Haley, you are just now starting college, those magical 4 years you’ve been looking forward to since childhood. You finally have the freedom of living alone for the first time. You will be overloaded with big decisions: who to date, what major to choose, where to go after graduating. You’ll have to learn to do a lot of things for yourself and it will take humility to ask for help when you fall down.
Enjoy your downtime, but be productive. Pour your time into your hobbies and getting better at the things you’re passionate about. Your hobbies will change, and you will go through phases of being into different things. Don’t feel guilty about that! You have lots of interests, and hopping from thing to thing doesn’t have to be bad. Explore everything and find what you love!
Call your parents. It can be easy to go too long without talking, but you will regret not staying in touch more often. Call your mom. You both need each other. Keep in touch with your dearest friends from high school. Continue to love them, because they are some of the most genuine people you know.
Read your bible and spend time in prayer daily. You desire a deep relationship with your God, so pursue Him with everything you have. There will be times where you struggle to find that closeness and have doubts. Push through and always run back to Him. You have seen endless examples of His goodness and provision. Remember those every day. He is good.
Don’t be afraid to take the chance on dating. Yes, you know exactly who I’m talking about. Dating is an amazing time to grow and learn about yourself, another person, and God’s goodness and grace. Watch carefully, because God is telling you to take the leap.
You will remember everyone you meet. For real. You’ll find yourself spotting someone across the room in your graduation ceremony and for some reason, you’ll remember something specific they said in the two days you spent with them during orientation 4 years prior. Make connections now and stay in touch with those you can see in your life years down the road!
Take college as a fresh start. This is your time to learn to love and appreciate your differences. You are beautiful and valuable. Stop speaking negatively to and of yourself. Speak with love only and treat your body like a temple. Eat good foods and exercise out of love for your body and for God. Develop your healthy mindset now so the next few years will be healthier.
It is easy to get caught in a bubble. It may be a Christian bubble or a friend bubble, but try your best to reach out to others often. Mingle with people of different backgrounds and ages and genuinely invest time in them. You will be so thankful for the unexpected experiences during your college years.
Develop a workout plan soon. Find some friends to work out with and make it a fun experience. Try new sports and don’t be afraid to fail. You often hold yourself back by being too fearful, so try to take everything as a learning experience. Making a fool out of yourself isn’t the worst thing you can do!
Be cautious about what you share with people. You have a tendency to share too much, too soon, and this can cause distrust when those you spend time with aren’t as solid as you think. Continue to take a chance on people. Make friends. But don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. There will be times when “southern culture” will get to you. You’ll get frustrated and feel lonely. Find the positives and focus on the love you have for Auburn and the people around you.
Be loving, thoughtful, caring, adventurous, Godly, and encouraging. Strive always to be your best.