Hello Friends! Thank you for stopping by to view this post. This is the time of year that I would normally be moving back into college, but since I graduated in May, this is the first year since 2010 that I'm not. It's been a really interesting thing, and it's definitely been pulling at my heart strings. I miss college, I miss learning every day and the community that came with living on campus. I didn't think I would miss it, but I do. I've been reflecting a lot this week on my years at The University of Valley Forge, and that's what this post was born out of. In this letter are some of the things I would say to freshman Kaycie if I could take her out to coffee.
Congratulations! You are about to start your freshman year of college! I am so excited for you. Seriously, you are going to experience some great things over the next five years. Oh, yes, I said five years. It's going to take you a little longer to get through college than you're currently expecting. That's okay though, you'll meet one of your best friends during that fifth year and she'll end up being one of your bridesmaids. By now, you're all moved into your dorm, you've met some friends and college life has been treating you really well so far. It stays that way for a while. However, I have to be honest with you in this letter.
Kaycie, as much as I hate to tell you this, almost no one that you are friends with your freshman year will still be your friends on your graduation day. While they are all amazing people, and they are all still doing well, you will go your separate ways, and it will be okay. Some will remain, like Labrina, your roommate. You'll live with her next year too, and you stay friends throughout college. She's a great roommate, treasure her. Also, 25% of your class that you started Valley Forge with won't stay after the year is done, and you'll be pretty heartbroken about some of the people who will leave.
In a few weeks, you'll meet a really cute boy named Asa in life formation class. He's talented, sweet, godly, and you'll be pretty smitten with him. He's currently taken, but that's okay for now. You need to stay single your first year. Cliche, I know... but trust me, you'll be glad you did. Don't worry though, you'll become really good friends with Asa, then more than friends, then you'll fall in love with him and eventually, he will be your husband. Yes, you will marry him a year after you graduate. Be good to him, he deserves it.
You'll go to Greece twice during college. GREECE. Girl, it is so amazing. I can't wait for you to experience it. You fall in love with the city of Thessaloniki, and almost as soon as you land the first time, you start dreaming of going back. You do go back, two years later, and it's just as amazing as it was the first time. You haven't gone again yet, but you will someday. I just know it.
By the way, you'll change your major twice your freshman year, you'll figure it out... I promise.
Your sophomore year will be horrible. It just will be. You'll cry a lot, A LOT. You'll go through some things that will just flat out stink, but you'll make it through. You will, and you will be stronger because of it. You will dye your hair dark brown and your mom will flip out, but you'll like it, at least for a while. Eventually, you'll go back to being the blonde that you naturally are. Kaycie, your grades are going to be pretty bad. You're not going to be a straight "A" student at any point in your college career. You will try your best to be, but you won't be. You will fail a couple classes, and you will feel really horrible about it at many points. Let me tell you this though, your grades don't define you. You are more than a letter on a paper or exam and I promise you, it will be okay. However, this is the year that you and Asa officially start dating, so that is good. Like I said before, treat him well Kaycie. Respect him. He loves you.
Junior year will be better. This is when you'll go to Greece again, you'll start to get closer to the friends who are still your friends as I write this. You start to see who your true friends are, and who they aren't. There is nothing wrong with that Kaycie. It will be horrible in the moment, but not everyone stays your friend forever, and that is okay. You have a lot of fun this year and you take some of your favorite classes and some of your best memories are made this year. You'll go to South Dakota for three months for your internship and it will be awesome.
You'll have two senior years. The first one will not be good, it will feel like sophomore year all over again. You'll live at home for the fall semester and it won't be fun. You'll be lonely, very lonely. You and Asa will say goodbye for a while, and it will absolutely break your heart, but it's necessary. You need some time to be yourselves. You'll fall pretty hard for someone else actually, but that doesn't work out. You will hope and pray for it to, but Asa is the one for you, and that doesn't change. You'll lose a lot of friends during your first senior year. People who you didn't think you would lose. That will only add to the hurt you will experience this year. You will experience a lot of hurt. I'm so sorry for everything you will have to go through this year. Kaycie, draw near to Christ, He is the only one who will get you through. Hold onto His lasting comfort and peace... you need it this year more than ever.
On the other end of that, your second senior year will be your best year ever. Your grades will be good, your true friendships will flourish. You'll laugh a lot. You'll sleep enough...finally. You'll be able to mentor people. You'll meet your new roommate, Kat, and like I said in the beginning of this letter, she'll be one of your best friends. You and Asa will get back together, and during your last semester you'll get engaged in Maryland and it will be better than you ever imagined it would be. You'll graduate in May 2015 with one of your best friends and it will be a really great feeling.
Kaycie, above anything else, remember that college is shaping you to be who you are in the future. You will want to quit, but don't, it's worth it. Hold tight to Jesus, He will get you through. He is your rock and your comfort and peace, and you need Him more in the next five years than ever before. You'll leave Valley Forge with some really great memories and a few really great friends. I am so excited for everything that awaits you these next five years. They won't always be fun, though a lot of times they will. And in the end, it will all be worth it.
You can do this girl. Believe in yourself.