A little over a year ago, I came to Chicago for the first time. I’d never been in a city like this before, and I was scared out of my mind. When I visited Moody for the first time, I tried to picture myself walking to classes, sitting in the plaza, or living in the dorms. In the moment I couldn’t and didn’t think I would ever find myself feeling like Chicago was my home. Looking back, I have a few things that I would have said to my newly 18 year old self thinking about leaving home and living in Chicago.
You got into the Moody Bible Institute!! Congratulations!! In less than 2 months, you will find yourself walking onto campus for the second time with just about everything you own, being more scared and excited than ever before. I know that Chicago seems really big and scary. I know that you are thinking that you will never, ever, get used to city life. Fear not! You will, and you will have friends that think you live on the edge and need to be more careful in the city. 🙂
I know that you are looking online at the My Moody Portal and skimming the SLG already. Yes dancing is allowed, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get judgement for being a dancer. Rafaela is amazing and you will learn to love it and the girls involved. (When you can go, because guess what you sprain both of your ankles and break your foot in the same semester. Yes, it is going to kill you on the inside. Be prepared.)
You are so anxious about meeting your roommate one day, and are freaked that you still haven’t received your room assignment. You will get that exactly 1 week before arriving on campus and you will freak out even more. When that roommate assignment finally comes, you will be nervous about meeting Vanessa for the first time. But don’t worry, she turns out to be awesome, sassy, and sarcastic and you two will get along pretty perfectly. 🙂 Like seriously, you couldn’t have gotten a more perfect first roommate. You will only end up being roommates for 1 year, but that much sass in one room is pretty dangerous. 😉
I know that you are also worried about leaving all of your current friends. You’ll still miss them desperately, but guess what?? You make new friends that are even more amazing and you will figure out that this isn’t so bad. You are going to meet Darby, Ashlyn, Jacqui, Molly, Jess, Autumn, Vanessa, Emily, Matthew, Brad, Andrew, Juan, and Andrea, and be crushed when some of these amazing people move on after graduation.
You are going to laugh, cry, stress, and struggle over two semesters, but it will be ok. There will be sleepless nights, cram sessions, and times you will want to pull your hair out because it seems like there is just too much to do and not enough time. You will have to swallow your pride and realize that D’s get degrees and that is ok. Your GPA doesn’t define you. All that matters is that you seriously try your best. You will learn to accept the SDR for the gem that it is, and start to call the library “Moody jail”. You will love some of your professors and struggle with others, but realize that they all are human too.
You will be a part of Big Bro- Big Sis, and love it.
You will not have a PCM when you arrive on campus and will figure out that they misplaced your form twice, but fear not, you will be placed with the best PCM ever and will love every second of it!! In fact, you’ll end up requesting it for your Sophomore year too. 🙂 I will warn you now, there will be exhausting moments, yelling, preteen drama, and a fellow leader will try and set you up with her son. You will be mortified, but it will all be ok. One day. When Darby stops remind you about it. ;).
You are going to miss being at home. You are going to miss mama and Lyddie especially. You will cry. You will want to go home. You’ll also learn that it’s ok to miss home. You can always call. You are going to learn some pretty tough lessons. You are going to want to quit. You are going to be stretched. You will learn, grow, and have a deeper relationship with the Lord. Alyssa, you are going to have an amazing year full of memories. Hold onto every moment that you can, because 2 semesters goes fast and before you know it, summer will come. Don’t stress about the future. Live in the present and enjoy everything while you can. Remember that everything happens for a reason, and just because it seems hard now, by the end of your spring semester, everything will seem just right.