Dear College Freshman, (aka a letter I wish I could’ve had as a future duke)
Embrace the excitement you are feeling right now. Use these last drops of summer to hug your family more. Cuddle with your ol’ pups more. Connect with the people you last talked to at graduation. I know you’re counting down the days until move-in, but trust me when I say that your season of independence will come by before you know it. Don’t feel ridiculous that you already purchased coordinating pillows at TJ Maxx, and you’ve already discussed with your roommate what you’re bringing to your new home. She’s just as excited as you are to have a Pinterest-esque dorm room on the quad with so many Christmas lights you could light up 10 Christmas trees.
Your roommate doesn't eventually have to be your best friend, I’ve heard many situations of that case and they ended up fine, but it’s a lot more fun when she is :) If she lives far from your hometown meet in the middle with her momma and get to know her story. Dig deep to see what you have in common whether it’s your taste in music or where you are in your faith. Remember every pillow talk that gets so deep so fast and share words of wisdom and listen to hers. Hold on to the moments of laughter that you cannot control. Write down all of your inside jokes (and red flags ;) ) in your Notes in your phone and make a quote boo;, trust me it’ll be worth it.
Get to know your hallmates. Keep those relationships even after your first introductory week, and don’t let them become strangers. Your hall will feel a lot more like home when you establish these connections.
Be patient with your momma. She’s only worried because you are her world. She wants you to be safe, and this whole college thing is new to her. But like you, she will grow in this new phase of life.
Get involved right away and dive out of your comfort zone. Upperclassmen are not as intimidating as they seem; they’d give anything to be a freshman again. You may like some things you’re involved in, you may dread some. College is way too short to not enjoy what you’re doing, so prioritize where you spend your time to fulfill your soul.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 4:4-7
The sweet Lord will open and close doors intentionally, so that you may fulfill His calling and purpose. Every closed door and successful opportunity has His grace written all over it. Keep your eyes on Him with a thankful heart, and He will prove His faithfulness as he guides you along a righteous path.
One of the best ways you can grow on a deeper level is to find your tribe and love them hard. You may not find them right away, but they will come. Your tribe may have an ever changing small group name, but stick with these women ;) Each person God places in your life has been put there for a specific purpose: to gain knowledge and to experience Jesus’ character from a fresh perspective. You don’t have to face what what you’re going through alone. It’s okay and it’s encouraged to be vulnerable with your tribe. One girl in your small group may even have the same testimony as you, and you can find comfort that another person knows the exact loss you’ve had to endure. This tribe will guide you along a path that will fill the hole in your heart and reach endless love and grace from the only one who can fill that hole and make your cup overflow with joy.
Seek a mentor/mentors. Trust in someone who can pour into you. Don’t be afraid that just because she’s a senior, she’s going to be absent for the rest of your years, because that is far from the truth. You will have the most rich quality time with her, and you’re going to miss her endlessly come fall. Take every single bit of their advice during your times at CookOut and Black Sheep and let their words of wisdom nourish your mind.
Paint a permanent picture in your head of the all the sunsets you witness on East Campus and EMU hill. Each sunset on the horizon of the mpuntain landscape has a new conversation, take these moments to love one another and experience how the Lord has led you to live life to the full.
Simple game nights in your friend’s basement will be some of the best Saturday nights of your life. The game you play every. single. time. may get old after a while, but play anyways!!! Go get pizza at 3:30am without worrying about your diet for a night, and get into tough conversations to learn new perspectives.
Pay attention. Be in the moment. Little signs from God are all around you. Whether a cardinal flies by and nearly hits your dorm window, or they play your song in nights of worship, feel raw in the moment, for the Lord is near.
So yeah, youngin’, keep your head high, and jump for JOY!! You’re #adulting.
You’re doing great sweetie,