To the girl who headed off to college:
- Breathe deep
- Take everything in
Time flies in college, freshmen year goes by in a flash and it only gets faster.
Whenever you meet someone new, the first two questions out of your mouth will be: 1) “What’s your major?” and 2) “Where are you from?” You will answer them about 1000 thousand times a week and trust me, just say South Georgia, it’s easier than saying Albany because it’s not like anyone actually knows where it is.
Let’s talk about those friends you make freshmen year, there will be some that stick around and be your besties at graduation, but some of them will just be friends for a season that’s perfectly okay. You will have the fondest memories of sitting in their dorm room during convo eating chocolate chip pop-tarts and the coolest Christmas ornament with letters and list of something that starts with every letter to describe you will hang on a choice branch on your tree for years to come (cough, cough, Paisley, cough).
College friends are the best friends because they
- grow with you
- push you to be and do better
- endure hard classes with you
- know all the right professors
- and so much more
College friends really do last a lifetime.
College is a time for you to grow and figure out who you are outside of Albany and your parents, but that doesn’t mean you have to go crazy. Participate in Sorority Recruitment, you meet all kinds of people but don’t pledge unless you really want to or have the money to. Go to Waffle House with friends every night for a week but don’t get lazy and skip class because you were out too late. It’s okay to skip a class once or twice a semester but don’t make a habit of it and don’t skip if you’re close to failing because you were sick for two weeks. Study and work hard but don’t be that girl who’s holed up in her room studying that no one ever sees, unless you’re taking a really hard nursing class or chemistry class. I would tell you not to procrastinate, but I’m world’s worst so I can’t without being a total hypocrite. I will tell you this, it was one of the best pieces of advice that I got:
Treat class like a job, try to be done with all your homework by five so you can have the night to go do stuff with friends (Plus, let’s be real there are two groups of people who eat dinner at 5, the elderly and college students so be done when you go to dinner).
Okay, let’s talk for a minute about boys. I know don’t what you’re expecting and I don’t what your story will be. If a boy you like asks you out, say yes and have fun but don’t be stupid. It’s okay if you have to ask a guy to formal, you won’t be the only one. You might meet the man you’re going to marry in college or you might not and you have to be okay with that. Be happy for the girls who do and know your man is out there. Have fun and enjoy your time, you only get four years, you don’t want to spend them pining for some guy. Have guy friends and hang out in huge groups that are made up both guys and girls. Let me repeat: Have fun but don’t be stupid!
Find somewhere to get involved that you enjoy. I was very involved in our campus ministry because that’s what I loved and where I was anyway. If you rush, get involved in your sorority. If you have a major you love, get involved there. Write or take pictures for the yearbook or newspaper. Find something that you love and run with it, you never know what kind of blessing you can reap from it.
Find a church that you love. You don’t have to go to one just because that’s where everyone thinks you should. Don’t spend your freshmen year church hopping, give yourself a deadline like fall break, or mid-October if you don’t have one, and just pick a church. It’s okay if you haven’t tried them all, I’m sure they’re all great but pick one and stay here. Go to Sunday School or join a small group, be around families. Find someone to invest in you. Word to Wise: There is not another Sherwood, you’re not going to find anywhere else like it so don’t compare every church you go with it. Be open to where God wants you, whether it’s a church that runs 10,000 or a church of 500.
Finally, I know you’re itching to get out of Albany and get to that campus and you can’t ever imagine actually wanting to come home, but you will. You will miss that sibling that you never thought you would and home will become invaluable. Just because you don’t live under your parent’s roof anymore does not mean that you can dishonor them. Remember to pray for them, include them in decisions you make, and continue to respect them because no matter how old you are, you are still their child. There really is no place like home.
- Enjoy every second.
- Live to life the fullest.
- Bring glory to God in all that you do.
From a girl who’s been where you are and come outside the other side.