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    The Time of Your Life!

    There can be great joy in being a freshman.

    I will never forget my first day on campus. The ride on the elevator to the fifth floor seemed to take forever. I dragged my suitcases and boxes into my tiny room and then piled most of my possessions on my bed. The springs groaned under the weight. I saw my roommate for the first time and wondered, Will I get along with this guy? I saw the tears in my mother's eyes as she said goodbye. I felt an unsettling mix of feelings later that evening as I stared out my window, an odd blend of fear and excitement.

    Of course, that was just the first day. During my first quarter, I worked hard to learn my way around campus. I also made friends with a guy named Stu, who eventually became my roommate. (You got it, my first roommate didn't work out.) There were activities and games with other dorm floors and chances to meet tons of new people. There were walks across campus with the snow blowing so hard I could only see inches in front of me.

    And there was the incredible sense of freedom I felt because I was finally on my own, making new decisions every single day. Sure, I made some mistakes—washing colors with my white clothes was one of them. But during that first year of college, I learned so much, both in and out of the classroom. I also grew a lot in my walk with God. I actually learned to share my faith without fumbling over every word I wanted to say. And I had more fun than I ever thought possible.

    As you plan for your first year of college, I hope you're getting ready for some great new experiences and lasting memories. Without a doubt, you'll make new friends. You'll definitely learn a lot. Sure, you'll make a few silly mistakes (just don't wash red shirts with white underwear). But you'll also see God do some pretty incredible things in your life. And you're going to have a whole lot of fun along the way. No doubt about it.

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