York College of Pennsylvania.

kathyfreundel-6

I got to talk to my 18 year old self over the weekend. I took the opportunity to speak the words that I needed me to hear all those years ago.

These friends you’re inviting into your dorm room on a hot Saturday afternoon, with whom you’ve shared the last eight months in your first foray from the comfort of your “home home” . . . these will be lifelong friends.

Cherish them.

You are craving your independence . . . wanting your life to REALLY begin.

Don’t wish these days away. College years give you the golden opportunity of authentic self-discovery. And all your choices, the good, the bad and the ugly, will shape you and strengthen you.

Embrace them.

Rachel, my sweet friend, who is ending her freshman year at York College knows this better than I ever did. She left for college with her heart full of hopes and dreams. Just three months into her first year she  lost her dad. Would  she would struggle through the remainder of her first year, heart heavy? Would she throw in the towel and come home?

nope.

I went back to campus for the first time in many years. I had my freshman roommates by my side and we visited Rachel’s Beard Hall dorm room.  Same old dorm rooms. Same old threadbare lounge furniture. Same old stale smell.  But the love and laughter were abounding. Rachel has her posse. She doesn’t know it right now, but those long lazy days are snapshots that she’ll pull out many times on her journey.

That group of friends from my first year at YCP . . . the ones  that know my good, bad and ugly, yet believe on the good . . .   they are some of my life’s richest blessings.

Love them.

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