It is actually unbelievable to me that this is my THIRD school year to be starting at Liberty. Contrary to what everyone thinks, this should be my senior year! But, after sitting a little while out, I’ll be taking a little longer. So this is the start to my more-than-a-junior, not-quite-a-senior year.
This first week has been a little funky, just finding classes and getting books and figuring out a new routine. But amongst that and the dreary weather I am so happy to be here.
I am so happy this is my school and the place I am getting to call home for a while.
I am so happy to see old friends and to be meeting new ones.
I am so happy to have the privilege to learn and to sit under people who are excited to teach me.
I am so happy to be in our cozy, little home.
And I just wish so badly I could go back in time and talk to the just-starting-at-Liberty Mary Kate.
I was thinking about that and thinking about how many girls may be out there feeling the same way I was two years ago. I was starting a new college and I was away from my family and friends. I was super uncomfortable and nervous. I cried my first day of class and I think everyday for the rest of the week. After completing a week there was one thing I knew for sure:
I did NOT want to go back.
But sitting here now I am so glad I did. So if anybody else is feeling that right now, this is what I wish I could go back and tell myself…
Dear 1st-year-at-Liberty Mary Kate:
I know it’s been a rough week. You miss home. You miss your family. You miss your friends. I’m sorry you’re hurting, but it IS going to be ok. Whether you believe it right now or not, you are going to love it here. You are going to THRIVE here. I know right now you are uncomfortable, but before you know it you will find comfort here. It’s good to be uncomfortable though. Even though it hurts, it’s only in the uncomfortable you will GROW. You are going to learn so much and grow so much.
Mary Kate, keep God as your first priority. Go into each day with the mindset that you want to know Him better. You’re trying to figure out how to be joyful again, but just focus on God…when you are filled with His Spirit the joy will come with that! I’m so glad you are listening to worship music getting ready in the morning and on your way to class. That’s such an amazing way to declare the truth you know. Keep worshipping and keep declaring what you know to be true! It also helps you to dwell on the Lord.
I know you feel like everybody else at school knows each other, but they do not. You came to a new school 15-hours from home and barely know a soul, but there are a TON of other students in the same boat as you! There’s people you’re walking by and sitting by that want friends JUST as bad as you do. And guess what! You can be that friend! When you’re in line in the bathroom, ask the person beside you how their day is going. Hold the door for someone. Even just smiling at a person could make their whole day! Be a kind human. And who knows….maybe they’ll talk back or smile back! 9 times out of 10 they will.
MK, make sure you are taking advantage of what your school has to offer! There’s so many opportunities so why not just take them?! Stop trying to stay away from campus and just go see what it’s got to offer. I know a lot of the time it’s easier to stay in bed and watch Netflix, but push yourself to get out and try new things. College is such a SPECIAL time of life and it’ll be ending before you know it, so have fun and try new things. Instead of thinking of all the things you are missing out at home, look at all the incredible things God is putting in your life where you are. (You’ve even painted a sign in your house now that says “Wherever you are, be all there.”) Find the beauty in the little things throughout your day.
I know you don’t even want to go back to your second week, but I also know you can hear God telling you that you are where you’re supposed to be. You can see Him providing for you. Just keep looking at how He’s moving in your life. Hold onto that. Trust Him. He’s got a GOOD plan for your life and has got AMAZING things for you in store at Liberty.
It was a tough first week, but the relationships and the experiences are going to be SO worth it. I promise. You’re going to love it. You might not love it after next week, next month, or even by the end of the year. But stick it out, because you WILL love it.
3rd-year-at-Liberty Mary Kate
p.s. Buy a winter coat. Louisiana girls are NOT cut out for the cold.