Updated: Aug 14, 2020
In a little over a month, I will be entering my senior year of college. During the past few years, I’ve seen myself grow into someone that at times, I never thought was attainable. I’ve obtained qualities that I aspired to have, but I’ve also gotten rid of qualities that I never needed to begin with. If you had told me as a senior in high school what I would be like as a senior in college, I may not have believed you.
I think that’s the point though. God molds you into someone far better than you could have ever dreamt of. He is able to do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20, NIV)- isn’t that so COOL?!
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. This is my last year in the “college chapter” of my life, then I’ll move on to the next chapter. There’s so many things that I wonder about my future. But I keep thinking back to the “high school chapter” Grace, and I wish I could tell her so much. I decided to make a list with some of those things below. Maybe you’re about to be a senior in high school reading this, or you’re entering into adult life, becoming a parent, getting married, starting a new job, moving to a new city- wherever you are, I hope this helps you. I hope this shows you that no matter what your current circumstances are, God has “immeasurably more” in store for you.
Dear Senior-In-High-School Grace,
Hey. You’re entering the final year of high school- how exciting! I hope you enjoy every moment of it with your friends before you move. I know you’re probably wondering what your college experience will be like. While I don’t want to give every single detail away, I do want to tell you some things about yourself, so I made a list (which we know you LOVE). I hope you enjoy!
1. You have so much CONFIDENCE now.
Yes, you have confidence now. But you’re going to evolve and grow in college, and that will help you a ton. Think of a butterfly: in high school, you are a caterpillar. Once you start college, you go into your chrysalis and by the end of your sophomore year of college, you’ll become a butterfly. But you won’t even realize it’s happening until it’s already done. That’s okay. It helps you to grow without second guessing what’s happening. Just let it happen. And when your friend tells you, “You’ve changed, but in a good way. You’re more confident, and that’s a good thing,” just take the compliment. Keep it in your pocket for a rainy day.
2. You still like to dance around the kitchen!
Your dance moves still pretty much suck, but it doesn’t matter. Just dance like no one is watching, whether it’s in your house or in public. Chances are, 95% of the people dancing there all secretly suck too- you’re just brave enough to try it out loud ;)
3. You’re not going to care as much what others think.
Shocking, I know. Right now, you will do just about anything to ensure that you look “alright” in other people’s eyes. I think that’s part of being in high school. There’s the cliques: the popular kids, the jocks, the thespians- so many groups that you think have their “eyes” on you. But here’s a news flash for you: None of that will matter once you graduate high school! High school popularity means nothing once you leave those cinderblock walls. If we’re being completely honest, it doesn’t matter now, either. Sure, it seems like it in the moment, but it really doesn’t. So don’t worry about what others think. It’s so relieving.
4. You're going to meet people you never thought you’d be able to meet.
Going into the music industry, you know the names and the faces. You have songwriters you look up to, and business people. Guess what? You’re going to get to meet a LOT of them, and even work with some of them! Crazy, I know. But in those moments, just remember that they’re normal people. But also, don’t overlook those moments. Hold onto it and remember it, especially the advice they give you. It can help a lot, especially when you’re in a creative rut.
5. Remember this: QUALITY friends over QUANTITY friends.
High school was a time to be with a bunch of friends. You’re always at the same places at the same time, because you’re all in the same building together, seven hours a day, five days a week. College is a little different. A lot of your friends are studying the same thing, but schedules are different. And unless you go to church together, you won’t always be seeing them at the same times every week. Friendships and relationships are all about intentionality. But, through this, you’ll learn that having a couple of really close friends is a lot better than having a list full of names. Grow in those friendships as they come, and get excited when you realize they’re there because these people who come into your life are pretty great.
6. You can’t plan your entire life out and expect for it to work out exactly how you want.
Admit it: You have a list of goals, and you think you know how to achieve them. You think that you know what your exact job is going to be once you graduate college, what apartment complex you’ll live in, your relationship status- all of it. That’s not true. Please know this: Only God knows the exact plan for your life. He’s the driver, and you’re just along for the great ride- enjoy it!
7. Don’t ignore your passions- really dig into them.
You still love songwriters, so don’t worry about that. You’re still passionate about them and their stories and all that they bring to the music industry table. However, you also have a passion for church worship and all of its aspects. You love how you can lead a worship song and see people’s brains connect the words of the song to God and the Bible, and seeing those wheels turn is a great joy. You love getting to help with church events and printing charts out for the band and meeting up for coffee with church friends because ultimately, it all leads to God and how good He is.
8. Your journey isn’t their journey.
Stop comparing your “list of accomplishments/ failures” to others. It does no good. Instead, you get into a comparison spiral, which makes you shut down your own creativity. Stop that. You’re doing great just where you are! You’re running your own race that no one can run but YOU. God prepared this life for you to live to the best of your ability. He has it all under control- so stop WORRYING.
9. You learn the art of letting go.
Grudges suck. Don’t hold onto something that isn’t worth holding on to. You will feel so free once you let go. Do it. It’s good for your mental health.
10. You are exactly where you need to be.
You’re going to want to move so fast in life; it’s in your nature- you NEVER sit still. But just remember this: You are right where you need to be in this very moment. Everything that is happening is happening for a reason. God has placed you in this moment, at this place, with these people for a reason. Don’t try to rush ahead too much, or jump ahead a few steps because you think it’ll be “easier.” Good things take time, so enjoy the “now.”
College is great. You’re going to love it. This life has so much to offer, and you have so much fun in everything you do. And guess what? You’re just getting started! Soak up every moment, and enjoy all the little things. Drive with your windows down, stay up until way past midnight watching movies and talking with your friends, drink lots of coffee, attend every concert you can- do it all. God and life is so, so good.
See you soon.