The whole summer I wrestled and wrestled with what I wanted the “back to school blog post” to look like. I have written two posts, but wasn’t entirely feeling them. So, here I am, at 12:30 a.m. on a Thursday night writing what is truly on my heart.
After serving in various roles welcoming new students at Virginia Tech this summer, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on the lessons I have learned, and what lessons I want new students to take away.
The amount of advice on the internet for folks entering new stages of life is entirely overwhelming. I have found some it of to be helpful, and portions of it to be too ideal and unrealistic.
I am here, trying to enter this conversation, with a bit of a broken heart. A heart that is yearning for new students entering transition to understand their themselves before moving into college. To understand what they stand for, what they are working for, and what can set them on track to get there. To not listen to the voices in their heads telling them what is “cool” or “right” or will make people “like” them.
My heart aches because each of these things will steal your joy and will never make you ultimately happy. Three years in, and I am still struggling as I sit here at my desk at 12:45 a.m. now. Tears are still springing to my eyes as I have constant reminder after reminder that the things of this world cannot satisfy our human hearts, no matter how hard we try.
A lot of new students are in their first week as a college kid. After hearing all the rumors, seeing all the movies, getting warnings from parents- here we are, at the first week.
This is where my heart starts to hurt because I am feeling what a lot of these students are going through.
Even if you’re not a college student, chances are that you know what it feels like to look around at a crowd and to experience this pull in your chest to be included and liked. To not be sure about your own feelings or opinions, but to buy into what the culture is preaching. These students are living in it, they can literally hear rumblings of the crowd outside their bedroom door. New students are existing in a culture that they might not buy into, but feel as if they need to adapt themselves to be welcomed.
This is a trap. Not just of college, but a trap of the world. No matter how hard you try, buying into a culture that doesn’t exude and represent the values you stand for will always let you down. Investing in a community that is not investing goodness back into you will fail you every single time. I am so sure because it has let me down time and time again.
So, I stand here with a broken heart because transition and new experiences are wonderful. I’m not sure where I would be right now without the lessons God has taught me through my university.
But my heart hurts because I know it is so hard. It is hard to make the right decisions for you, regardless of the crowd. Regardless of what people will think. Regardless of being liked. Regardless of fitting in. It is entirely easier said than done.
So, here I am, sharing that if you are feeling this way, I am too. Three years later, and it still hurts my chest. You are not alone in that.
I believe in you though. You will find your people, you will find your place, you will find a community that stands for exactly what you want to represent. I am confident in that.
Until then, think about why you are doing what you are doing. I will be right alongside of you, brokenhearted yet encouraged that I am not alone, reminding myself of the same lesson.