Monday, August 25, 2008


Dear Katrina,

In a few days, you'll start college! You've worried, and been excited, and been nervous. You've got your dorm room set up just right - with a few frantic phone calls home for things you forgot. I know you're thinking how final it seems to have moved your stuff out of mom and dad's house, but don't worry about it too much. It'll be home again next summer, and the summer after that, and then many weekends after that. Sure, they'll change your room into a guest room, but it'll still be yours absolutely any day or night you need or want it. They won't move on too far without you. The good news is you can go home again. But the even better news is, you'll come to a point where you don't need or necessarily want to. Not because it isn't home, but because you'll make a home of your own.

Don't worry about not leaving Madison to go to school "away from home". In a few years, you'll be needing your family even more than you do today. You'll fight a battle you don't think you'll be ready for, but they'll be there for you, and you'll find an even greater source of strength than you can possibly imagine today. And you'll have your chance to move out of town in a few years. You'll never guess it now, but you're going back near mom and dad's old stomping ground - you're heading to Sheboygan babe! And get this, you'll actually enjoy it! So don't worry about being in Madison for now. (But go ahead and fall in love with the town, because you'll be back there again soon enough too!)

I know you're nervous about classes and life here on campus. Concerned about who you'll sit by. If you'll be able to keep up and handle the studying. Wondering what you'll do on the weekends. I know not to tell you not to worry (because that definitely doesn't do you any good!), but don't be too concerned. You're on a campus of 40,000 students, which can be intimidating, but also offers you 39,999 other people to meet and so many other ways to find your place in the world. You'll find friends, and lose them, and then find more. You'll get involved in organizations, quit them, and find others. You won't fit the stereotypical mold of a student on this campus, but you'll fit your mold.

Don't devote too much of your time or heart to those guys you think are so important. They'll break your heart. But you'll get so much stronger because of them - and you'll be more discerning in the future! Be a friend even when its tough, even to people who are tough to be a friend too. You'll need them yourself sometime soon. And as tough as some of those roommates are, put up with them. They're giving you a chance to learn how confront people at least a little better - all because of a little fight over a cardboard box in the hallway of all things! Give it a few years, you'll understand all too well soon enough. But roommates won't be all bad. One of them will give you the privilege of being her maid of honor, and they'll be the ear who hears when you need to talk, the shoulder when you need one to cry on, and always there to laugh at the joke no one else will. Cherish them.

Go to class, get ice cream at 11:45 right before closing, stay up all night watching election results come in (because the 2000 election will be one to go down in history!), decide to do the year of grad school to get your Masters (even though it'll give you a student loan to pay off), find your niche in classes, with friends, in your church, in student organizations, and as a graduate making your way in the world. Cut yourself some slack, enjoy yourself, and relax - you're going to make it girl!



Anita J. said...

Oh. That was great! I have so often wondered what I would do if I could communicate with my younger self. I always say, "If I could go back and sit my 17 y.o. self down . . ." and then my husband gets mad at me because it usually ends with, "I'd still choose you, but at least I'd know what I was gettin' myself into." Lucky for me my dh has a GREAT sense of humor!

Anita J. said...

Somebody tagged me and I can't stay "it" forever. I'm tagging you, but I'm giving you to the option to yell "GOT BASE!" See your name in lights here:

Okay, your name isn't in lights, but if you hover over it, a little line pops up, and people can click on it.