Today is move in day at my alma mater. I happen to (still) live in the same town (though I did escape for a couple of years.) Ten years ago I was moving in for the very last time. Here is what I wrote four years ago, to my about-to-enter-college self.
Dear Amanda '99
You are about to enter an amazing four years of your life. There will be days (and weeks) when it will feel anything but amazing, but hang-on. You will look back at even those less-than-amazing days and smile. Don't be afraid to try new things. College is NOT high school. Everyone starts on equal ground here. Break out of your shell and don't worry about things like rejection, not being good enough, not being qualified. Don't worry about dating either. It does turn out well in the end. I know the chapel services about meeting your spouse will echo in your ears, but keep in mind those people graduated from EU at a different time. It is okay to leave college unmarried. God has a plan. Some other things to keep in mind:
* Yes, freshmen year the chapel speakers are not that great, but the other three years they get a lot better. You will miss the sense of community from these gatherings once you leave.
* Enjoy Get-Your-Roommate-a-Date, even though you never really know the guy your friends get for you. Enjoy the crazy hayrides with the goats (every year) and hearing that your friend "looks like the devil" and your freshmen date having ADD all night.
* Go to banquet. You do not need a date for this event. You will regret only going your senior year.
* Be prepared for a strange couple to accompany your group to Spring Fling. Put your blanket down early so that your party doesn't get split up.
* Do not stand up and cheer loudly at the pep rally when B2S is called. It is B2S, not W2S. Your floor does not win. Stay seated. Pass this info on to Heather as well.
* Never miss an opportunity to stay up late in someone's room or in the hall to chat.
* Do not drive HermanOscar home for Easter. Get his belt fixed. Yes, he has a belt problem.
* Do not leave the "cleanliness is next to godliness" note for your suitemates. You will cry later that evening if you do.
* Take speech class before your senior year. It isn't that bad. Mr. Kelton is hilarious.
* Dating your friend back home seems like a good idea over the summer. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't, but you will be sad to lose the friendship when the relationship is over.
* Enjoy Wal-mart trips. Later in life Springfield will suck you back in, and you will hate Wal-mart.
* Take Spanish. Fit it into your schedule. Do not take World History I - at least not with that professor. Do not take geology. It is not rocks for jocks. Do not mention liking Judy Blume in your children's lit class. Harry Potter is okay, but Judy Blume apparently is of the devil.
* Go to the fitness center. I mean more than for HarvestFest and SpringFling. You are paying for it, and you WILL pay for not going when you take lifetime fitness. Oh - study for the lifetime fitness final.
* Find a costume for Superhero day. Be prepared to see Larry Boy and CatWoman raising their hands in worship.
* Learn to do a handstand. This will be important for floor gymnastics.
* Take an umbrella when you go for an ice cream or Taco Bell run. It will rain most of the time on your return trip.
* Don't be offended that the guy who uttered the phrase "She went from cute to hot" isn't interested in anything more than friendship. You can do so much better - don't waste a moment or a thought on him.
* Never pass up a trip to Cheddars or the Muddhouse or a nighttime walk around campus.
* Learn to play Mafia so that you can dominate at Crosswalk functions.
* Be kind. Don't get involved/overwhelmed with the girl drama. Treat other people the way you want to be treated.
* Enjoy every moment. It will fly by. Treasure your friendships. Many of them will last a lifetime thanks to the internet. Learn to love Springfield and the A/G. You will end up spending more time eventually with both. Yes, it's true. Don't laugh. Worship, study, work, and play with all of your heart for the next four years.
Amanda in 2009