Ever since I was a little girl, I imagined my future self. It was always, "who will I be this time next year?" and I always surprised myself by how much I'd grown. With graduation next month, college is right around the corner, and it's time to get excited for the woman I'm going to become.
To college me, please take it all in.
Move-in day, sorority recruitment, the first day of classes, all of it. Move-in day will be one of the best and hardest days of your life because while you're ecstatic for the adventure you're about to go on, you're saying goodbye to the people who made you who you are today. You'll never get that day back, so please hug your family tight and don't argue with them about where your desk should be in your dorm or where to hang that family picture on the wall. Enjoy your first night in the dorm, shocked by just how free you are now that any parental authority in your life is miles away.
These will be the best four years of your life, so take it all in because if you blink, you might just miss it.
To the college me, please revel in the joy you experience. Please take no opportunity for granted and please remember how hard you worked to get to this moment. Live in the moment of each day and never be afraid to try something new, because you never know where it might lead. Enjoy the unbridled freedom of freshman year and being able to drive to the ocean or just Cookout down the road whenever you please with whoever wants to ride shotgun. These moments are fleeting and you'll never get them back after you graduate.
I already have amazing girls in my life now that are headed to school with me, so I can never imagine how many amazing friends you've made and all the memories you have already. You've never had an opportunity quite like this, to finally have the time of your life with some amazing people in such a special place. Don't ever sit in your dorm on a weekend alone (unless you're studying, then fine) because you deserve to experience every amazing thing that this new life has to offer you.
Take the time to find your niche out of all of the campus ministries available to you, and explore different churches until you find one that feels like home. You have such a unique opportunity to be apart of a church family and grow in the Lord, and college is the perfect time to do so. Find those good Christian girls who are down for a Bible study and coffee date, because they'll be the ones you can lean on during the hard days.
But in the fun of it all, remember just how valuable this opportunity is. Education is one of the best gifts someone can give to themselves, so in the fun of freedom and spontaneity, remember to study for that exam and do those online modules that are due at 11:59 p.m. I didn't take college classes in high school just for you to have too much fun and add a C to the GPA I've worked so hard to build. Enjoy the honors program and even the most rigorous coursework, and enjoy learning with other students who value their educations just as much as you do. Make a study date with that cute boy in your Biology class, because you never know where things might go.
Live unapologetically, be joyful always and enjoy the unique opportunity you have to get an education and have the time of your life at the school of your dreams. Make me proud.