As I wrapped up my last final about two weeks ago, I could hardly believe my first year of college was over. Where did the time go? It seemed like I had just moved in to my dorm room, and that I had just left my high school graduation ceremony. In reality, it had been a long ten months of reading, writing, and sleepless nights, and a not so long year from graduation. Either way, I knew in that short year I learned more from life itself than I did in any of the classrooms I had been in. (Except maybe American Government. After leaving that class everyday, I was pretty darn sure I could take over the world.)
I want to pass on a few of things I’ve learned with those of you who will soon be closing out a chapter and those of you who will be starting a new one. Why? Because I wish someone would have told me these things when I was a senior, and because we all need a little reassurance that everything is going to be okay.
3 things for the high school senior
1. Get yourself a daily quiet time routine
Whether it be for meditation, prayer, worship, recreational reading, whatever it is just do it. Why? It helps you start the day without your brain being asleep for two hours and then you realize you have no idea what you learned in your first hour class. Secondly, it can easily set the mood for your entire day. You’re daily time with God is the most important reservation you have all day long. Start your day with the one who made it and already knows every thing about it. This will also come in handy later when you leave home and are in a new place. Having a routine is a little something of normalcy to take with you.
2. Be involved
Maybe you’ve been the most active person on campus for the last four years. That’s great, keep it up!! But if you’re like most people, you probably haven’t been. Getting involved not only looks good on your college applications, but you make new friends. It’s cliché but true. New people are good for you. Plus, in college, everyone is new to you. So, being in new clubs gives you extra points on your college apps and it lets you practice not being awkward when talking to the person beside you in freshman orientation that you don’t know. It’s a win-win situation.
3. Make every minute count and get ready for goodbye
Coming from a girl who’s senior year was one of the worst years of her life, I wish nothing but joy and excitement for all of you big men and big women on campus. You worked hard for a long time to get to this milestone. Be proud of yourself. You grew a lot over the years and you are just now becoming the person you want to be. Embrace it. Write down your favorite quotes from the lunch table, take too many pictures with your best friend, spend a little extra time on a project you surprisingly like. Live every moment in the present, but never take it for granted. Very soon, you will put it all behind you. Get ready for it. It’s okay if you cry. It’s okay to be happy. It’s even okay to be indifferent. This is a small lesson you will learn for the rest of your life. That lesson is how to say goodbye.
3 things for the college freshman
1. You need a daily quiet time too
When you get overwhelmed with a job, two lengthy papers and four test all in the same week, you will need a place to escape. Take some time each day to pray for guidance, read the Word and study what God has promised those who trust in Him. Listen to some music. Do something to take your mind off of the storms of life, but don’t forget to return to reality. Step away for a fresh breath and then tackle one tasks at a time.
2. If you go Greek, you are NOT your letters
The problem with sororities and fraternities is not the endless parties and social events, it’s the loss of self worth and self identification. You are not the letters on your shirt, flip flops, or whatever else you are wearing. You are a person. You are hurt and triumph, pain and survival, love and heartbreak, smart and talented. You are so much more than letters. Because that’s all they are. They’re just letters. You are worth so much more than the money you paid to get in to your organization. Don’t lose yourself in the ‘glory’ of being a sorority girl or a fraternity boy. You are a student just like everyone else. You have strengths and so do they. You have weaknesses and so do they. You are no more and no less than what they are. Take joy in your new ‘family’ of friends. Have fun with all of your events. But do not outcast or look down upon someone who is not a fellow Greek member. You are a person and so are they.
3. You will never go hungry
From the food court, to cafeteria, and the seemingly endless free food, you will never starve. Keep your ears open for where you can get a free lunch or dinner and hit it up. Go to the cafeteria and use your daily meals. You made good money for them. Take a study break to get some grub. Make sure to factor a lunch break when planning your classes. Give yourself time to get breakfast everyday. Food is important, and you have an unlimited supply of it. They people behind all of these meals did it because either it’s there job or because they love you. Either way, show up and take the meal and while you’re at it, say thank you.
If you are a student reading, good luck with wherever your life road make take you. If you are a parent, good luck to you as well.
Love and blessings to you all.
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