I’m kind of in a weird timeline when it comes to graduating. Unlike most of my friends, my graduation is coming in December. College has been the sweetest four years (and a half… we love a good victory lap). For those of you who are freshman and reading this, I know it feels like you have so much time in front of you; three more years feels like an eternity when you start to become eager to get out into the real world. But if I can give you any advice, it would be to soak up every single second you are given. Berry is an incredibly special place. My prayer for those of you reading this who are in your first semester, is that Rome would become home for you. You would submerge yourself in everything your new home has to offer you. It might be small, but it is a treasure. But more than that I pray that you would turn your eyes to the one who has guided you to right where you are. You were made for such a time as this.
Coming into college, I was incredibly naive and a little too eager to submerge myself into the college culture. Some of these things were incredibly fruitful for my whole college career and beyond, like the community the Lord placed in front of me when I was a freshman that He knew I needed so badly.
The people that would be with me in the good, the bad and the real ugly.
The people that would stay up with me till 4 a.m. just talking, laughing and forgetting that we had an 8 a.m. that next morning.
And as college went on, they became the people that walked with me as schedules got crazier, time together got slimmer, and stress about careers began to pile up.
To clarify, I did not start my college career at Berry. I think it would be incredibly easy to become regretful that I did not get to experience all that this place is for my four years of college.
But the Lord knew what He was doing with the two and a half He gave me.
When I got to Berry, I was terrified about the transition I was making; I left my university where I had found some of my forever friends and had built a foundation that felt like home. I’m not someone who handles transition, especially when I feel like I am going into it alone. My first year at Berry was hard – honestly, pretty terrible. I was completely stuck in mourning what was at my old university instead of celebrating where the Lord had intricately placed me and rejoicing in the fact that He had a marvelous plan coming along.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens:
A time to be born and a time to die,
A time to plant and a time to uproot,
A time to kill and a time to heal,
A time to tear down and a time to build,
A time to weep and a time to laugh,
A time to mourn and a time to dance…”
This verse has always been my favorite but I see it more applicable in my life now more than ever. Graduating is terrifying. New seasons and transition are terrifying. But as easy as it would be to clench my fists and hold on tightly to all the goodness the Lord has done over the past two and a half years, I would be so silly.
Just like I did when I planted my feet here at Berry, I would miss what new goodness the Lord is placing in front of me because I am so focused on what was the best four (and a half) years of my life.
If you are a freshman, sophomore, or junior, my prayer for you is to take full advantage of whatever season you’re in. Sometimes you don’t realize how sweet you have it until the end of it is staring you blank in the face and you’re replaying all the memories in your head over and over again (currently me). Find your people, join that club, intramural, or organization that may terrify you or you feel incredibly under qualified for because the Lord does good things through it, even if it doesn’t end up looking like you thought it would.
These past four years, God has done some intricate and beautiful things in each one of our lives, but the most comforting thing is, no matter how scary graduation may be, that truth is not going to change.
And to my seniors – well, we’ve almost made it. The four years of our life that we thought would last forever are coming to a close… Though we are getting ready to take this next step and leave our sweet college years behind us, I pray that we stay in a posture of gratitude, prayer, and expectancy for all that is coming our way post-grad.
I pray we give ourselves grace in these next few months as we begin to step into different careers, as our schedules change, and the miles between us get larger. These past four years, God has done some intricate and beautiful things in each one of our lives, but the most comforting thing is, no matter how scary graduation may be, that truth is not going to change. God’s still rooting for us. He is still preparing and cultivating a specific timeline for each of us, though they make look so different. So try not to let the stress creep up too much, because though we just experienced the best 4 years of our life thus far, the greatest is still yet to come.
Jordan is a journalism major with a religion minor from Powder Springs, GA. She loves to write, she is a big mountain girl (she would take that over the beach any day) and she does YoungLife at Berry. Her friends would say she drinks way too much coffee and in her free time she loves strolling around Lavender Mountain Hardware or any antique shop. Jordan’s goal post grad is to go into ministry – whether that be working for a church or non-profit.