To All the First Time College Students,
May you find the tanks in your life being fueled for the fresh beginnings that you are about to embark upon.
These are just a few words of encouragement from my heart to yours as you travel along your journey.
You are greatly loved! Loved by parents, siblings, grandparents, extended families, friends, teachers, people at church, community members, God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Those who were at your birthday parties, your graduation celebrations, and on the sidelines at your events. All are cheering you on and there for you when any needs arise.
There are great hopes for you! Don’t confuse hope with expectations. A hope is a cherished desire. An expectation is a bound duty or obligation.
We don’t expect perfection from you, for you to be an immediate expert, and for you to have a life plan clearly established. We who love you hope you have great opportunities to learn, to grow, to find your passions, to discover & develop your talents, and to meet amazing people.
Give yourself time! There are so many new things you are learning and will learn in the coming weeks and months, many of which are outside of your comprehension as you unpack boxes in your dorm rooms or apartments. That’s totally okay!
You will learn a little at a time every day. You will learn where to go and who to ask your questions of. You’ll probably find most things take longer than you originally planned. In that case, simply give yourself the gift of more time.
It’s Going to Be A Bit Bumpy! There will be ups and downs for you. We all wish we knew when those bumpy times were coming, but we don’t. Bumpy doesn’t mean bad, but it can be uncomfortable. Perhaps it’s a bit of homesickness, or a class that is confusing, or car troubles, or roommate tensions, or short deadlines. If it feels yucky, don’t freak out, that is completely normal.
There’s a Whole Lot of Help Available! You didn’t enter this world alone and you are not entering this next season of your life alone. If you need help, you simply need to ask. You’ll be surprised how much joy you can share with others just by allowing them to help you. From on campus questions, to concerns in your classes, to discovering your new community, to resolving relationship issues, there are plenty of resources for you.
You are a Precious Treasure! Whether the steps you take now lead you down a life long path, or whether they are just the steps that get you to the next road remember that You are a Precious Treasure! Your life, the person that you are, the person who you are growing into, you are a masterpiece of priceless value. You are worth more than words can describe.
You are so greatly loved no matter what you do or where you go or the choices you make. God loves you and is always with you.
Here is my prayer to add some fuel to your tank as you journey on:
Thank You for the creative wonder that You have poured into these students, each one an awe-inspiring miracle. Lord, I ask that You would fuel them and fill them with the things that they specifically need for their fresh beginnings.
Please bless them with provisional resources for books, tuition, room, board, the piles of fees, and a little extra for those things that bring them great delight. Please give them a developing patience & endurance to the extra steps that pop up in their paths – when it takes longer to get where they are going than expected.
Grant them great courage, Lord, to face directly what may be uncomfortable. Help them to connect to others in such a way to build each other up through community. May there be laughter and joy to help each other through similar struggles.
Lord, may their days bring reminders and revelations of who You are, of Your love & care for each of them, and may they feel the resilient support of those who love You Lord, and those who love each of these incredible students.
In the name of Jesus who fuels all our beginnings with freshness, Amen.