As I sat there reflecting back, I said to myself "Well Ally, you made it through the hardest part of college and you took that jump." But let's be honest here it wasn't easy to jump. It wasn't easy to make a change. It's not supposed to be easy, that's what we always have to remember. There are so many people in this situation. You are not alone.
Here are my words, my input, my advice, my little messages to myself, and now I want to send it off to you.
1. Losing the friends you had for 12+ years of your life may be the hardest lesson, but biggest life lesson.
You think once you turn the tassel, once you get handed your diploma everything will stay the same. . . but no, the real world hits you like a semi truck. You think your "best friends forever" will stay with your best friends. Now don't get me wrong, some people are lucky and they have lifelong friends. You can have those friends from elementary school through college and even into adulthood.
For me, I wish that was the case. It wasn't easy, and on top of that having a fear of losing people and just stop caring was the hardest thing that I had to face. I'm sure you are in the same predicament. You may not understand why this is happening. I can tell you that I spent so many nights during the first-semester questioning. Questioning "why it had to happen this way". I prayed to find people here, but as time went on prayer went down the drain and I stopped having hope. But my friends, NEVER LOOSE HOPE, BELIEVE AND TRUST WHAT THE LORD IS DOING, HE WILL SHOW YOU…JUST BE PATIENT AND PRAY. Yes, it may hurt, it may break your heart, but your heart is being broken for a reason. With the unconditional love that Jesus has for you he will open your eyes, and by the healing power, he will mend your heart back by showing you WHO YOU NEED in your life to grow closer to not only him, but the person you are called to be. When you find these friendships it will have something the other friendships didn't have. . . Christ. He will place people in your path who you know it was all his plan. Because at the end of the day those people he wanted you to cross paths with, he wanted you to see true, authentic friendship for what it really was. (THE PEOPLE HE PUTS IN YOUR LIFE WILL FOREVER CHANGE YOU.)
2. You will learn a lot about yourself that you never thought you would.
If you would have told me that Jesus would break into my heart more when I came to college I would of flat out told you "there's no way." But to whoever is reading this, it's so true. Here's how I can best explain it:
Jesus placed in front of me an option (college) and I accepted it. Even if the world screamed it in my ear. However, the closer it came I wanted to turn around and go back. When it came I fully wanted to go back. I wanted to go back to my comfort. But, I allowed myself to take Jesus hand in hand and surrender.
I questioned him, (like we all do sometimes) and I didn't know what he was doing. I flat out had no direction in my life and that terrified me. But, to think he already had a door opened and I did not see it. He was willing to take me by the hand and take me step by step each day.
It just may take a while and he kept on saying "Come my child, don't let go, just a few more things I have to show you and just a few more things I have to put you through so I can show you where you need to be, just trust me. I am the way, I will lead you, I won't leave you, I'm with you." By changing you get to see what you dive into, what you dig and grow from. You get to learn from the fall because without it you wouldn't know new things about who you are.
3. You will miss it.
You may not think it, but as the semester comes to a close, you might miss the moments that made your heart truly come alive. I never thought I would ever reach a point that I would say I miss my first year. It was a FIRST that I am never going to do again. You may miss the journey it took to get to this point. You might miss being "little Miss. or Mr. independent" and having something to do. And, you may realize that you miss the people you have met, the plans you made with them, and the professors you have created bonds with. I did!
Yeah, you may say "you'll be back" but it's not the same, you can't redo your first college experience (as I mentioned). There is a joy in saying "I can't believe I made it, I never thought I would of". "I'm so proud of myself and this is something I'll always brag on and on about because I never thought this was possible". "I'm going to miss just being here, it went by too fast".
Sometimes planting a seed in a place we were thrown into we finally see it growing and at the end we don't want go back home because we got so comfortable to the things we have seen what was first the unknown. We want to watch ourselves grow more. But, sometimes leaving and coming back is a way to grow also.
4. It's okay not to know what the heck you are doing.
So many people tell you, and it's now the daily question each year of your senior year in high school "What do you want to be?" Like at 17-18 years old they want you to know everything you want to do for the rest of your life and have this huge plan? When did those numbers equal to the point where we have to know what we want to do forever?
Trust me, I got criticized because I didn't know what I wanted to do and I felt like I was doing something wrong by not knowing. But the truth is, IT IS OKAY NOT TO KNOW, DON'T STRESS. It will all come in the right time, Jesus will let you know.
5. You can make it, you're not alone in this.
I did, so can you. Believe in all that you were put here on this Earth to do. Go change the world, go spread the light Jesus put in you to spread joy onto others. College is a scary yet a beautiful experience.
6. Never be afraid to put yourself out there.
Go meet people like you (well, there's not really people exactly like you) but find people who share the same beliefs as you. Don't be afraid to speak up, go out of your comfort zone because that's when you can learn a humongous amount of things. Never be afraid to be yourself.