In life, we make good and bad choices. Sometimes we don’t realize it until we are enduring the consequences, and often wish we had the power to start over. Unfortunately, that is not usually the case. We can’t rewind time, and we can’t change the past. Yet every once in a while we have the opportunity to start over; whether transferring to a new school, making new friends, beginning a new semester of college, or simply starting a new month.
However, when we are in these situations with the chance to make ourselves better and begin again, fear of the unknown can strike. My freshman year of college, I transferred after the first semester. Although I was excited to be at a new school that would hopefully become “home,” I was scared of having to begin all over again.
Looking back on the chance I was given to start anew, I have a few words that I wish someone would have given me as I went in to a new school, new friendships, new environment, and a new chapter of my life.
Dear Me 2.0,
Congratulations! You’ve been given a second chance. The opportunity to start over. The chance to be the best you. I know what you’re thinking. This is an exciting time in your life! But I also know you are scared. Finding your way in an unknown place, living with a stranger, making friends with people who have known each other for months now. It can be scary to not know what the change will bring—if you'll be happy and successful. But this is where the fear ends. No more being anxious, no more asking yourself “what if…?” This is your time to shine, your time to be who you want to be.
Don’t take this opportunity lightly. Not everyone gets to start over like you. This is where you decide how to make the best of your past mistakes, the lessons you learned, and the new lot that has been handed to you.
Be excited, open minded, and joyful. Go into every new start with a good attitude. Just as others are seeing you in a new light, let your new environment guide you to seeing the world in a new manner. Don’t let anything or anyone hold you back from being who you know you are. Leave behind any negative thoughts about yourself, and allow your true self to draw others to you, because trust me, your joy is contagious and you don’t need to fake who you are for others to like you. Friends will come, and only few will remain. But staying true to yourself will result in the most beneficial and genuine friendships. Be outgoing. Take risks, and if given the opportunity, adventure! After all, you’re in unfamiliar territory…everything is an adventure.
But most of all, trust that this new chance you were given is all part of a greater plan for your life. You may not understand it at this very moment, but soon enough it will all makes sense. Give up your expectations, and allow God to show you the purpose you have in your new beginning.
“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11