This past June my little sister graduated high school with a bright future full of possibilities and potential ahead of her. Tomorrow she starts her journey into the unknown yet exciting adventure of college, along with, thousands of other students all over the country. While college is indeed such a growing, exciting, and adventurous time, the reality is it is also very difficult and challenging.
Standing in that auditorium a couple months ago was also the anniversary of two years since my high school graduation. Although, to be completely honest, it felt like a lifetime ago. In the past two years of undergrad I have learned so much about myself, the world around me, my calling, fallen in love with learning, but most importantly fallen in love with Jesus. I have struggled, preserved, laughed, and cried. I can only wish the same for my baby sister.
To my little sister (and every college freshman),
Prepare yourself for a wild ride. In these next four years you will make incredible friends that will leave you wondering how you ever survived without them. You’ll have professors that will challenge you to be a better student and help you realize your passions. You will have once in a lifetime experiences and make memories that you’ll never forget.
On the contrary, as every college freshman seems to learn the hard way, college is not the parties, skipping classes, or carefree life our media portrays it to be. It will take effort and a passion for learning your subject matter to truly succeed. It’s okay if you don’t know what you want to major in or what you want to do for the next 40 years right away… I’m going into my junior year on my 9th major. However, the moment you find your passion, pursue it whole-heartedly. Begin to build a life and career you love. Fall in love with learning. Paul encourages us in Romans 12: 6-8 to remember,
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”
Right now freshman all around the country are moving into dorm rooms with hundreds (if not thousands) of people from every background, culture, and life experience you could possibly think of. All of these students are in the same position as you just trying to fit in and meet new people. When you step out of your comfort zone and get to know people, you will soon realize the world is so much bigger than your hometown. Start your rebellious trend early and talk to strangers. Get to know people and learn their hearts. As cliché as it sounds, that girl you met in the bathroom at 1am might just become your best friend. At the same time, it’s okay if you don’t meet your best friend for life in your first week of being on campus. Sweet girl, always remember in this overwhelming chaotic time that God intentionally places the people we need in our lives right when we need them.
In the next few weeks exams and papers will start to roll around and life will get crazy. The most important thing you can do for yourself is take time to breath and refocus your attention. Take a step back and remember who is ultimately in control of your future. A grade on an exam does not determine your future, you my darling are not that powerful. Try your hardest but remember that God has ultimately placed you in this season of your life for a bigger purpose and he promises to carry you through. Run the race toward your God-given purpose and fix your eyes on him,
“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” – Hebrews 12: 1-2
I could not be more excited for you to begin this next season of your life. Watching you grow up into the confident, driven, independent young woman you are today has been one of my greatest gifts. My prayer for you this year is that you find great joy in learning, mingling, and experiencing new things but more than anything that you begin to see God’s presence in your life. Go get em.
Your Big Sister
P.S. Class of 2022, you don’t know whats coming for ya, the best is yet to come it’s only day one.