to not have a firm grasp on yourself when your in a new place, surrounded by people who have only just met you. Find peace in the fact that the Lord and Creator of the universe knows you better than you know yourself and is beside you in every step. You are a son/daughter of the most high King, and loved beyond your wildest imagination.