It’s been I long time coming, and I know you’re already done with your first week of school, but I’m going to write this anyway.
I’m so proud of you girl, you made it through high school in one piece (at least for the most part) and now here you are going off to University to do big and great things.
Here’s a few things I wish someone had told me in my first year. I hope you find this helpful. But first, I want you to remember that I’m writing this based on my first-year experience, so it might be subjective. Take only what you find useful.
At this point you’ve attended a few lectures and have seen that it’s a lot bigger than high school and a lot more intimidating. Brace yourself kiddo, it gets a bit more intimidating before it gets easier. You’re going to meet people in your lectures that just seem to have been born knowing everything. They just seem to be able to answer every single question the Professor has, even stuff the Professor hasn’t even taught. My advice would be to not compare yourself with others, that will just stress you out. Just do your best, that’s all you can do.
You’ll soon realize that moving over 4,000 miles away from home is a lot harder than you anticipated and you’re not the only one. Most international students soon realize that they hadn’t thought about the distance all that much. And I wish I could say there’s a simple home-made remedy for skipping the homesickness, but I can’t. Crying may or may not be part of your daily route for a few months (I hope it’s the latter).
Sometimes you are (going) to feel like moving away from home was not the right choice and you’re going to wish you could just go home. And it’s okay to feel like that, but you must remind yourself of the truth. The God that took you there will sustain you.
There’s going to be days when you’re going to feel lonely and sad; you will be tempted to isolate yourself and just cry your eyes out. Don’t, just pick up the phone and call anyone and ask to them hang out. Sometimes you’re going to have to make the first step. If they can’t hang out with you, call me and we can hang out on the phone or cry together.
One thing you’re going to be forced to do is to put yourself out there. God is going to push you way outside of your comfort zone ( when you look back you won’t even see where the zone ends. Take courage. And remember to lean not on your own understanding, but on the Lord.
I know all of this sounds kind of sad, and it seems like there’s no good things to look forward to. Well there’s none (kidding!!) Of course, there’s good to look forward to, otherwise people wouldn’t still choose to study away from home.
You are going to be stretched in so many ways and you’re going to grow so much too. You’ll be surprised by how much you’ll learn about yourself and about God and about community. Community can be an amazing thing if you join the right one (which I’m sure you will). You’re going to meet amazing people, that are going to remind you of just how much God cares for you. You’re going to meet friends that will open their home up to you, and invite you into their family.
What ever comes your way, hold on. You will get through it, I know you will. And you are going to come out of first year stronger, mature and wiser. And I pray you never forget just how powerful the God you serve is. (wor
I think Dr. Seuss puts it well,
“Oh the places you’ll go!
You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers
Who soar to high heights.
…And will you succeed?
Yes, you will indeed!
98 and ¾ percent guaranteed”.
So, kiddo spread your wing and fly! And always remember you’ve got a sister that’s praying for you. And I’m only one call away (# song reference). Love you kid.