Last week, when I asked if anyone had questions for me, Jake asked, “What are the hopes and fears for the future of a young lady like you in her first year of college?” Here is my answer:
Hope and fear are certainly two of the things most prevalent in the mind of a new college student. Will I meet 10 new best friends? Will I pass all of my classes? Will I get a 100 on my first test? How will my roommate and I get along? Will it be better than high school? There are hopes of friendships and health, and the opportunity of being on your own for the first time. Here at Franciscan, it’s Which household will I join? (Ok, and in the mind of young women: Will I meet my future spouse here? Or discover a vocation to the religious life?)
I can only speak from my own experience, so that’s what I’ll do. During this first semester, I had two main hopes: To grow in my faith and to do well in my classes. As for fears, well, there’s the typical question of making friends. That was probably one of my greatest fears. Right along with sharing a room for the first time. Thankfully, both of those fears were unfounded: I have found wonderful friends who I know I will be friends with for the rest of my life, and sharing a room has proven to be a great experience. In fact, now I’m lonely when I go home and have a room to myself!
Jake’s question was about the FUTURE of someone like myself. So, my hopes for the future, starting at the near future, are as follows:
...to join a household that will bring me closer to Jesus, Mary, and the Saints
...to take every realistic opportunity to travel, both in the US and abroad
...to “make new friends and keep the old”
...to attend talks and cultural events that will expose me to concepts and ideas I’m not familiar with
...to gain practical life experience while in college
...to graduate from college with a practical degree, that will help me find a job that I enjoy and that will help me help others
...to find my vocation, be it marriage, religious, consecrated, or single life
Fears, on the other hand, are more difficult to describe. Honestly, do people really talk about their fears all that much? I do think it’s important, though, to talk about fears in order to overcome them. Two friends and I wrote down a couple of our fears
...not being able to make friends
...not keeping up with my prayer life
...not being responsible for myself
...is anyone going to actually hire me?
...that I won’t be ready to face the world after college
Then, of course, there is the fear that Otis, the dorm’s trusty yet rickety elevator, will give out halfway down, and I’ll be stuck.
(And, as my dear friend said, “Where is Prince Charming?!?!? Why isn’t he here yet?!?!?” But as funny as this may seem, it’s totally true. I think most girls go into college expecting to find their spouse and are disappointed when he doesn’t reveal himself during their freshman year. But this is a topic for another time…)
I truly think that it’s crucial to face our fears and do our best to fulfill our hopes. By doing this, we can live out our potential and become the Children of God that we are called to be.
Jake, I hope that answers your question! (If not, or if anyone else has a follow-up question, please let me know!)