It is finally finals week. It is crazy to think of where we are now, compared to where we were just four short months ago. We have done it, we have made it through our first semester as college students. Let us take time to reflect on all that we have accomplished this semester. Think back to the day you moved out of your house. You picked up your bags, turned around, and saw your bedroom which you have been seeing for 18 years, except it is now empty, and bare. You said “see you later” to the best friends that you were so close to, they technically counted as family with tears in your eyes as you realize that for the first time, your lives are going to be split apart, all while trying to reassure yourselves that four months “really isn’t that long”. As you load up the car and crank on the air conditioning to ease the hot August sun, you look into the rearview mirror and see the memories in that sweet hometown that have been created over the last 18 years, you see your old life ending, and a new chapter beginning. You tell yourself, “this is it, this is my time now.”

You pull into campus and see the booming sign, (“insert school name here”), and cannot believe that you are actually here. You turn the key and open the door to your new home, (or swiped your Student ID if you live in a fancy building). The room is physically empty, but yet so full at the same time, full with opportunity, and optimism of what is to come. You have unpacked all of your things, (to the best of your abilities), and now hug your parents goodbye, not wanting to let go, but still trying to be strong, (especially for your mom, because you knew if you started crying, she would start crying, and then she would never leave). You spent the first weeks going to event after event trying to get to know as many as people as possible. You spent time at coffee houses, football games, homecoming events, basically anything to fill up time until classes started, and when they did, the 2:00 AM talks with friends, still did not cease.

Now here we are, after making what seems like a lifetime of memories with all of our new friends, sitting in this very classroom, that we felt so overwhelmed in just four months ago. Here we are as new people. Here we are here as young adults who are taking on the world on our own, growing in ourselves and in our faith, with lifelong friends right alongside of us. We have so much to be proud of. Our perseverance, has proven to be successful, and will fuel us with the energy needed for the next three and a half years that will be gone quicker than we know it. God has put each and every one of us here, for a very specific reason. We are perfectly placed into this community, and should enjoy our time in it while we can. It will not be forever that we can have our best friends sleeping in the beds next to us. It will not be forever that we can live without a care in the world. It will not be forever that we can make mistakes, and it will certainly not be forever that we are able to constantly be surrounded by such a passionate group of believers. We need to take advantage of this time in our lives because, we only get to live it once.