5 notes to my freshman year self



4. You’ll lose a battle against a vase of flowers

There will be a moment in college that you may never forget. It won’t be anything exciting or out of the ordinary, but it will leave a scar that you will spend the rest of your college years trying to hide. You will be washing your hands in your bathroom when you’ll hear your R.A come into your suitemate’s room.

“Ooooo!” she’ll squeal. “Who are the flowers for? Are they yours?”

You’ll hear your suitemate say no.

“Are they Sarah’s?”

“I don’t think so.”


After a pause, you’ll hear your R.A. say these words: “Well, they can’t be Gabi’s.”

Your suitemate will come into the bathroom and see your face. She’ll know that you heard what your R.A. said and reassure you that she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. But you’ll still believe her. For four years, you will continue to believe that you’re not worth a $20 vase of flowers.

In college, there will be a lot of pressure for you to be seen as worthy in a man’s eyes. People will ask you when you’re going to get married and why you’re not dating. They’ll try to get you to go out with them so you can meet a guy and stop folding laundry on Friday nights. And every time they do you’ll be reminded of this moment and your thoughts will flood with insecurity.

I want you to know that your worth is far deeper than the flowers. Your worth, in times of weakness and in strength, goes into the heavens. You are a child of God, chosen by Him, holy and blameless before Him; you are justified. You have been established, anointed by God, and sealed. You can be strong and courageous, for He is with you wherever you go. Nothing can separate you from this love.

God’s love for you is unfading, and no man’s opinion will ever change that.

“For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

3. You’ll get lost in Tokyo and be saved from a mosh pit

I know what you’re thinking. “Japan?!” Yes. It’s going to be a thing. You’ll go to Japan and it will be wonderful. And one day in Tokyo, you’ll get lost trying to find a shop, and you’ll stop two random women on the street and ask if they knew where it was. After a couple minutes of getting through a language barrier, they’ll tell you they don’t know, but that they will find out. They’ll take out their iPhones and for five minutes search with you for this shop.

In college, you will be so incredibly lonely. I don’t want to lie to you about that. It’s because of this loneliness that you won’t be able to see. You’ll be unaware of the people who were there because you’ll be so focused on the people who weren’t. I want tell you about the people who were there so you will look loneliness in the face, snap your fingers in Z formation, and say “no way, José.”

You will make it through biology because your lab partners will pat you on the back on their way out of the exam to let you know that “you got this.”

You will get through broadcast class because your staff will paint red Xs on their hands so you could film them.

You will be safe from harm on your 21st birthday because your friend will save your other friend from a drunk mosh pit at a Relient K 10 year anniversary concert (Don’t ask why the drunk people were at this concert. You’ll never understand).

You will get scarves, shoes, lamps, food, etc. for free simply because you mentioned not having it and people bought it for you.

You will never be homeless during the summer because friends and community members will let you stay at their homes for a few weeks.

You will have roommates who will come with you to get insurance information from the guy who totaled your car. And they’ll cook you food and give you tissues when you cry and buy coconut ice cream because you can’t eat dairy.

You will always have a job or internship because people will recommend you to employers, and these employers will actually care if you’re happy. 

You will have friends who will help you with car trouble, moving, taxes, and other forms of adulting.

So yes, you’ll be lonely in college, but it certainly won’t be because you’ll be alone. It will be because you can’t see.

2. You’ll commit a crime while eating questionable chicken nuggets, and you won’t throw up afterward.

There will be a moment when you realize that because of one decision, you won’t be graduating with a 4.0. It’s okay, you’re over it now (sort of). You’ll have this sobering epiphany while the song Short Skirt/Long Jacket plays on the radio. You’ll be eating chicken nuggets. You’ll be sitting on a blanket in the back of Sarah’s massive California-licensed 2007 Ford Escape.

You’ll be doing all of this illegally.

It will be the night before your history final. Your plan to study for as long as possible will be interrupted by Tina, Sarah and Abby when they tell you that they’re going camping and you’re coming too.

And soon you’re in the Escape on the beach somewhere with a sign that tells you it’s illegal to camp there. But you’ll do it anyway. You won’t leave when the police car circles around the beach. You’ll just pray.

You didn’t get arrested. You did, however, get a B in history, which at the time felt worse than getting arrested (it totally isn’t. You’re better with perspectives now).

I want you to know that the day was worth the B. And there will be other days that will be worth the B too that you will miss out on because you’re focused on one thing.

Don’t ever be focused on one thing (unless perhaps that thing is Jesus). Responsibility and spontaneity are like friends who, when they spend enough time together, make each other better. So make responsibility and spontaneity hang out. Make them have coffee on a Saturday afternoon and borrow each other’s cardigans and watch each other’s favorite television shows. Make them communicate.

If you do, you’ll graduate with a 3.9 and memories that will last forever.

1. You’ll drink wine and listen to a Luke Bryan song, and you won’t throw up afterward.

I know that every time a Luke Bryan song comes on the radio, you change the station. You just don’t like his music, and that’s okay. But one day in 2016, you’ll hear a Luke Bryan song. And because your other five preset radio stations are at commercial, you’ll put it back to 99.1 and tell yourself “it’s just three minutes.” Halfway into the song, you’ll turn it up. You’ll smile. You’ll love it.

Don’t worry, you won’t become a Luke Bryan fan. But during the CMAs that year, you’ll admit to your roommate that you like the song, and she’ll turn it up and y’all will sing it super loud (sorry suitemates) and you’ll do that weird shoulder dance that you do when a song makes you happy.

I want you to know that these moments are okay, and that they don’t change who you are. You can not like Luke Bryan’s music and appreciate one of his songs. You can drink wine and still be responsible. You can wear athletic shorts and not be an athlete. Boxing yourself in will only get in the way of finding beauty in everything.

The extremes you came to college with will be challenged. Some of them you will keep (you will still say no to drugs and lipstick), but most of them you won’t. When you embrace your inconsistencies, you’ll be able to keep your integrity, but also not be afraid of who you are.

Don’t let inconsistencies in yourself or in your life scare you, because the things that matter will be consistent through everything. Discern the parts of your life that are worth consistency, and stay true to those. For everything else, be open-minded, free, and happy.