Tyler and I successfully made the cross-country road trip from South Florida. Now, we are officially out of our element but surprisingly comfortable with our new environment. Perhaps it is because we have managed to find some familiar food chains, or people who are also from Florida. Maybe its the stuff from our home scattered around our new place. It could even be the delicious BBQ place we found about an hour out of town that makes delicious homestyle meals with Sweet Tea, sides of fried okra and pickles, boiled peanuts and pecan pie. Whatever it is, we are thankful.
Starting school in a new city can be a great experience but it can also be a challenge. My heart goes out to all the students who have yet to feel welcome in their new cities. I can recall my first time moving away from home for college. Though it was just 3 hours away, I felt like it was much further. The school was in a city that was much busier than my home town and the people were not as friendly. I remember wishing my parents might send me a picture from home or some warm reminders. However, often students who received such things appeared more “home sick” than the rest of us.
Fortunately, by mid-semester most of us settled into our new environment and found our own ways to adapt. This is when some of us began friendships that would last long after college. It is when some of us started to see ourselves as capable and determined. When we learned that our questions were valid and our perspectives unique. It was where we learned that we could make a positive impact on those around us.
Change can be nerve wrecking but it can also be exciting. Moving doesn’t mean that you leave those you care for behind but that you find new ways to connect with them. It means that you become part of a new environment and make new friends. It takes time, and effort but most great things–take time and effort. Positive impacts take work–work that we are all capable of. It is amazing how much brighter the future looks when you are ready to tackle the challenges ahead.
Today, may you be inspired and encouraged. May you not settle for that which is comfortable but find new and enriching experiences that restore your confidence, renew your excitement, lead you to positive and lasting friendships, and in turn, may you also inspire and encourage others.