Dear little freshman Grace,
At this time right now, you're gearing up for your first ever finals week. You're stressed about math, you just found out you're getting a single room. You're finally starting to get out of your shell and you just started going to this thing called Cru. You've been doing this for a couple of months now and you're still so nervous to be in public, you still feel like you don't really have friends yet. You don't know if you want to be a nursing major, and it's causing you incredible anxiety. Right now, though, I want to tell you a secret. You're about to learn big and love hard and I swear to you, you will get used to this and you will cherish every second.
Scared, 18-year-old Grace, I know that you are trying to make big decisions, that doesn't go away. Junior Grace cries a lot over decisions and how to make them. You're going to major in public relations, I know you don't even know that's a major yet, but grandma is going to tell you that your strengths aren't in science and math but rather writing and public speaking and you will realize she's right.
Here's another beautiful thing; Next semester, you get friends, you meet your best friend, your future roommate. Being involved in Cru gets you lots and lots of friends, the kind of people you can't imagine living without. You decide to go on a summer mission to South Lake Tahoe, California, a place you don't even know exists. And guess what? It changes you in ways you didn't even know you needed to have changed.
You "fall in love' and you get your heart "broken" and it feels like the world's ending. You'll fail a little bit and it will make you consider how much you really want this degree. There will be days where you feel so, so alone. You'll learn to lean on God in those times. You're about to realize that you're here for a reason, you didn't get to Washington State on accident.
Here's a crazy thing. You stop being so shy. People actually have identified you as an extrovert, which junior Grace knows she'd still rather hang out alone in her room but you're not letting it stop you anymore. You come so far. Every year feels like a huge undertaking and it is. The time will keep flying by and in the blink of an eye, you will find yourself surrounded by people you don't know right now as a freshman, most of them are still in high school. You'll find yourself in English 301 wishing you were back in 101 even though right now Alex is making you nothing but mad.
I will not tell you it gets better, or easier or even more comfortable. It does not. You still cry a lot, that must just be who you are. But guess what! You smile more now. You're much more content with being here. It doesn't get easier, but you learn to love it. You're just now starting to realize that you're leaving sooner than you'd like, that's okay, you'll have to move on.
It's all okay. You'll have days where you think it's all over, but it's not, you wake up in the morning, breathing and thankful. You beautiful soul, you learn that giving up is a lot harder than trying and you never, ever give up on what really matters, so thank you, little Grace. Thank you for making the decisions you did, I know you're scared right now, but junior Grace is so glad you did exactly what you did, exactly when you did it.
One day in November of 2016 (yeah, I know, what!) You will be crying and someone will walk in and ask if you're okay and you'll say "Yes! I'm just so glad I'm here. If you had told me where I'd be right now when I was a freshman, I wouldn't have believed you." That's all because of you, so I know it's hard, but I promise sweet girl, you come so far.