I just want to start off by saying that I am so excited that each and every one of you is joining the family as part of this 1st year class and that it is going to be an amazing year! However, I won’t deny that it is going to be a year that is challenging in ways you probably have never experienced, maybe even hard, but it is all worth it. Now, hopefully I can help with making the year go a little more smoothly, or at least the beginning portion of it, by things I wish I had known before EC.
1. Get Over Yourself (Don’t Take It Personally)
So yes, of course this year is all about you growing as a person and becoming a stronger individual; and yes you are an awesome person. But the entire world does not revolve around you. Pride needs to be the first thing to walk out the door when this year starts and if it doesn’t it causes chaos and problems that should’ve been avoided by you realizing every decision made, either by Pastors, RA’s, 2nd years, Core Group Leaders, etc. may not be what you would most like but they have the common best interest in mind. And I can promise you that this year your feelings will be hurt, your toes stepped on, but I can also promise you that I can pretty much guarantee it is not on purpose (unless God really needs to get something through to you then it will be.)
2. Do NOT Bring Everything On Move-In Day
Please, please, PLEASE! Listen to me on this because I didn’t listen and man I wish I did. You do not need to bring your whole life in boxes to the condo on move-in day. Only bring clothes for that season with a few for either super hot or cold days that Michigan loves to throw in. Because depending on your closet you might not have a ton of room and I can promise you will buy more clothes. And with stuff to decorate with, others will bring things, so don’t bring all you own there either. Less is more. Not bringing everything makes move-out day a lot easier too!
3. Cherish the Little Moments
Do not take for granted all the little things that will happen in house life, or with your roommate. From the late nights talking, laughing, praying, making food, to the house meetings and house parties, these are the things that you will most remember. So don’t check out on them because they are not exploring the great outdoors or some crazy adventure. This is where you guys will bond the most, the little everyday moments that frame the whole year.
Eat healthy. Your parents aren’t shopping for you anymore but that doesn't mean you should live off fried foods and potato chips. Your body is God’s temple so treat it like a temple. I’m not saying every meal should be a salad, but that “freshmen 15” thing, it only happens when you do not take care of yourself. Want advice on the best things to buy? Girls talk to Emilly Hickmont or Mariah Laure and guys talk to Eric Stelzer or Brad Moldovan. They know what's up.
5. Go Big or Go Home
Okay don't actually go home but take this year seriously. Don't wait until November, January or March to go all in. From day one invest all that you have into EC, into Apprentice, into serving, into everything that you do. Because what you sow you will reap, and you can either reap the fruits of 100% effort or get the bare minimum and just enough to squeak by.
Free time should never be wasted time. Schedules and planners are your friends. If they are not, make them one. Laziness and missed opportunities are not your friends...and don't make them one. You really don't have to sleep an entire day away every morning you have off. And really try to schedule the free time you have to either personal alone time, God time, friend time, significant other time, whatever. Just don't leave it unassigned.
7. Have Fun
Do I really need to explain it? Learn something new, adventure, be crazy, have fun.
This year will be as great as you make it; so make it as great as possible!
Peace out muchachos!