Dear College Girl,
I want to cut to the chase, ok? Just a few months ago, I was you. I was hopping off of my bed still half asleep, brushing my teeth, and dragging my body to a 7 AM class. I was questioning every belief I've ever had. I was finding out new norms. I was learning who my true friends were and I was mourning over the ones that I lost. I was kissing boys out of loneliness. Netflix was my only company a lot of the time. Some nights felt like a dream. Some nights I cried into my pillow. I was pacing back and forth in the library, unsure of what career path I wanted to take. Yet, my possibilities were endless.
College is messy, confusing, and beautiful all at the same time.
Listen... I know you don't know me, but I really do know you. That's because I walked through this very season you are in. Though we are from different backgrounds and may have had profoundly different experiences throughout life, where you are now is exactly where I was too. So I'd like to give you some nuggets of wisdom.
Pick Your Friends Wisely: Your crowd will determine your destiny. Be careful who you hang around with these next four years because your friends have more power than you think they do. Don't just see a group of pretty girls and desire to be a part of their clique. Choose the kind of girls whose character you admire most. Don't look for the obnoxious people that are always down for a good time- because trust me, those times are fleeting and you'll regret it eventually. Find people you can have a heart to heart with. Don't make any room for shallow relationships. Fight for friends with such a depth to them that they make you see the world differently.
Desiring Does Not Equal Valuing: You're going to find out that there is a certain high from being wanted by a boy. It's exciting, alluring, and your cheek bones will probably hurt from smiling so much all because ya'll are texting rapid fire back and forth. But that's not going to last forever. There is a difference between desiring and valuing. A big difference actually. Even if you haven't written down the standards you want in a man, you subconsciously have some. If he doesn't meet those requirements, then walk away. Don't date boys out of loneliness or curiosity because it will only end in a brutal heartbreak. Know your worth and don't waste your time.
Ask For Help: If I could find one word for these four years, it would probably be "TIRING." Emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Find professors you trust, confide in them, and actually take their advice. Seek out a Christian counselor that can walk through your journey with you. Please don't find any shame in having a shoulder to cry on. For months, I avoided being transparent about my struggles out of fear of judgement, and that resulted in utter anxiety and isolation. Thankfully that only lasted a chunk of my freshman year. I'm so thankful that I spoke up and formed a support system around me. You need one too.
Remember Whose You Are: If you don't have people telling you who you are or should be already, then it is only a matter of time. These next four years are in front of you in order to help you navigate to your God given purpose. These semesters don't reveal who you are, rather, they mold you into the person you are going to be. This comes with a lot of experiences packed into a short amount of time, and trust me- Some experiences will be dark. You may freak out and think you lost your identity, but I promise you that you didn't. Reflect on the One you belong to and you'll stop asking so many questions about yourself, and you'll start resting in the answer that He is. If your eyes are fixed on Him, those scary times won't feel as scary.
College life may look so fun and perfect on social media, but keep in mind that those are just the highlight reels. There are so many in between moments that are far from picture worthy and you're probably finding that out for yourself already. But God makes beauty from the ashes. So just know that maybe, just maybe... Your failing grade on that last test, that severed friendship, and your freshman fifteen will be means for God to make your life just what He wants it to be. Let Romans 8:28 be the verse that guides you through out this time.
And please remember, you're doing better than you think you are.