As I have been experiencing my own family going back to college and seeing all the pictures and posts on social media of others experiencing sending their children off to college, I was reminded of a post that Sara wrote.
My brother Steve went to the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) and so did Sara. As Steve was driving Sara to her first year of college, His message to her was…
“When you get to college, there are going to be people who do things in front of you that will shock you. There will be people who admit to doing things that are against everything you believe in. It doesn’t make them bad people. It just makes them people who’ve done things.”
He then told her that when he got done with his first year of college he went home and thanked Mom and Dad, telling them, “I may not have always chosen to do the right thing, but at least I always knew right from wrong. That’s a lot more than some other kids at college had.”
Those two pieces of wisdom I believe can make a big difference for kids and I wanted to share again. I pray that children who are embarking on their own journey of independence can also say they know right from wrong and they can choose right regardless of what everyone else chooses. They can also love people even when they chose wrong because they are more than their mistakes.
Children also need to know that even if they choose wrong, they are always more than their mistakes. They need to know they will always be loved for exactly who they are at any given moment. And they always have a safe place to turn if they need one.
In college, look for the blessing of having friends from many different walks of life. Friends that are so close you can’t believe you are not family. Friends that are so different from you that people don’t understand how you can have any kind of relationship. You can love them all the same because every one of them will bring a richness to your life.
In the end, that’s what life is, … a series of relationships that shape us and others in profound ways.
The college journey will bring a lot of learning and this will shape their future and they will get a degree, but some of the greatest lessons learned in college boil down to this:
Be who you are and don’t compromise yourself for anyone. But don’t shut anyone out just because they are different. Love them. Listen to them. Meet them where they are at and be who God meant you to be … an extension of Him in the lives of those around you.
And have fun while you do it.