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Letter to my child going off to college
My dear child,
Here you are, about to leave for college. Who can believe this? You can, I know. You’ve worked hard to get to this point. You’ve gone through all the fun and excitement of high school graduation, and now you’re about to start this next phase.
You are excited, and maybe a little nervous. So am I!
Really, even though I might seem emotional and a little weepy, please know how thrilled I am. I’m happy for you and for the wonderful season of life you are entering. Your dad and I are so very proud.
As you leave our home — our little nest and the only way of life you’ve known up until now — I have a few things I want to tell you. You are about to begin a brand new adventure, and it’s so wonderful to watch.
One of the most important things I want you to know is that while you are sure to find a lot of success, remember that whatever mistakes you make along the way are part of the deal. Some might be epic, some might be small missteps. We don’t expect you to be perfect. Always remember that Dad and I are here for you. We are your biggest cheerleaders and your greatest allies. Never be afraid to tell us something. We can’t help you if you don’t let us know.
Second, please remember the things we’ve taught you. We really do know some things! We’ve made mistakes along the way (please forgive us for those), but we also have learned some lessons as we’ve gotten older. We want the best for you, and that’s what motivates everything we do for you. We love you! While you will be tempted to see some of what we’ve taught you as old-fashioned or backward, always feel free to ask us where we were coming from when we said that. It will help things make sense.
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Third, make new friends, but keep the old. We are so excited for all the new friendships you are sure to form. Be true to yourself, knowing that you are made in God’s image and he loves you dearly, and keep that in mind when you begin to spend time with new people. Seek out those who will support you in what matters. Avoid people who don’t encourage you in your standards. You can be kind to everyone, but don’t sell yourself short with who you invest your time and energy in. My prayer is that you find good friends who draw you closer to Jesus and who encourage you to do your very best in everything.
As for your family, please don’t forget us! We know you won’t. We are here for you. While you are surely going to have fun, remember our great love for you. We will be waiting with excitement to see you soon.
Finally, don’t forget God’s magnificent love for you. Don’t forget he has a plan for you. He has something he created you to do. Remember to ask God to keep you in the center of his perfect will, and you will never go wrong. Our Catholic faith has so many graces to offer you as you travel on your journey. Don’t forget to use confession and adoration to stay close to God. Make efforts to build community around Mass as well. What you are fed in the Eucharist is what our souls long for — that deep connection with our creator that the sacraments give us.
Ultimately, the best way to stay close to God is to spend time with him. In the quiet, remember God is there. He is with you in the happiest moments and in your biggest challenges. Don’t try and leave him out — he wants to be a part of it all.
My dear college child, I love you so much, and I’m so excited about this next chapter. You are ready for this, and it’s going to be a wonderful adventure to watch.
I love you,
Rachel Balducci writes from Georgia and is the author of “Make My Life Simple” (OSV $16.95).