I asked a few alumni to write a letter to themselves as an incoming first-year student. Our First-Year Graziadio students will wrap up a week of settling in and networking practice and start class Monday. Carly was there just a few years ago:
As you embark on this new part of your life, I am sure you are filled with anxiety and excitement. But remember there is a reason you are at Pepperdine at this time of your life with these specific people that will be around you for the next two years. Never again will you be in this place with these exact people. God has put you on this campus for a reason and a purpose. He has a bigger plan than you can imagine but don’t worry about what it is, just live out each day living out his daily calling to the people around you.
Surround yourself with a Christian community but also be a light to those around you who are in the darkness. Walk with God; He will carry you through. Rest in Him when things seem confusing or you are weighed down by worries. Cast your anxiety on the Lord because He cares for you. He knows what you are going through and why you are there; trust His ways and not yours.
Pay attention to the relationships you are forming and what God wants to do in those relationships. Do not be afraid to be yourself and stand up for your beliefs. Immerse yourself in the program; academically and socially but never lose sight of why you are in this place and what God’s will is. The more people you know, the more people God can touch through you. But don’t be mistaken, God isn’t just using you to touch others; He is using others to help you grow as well.
When things seem challenging, push through with His strength; when you are weak, He is strong and your faith will grow even more. Don’t rely on your own goodness but instead accept your brokenness and let God’s goodness shine through you. He knows what you are going through, come to Him with everything.
Most importantly just be in awe of God and what He is doing in your life. He wants a relationship with you and He is drawing you closer to Him and giving you opportunities to be in relationship with Him. Be in awe of His goodness, strength, and love for you.