Hello, Harding family. As I depart for a junior year overseas, I'm about to get real about my time spent at Harding University. Warning: to those of you who do not know of our great school's iconic and somewhat controversial traditionalism, buckle your seat belts now because there is a major feels trip ahead.
I'm still getting over the shock of missing the first day of school. I miss the familiar faces I'd see everyday while walking around campus. I miss the thrill of Freshman year and figuring out where my classes were. I remember sitting in chapel for the first time, and though I did not put my best foot forward in having a Christian attitude in my attendance (I went over on chapel skips my first semester of freshman year), but since then, I have learned to appreciate my time in chapel.
I am a Junior now, looking forward to a semester abroad in London. Though I look forward to what awaits me overseas, I miss you. I reminisce over the anxiety I felt in fleeting moments in which I wanted people to like me so much but I didn't know how to make them stay. For the Freshman reading this, I want you to know if there is anyone you ever meet who doesn't appreciate your weirdness... whether this individual is a candidate for a potential date or someone you want to be friends with, they probably aren't worth your time. Don't ever ditch your time with friends to spend it with a date, and never chase. Those tears you cry over anyone because you feel pathetic and worthless... those tears are better spent for greater things, like that exam you worked so hard for. Save those tears, those emotions, and those feelings for someone or something that is worth fighting for.
As I pack my bags I hope you know how much you made my experience at Harding as bright as the Christmas lights which hang around campus during the wintertime. Except with you, I know you are always there for me. I am so sorry for all the times I let you down in the past. I regret all the times I could've gotten to know people better. If I've ever learned anything, it's that there is a special place in purgatory for people who reject another person. I've been on the outside looking in before, and it's not a fun place to be. I know how it feels to be that one friend who gets left out of every social gathering because one reason or another-- we all know the feeling of rejection is much stronger than the feeling of nobody but us laughing at our own jokes. For those of you who are reading this, I hope I was there for you when you needed me to be. I'm so sorry for all the times you had to always listen to my constant laments when you probably had so much you could be doing. In spite of all these hard times, I remember the fun we had together as well.
Climbing Pinnacle was a good one, but we took creativity to new levels on days which we had to stay in Searcy. The Snowpocalypse was the inspiration for a whole soundtrack I'd play in honor of us. We had cozy nights of coffee, blankets, and adult coloring. I remember each of you as we had our bonding moments. Those of you that I don't know as well as I should, you're in my thoughts and prayers as I await my semester's arrival. I hope it is a good one for you... I hope you get to know God better with each step.