To Our College Freshman
I have the absolute honor and privilege to work at a Big Ten University. The same Big Ten University of which I am a proud alumni. As our dorms fill with students and the college town I call home gets back its familiar buzz, I think about the Freshman. I remember my freshman year of college and the changes and challenges it brought. The uncertainty mixed with excitement. My mind goes back to the Freshman.
They move in to the dorm this weekend and will bring their bags filled with clothes and their boxes filled with books. But you see what they bring in their hearts – anticipation, adventure, love, regret, anxiety, motivation, and hope.
They are a mix of excited, ready, terrified, and wide-eyed freedom.
As he looks for a fresh start, remind him of your faithfulness every morning no matter where he calls home.
As she looks for community, remind her you are always with her no matter where she may go.
As he looks for adventure, remind him how you walk on water, turn water to wine, feed thousands from just a few pieces of bread. Remind him how you bring life straight up out of death, beauty straight out of ashes.
May she have the patience to believe even when she doesn’t see results.
May he know the greatest adventures are found in your presence, the greatest love comes from your heart, the greatest hope is that you’ve made his heart your home.
When insecurity, comparison, disappointment and failure knock on her dorm room door, may she turn to you with her questions rather than run the other way.
Weave your wisdom into the fibers of his soul, bearing the fruit of confidence, clarity, contentment and a light heart.
May he not despise his humanity, rather may he embrace it.
May she not despise her body, rather may she learn to receive and respect her shape as a gift.
May he not despise his weakness, rather may he see how weakness brings a daily reminder to trust.
May they not fear failure, rather may they thrive in the midst of it.
May they not be quick to judge, rather may they be patient and curious.
Help them to find true friends and be a true friend in turn.
Help them find their voice and to use it to be an advocate for themselves and for others.
Replace her shame with courage.
Replace his confusion with peace.
Replace her fear with a love that moves within her beyond her ability to understand.
May your grace surprise them kindly.