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Aug 27, 2014

Dear College Freshman Self....



it's the end of summer, and there are tons of kids getting ready to head off (or head back) to college.  aj's getting ready to head into his senior year at berklee in boston, and i'm so ready and excited for him to finish school!

but all of this college talk has me thinking about what i wish i had known as a freshman.  i chose to go to a school 6 hours away in massachusetts, and while i loved my school, i was a wreck my first year.  i was so homesick; i went from graduating second in my class in high school to a 3.14 gpa my first semester of college; the planner in me was in a panic when i couldn't decide on a major.


this was my 18th bday....surrounded by my floor mates

so, here are a few things i wish i had known heading into my freshman year...

you might get a c...or even a d (gasp!)....and it isn't the end of the world.  learn from it, grow from it.  one not-so-awesome test isn't going to sink your entire college career.  and besides, that's what grading curves are for!

you might change your mind....and that's ok.  discover what you really love, not what you love the idea of.

you're exactly where you're supposed to be.  sophomore year, you're going to freak out about your future.  but just hang tight....the next two years are going to be even better than you ever imagined.

someday, you're going to miss living in massachusetts.  yes, even though it's six hours from home.  and yes, even though there's a solid foot of snow on the ground at all times from december to february.  and yes, even though it rains all spring.  and yes, even though the salt air is going to allow rust to set in on your new bike.  you're going to miss living five minutes from the beach and twenty-five minutes from boston.

take this time to learn to lead and learn to press further into jesus.  know that even when you can't see three steps in front of you, he can see the whole journey.

at some point along the way, you're going to give some things up and start some new things.  you're going to stop playing field hockey.  you're going to discover photography.  you're going to start blogging!  just own it all.  it's all good.

junior year, you're going to live in a house with a bunch of wonderful people.  cherish this year.  you'll also attend most of their weddings after college, and each one will be a wonderful reunion.  they'll be some of your best lifelong friends.

no matter how hard it seems at times, no matter how bad you feel like you're doing, trust me, you'll get through this in splendid fashion.  and it really will be some of the best years of your life.

and here's just a little peek into your future:



with some of my closest friends at our senior formal

the girls from my apartment my senior year

oh, and even three years after you've graduated, life is still going to look so different than you planned.  here's the thing though, you need to learn to stop the planning.  or don't, i guess, but at least just hold those plans loosely.  because life is a crazy, wild ride, and you're never going to be able to know or predict or feel completely sure of what's around the next bend. and that's the joy and wonder of it all, but seeing it that way is a choice.  it doesn't come naturally.

i'm excited for your (our) future.  even now, i don't know what all it holds, but i'm excited.

love, me

25 comments:

  1. This is pretty much what I would have written to my freshman self! I definitely got bad grades and changed my mind a few times, but it all worked out and now I'm done! And I have a degree that I am so excited to use.

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  2. I wish I could tell myself so many of these things. I was/am? a huge overachiever and acclimating to college, especially a college I didn't "want" to go to but did anyway bc of finances, was tough at first. But God. But God had such a plan.

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  3. Yep! I definitely miss my college town...it was 13 hours away! Wish I could go back more often. I would definitely tell other people try your best and don't get lazy in a class. you're paying for it so don't pay hundreds of dollars to FAIL a class!

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  4. Thank you for sharing, Betsy! Definitely needed this encouragement. :)

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  5. Hey! I love this! I actually just posted something like this this morning, too…was inspired by the college ministry I've been working with! I really love your post, and totally agree that Freshman year and college in general is a great time to lean into Jesus more and more!

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  6. I would have said many of these same things! especially, you will change your mind! I changed my mind so many times!! Great post!

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  7. If only we knew then what we know now...our lives would be so much easier. The lessons learned along the way are priceless though!

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  8. So good!! I absolutely lived my college experience....some of the best years of my life!!

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  9. i'm totally with you! i loved my college years :)

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  10. so true! life is definitely a learning experience :)

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  11. i was so afraid to change my mind, but learning that its ok to do it is so freeing!

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  12. that's awesome! i need to go check out your post! and yes, absolutely feel free to link! :)

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  13. i read your post yesterday....life can be tough when it doesn't look like what we always pictured, but, as cliche as it sounds, we need to always remember that God knows and has in store infinitely more than we can ever perceive or imagine! be encouraged, Summer! You're awesome :)

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  14. SUCH good advice...it can definitely be easy to get lazy when you're starting college, and easy to forget that you're paying for it, literally! haha

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  15. mmmm....this whole "resting in God's plan" thing can be a tough, but SUCH a rewarding way to live. and I'm with you...total overachiever. yesterday, today, and probably forever. haha

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  16. yay! i've been done for three years, and i still kinda can't believe that that's the case! haha

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  17. I added a link to your post! :) Thanks!

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  18. Loved this so, so much Betsy. Being the hopeful planner that I am, I could relate to so much of this :) We are a work in progress, lady! And that's the best part of this adventure! XO!

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  19. Agreed! I always say if I could go back to my college days, I would .... but only Thurs-Sunday. haha ;)

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  20. I love this! So many good points! I got my first C in a math class and thought the world was going to end. It didn't. ;)

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  21. I love this! I wish I could have told my freshman self how dramatically things were going to go AGAINST what I had planned out for myself. But it all turned out to be even better for me. <3

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  22. thanks girl...we are definitely a work in progress...very true! i often i knew what was coming next, but this life is definitely an adventure!

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  23. haha totally with ya...i got a c on an exam in old testament survey (holla at christian college!) and cried my eyes out! turns out that grading curve thing is great in college... :)

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  24. haha totally with you! i wish i could tell myself to chill!

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  25. Love that photo of us, Boots!! --CD

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