First Day of School Flashback

Image from Virginia.edu

Yesterday, here in Charlottesville, marked the first day of classes for undergrads.  While there’s a part of me that’s loving settling into our new life here post-college, it’s hard not to get a tad nostalgic for my college years.  So in honor of classes starting across campuses everywhere, I thought I would share a little story from my very first day as a student at UVA.

Nine years ago, (yes, nine…isn’t that crazy?!) I was a bright eyed, excited little college girl who thought all I needed were matching bedspreads, a fabulous photo collage, a few bows (yes, I wore bows), and some Herve Chapelier and Longchamp bags to be totally set for life.

On my first day of class, I marched up McCormick Road to Cabell Hall wearing my pre-selected first day outfit.  I was going for “cute and fun,” without looking like I tried too hard.  As I walked up the hill, I remember having a little bounce in my stepI just couldn’t wait for my new life as a smart, fabulous college girl to begin!

The first day of school had rained, so the ground was a little slick.  Equally challenging was the fact that the steps in Cabell, where the majority of classes were held, were like marble, so they were especially slippery.  Can you tell where this is going?  That’s right…I walked into Cabell and as I took my first step down the stairs to lead me to my first class ever, I completely ate it, falling down an entire flight of stairs.

This alone was bad enough, but it was compounded by the fact that it was in between classes changing, so there were people EVERYWHERE.  I’m sure I even knocked a few people down as I plunged down to my destiny.  Instantly I worried I would be known as “that girl in Cabell who totally ate it.”  Lucky for me, UVA is a big school.  It’s so funny to think of now, but at the time I was mortified.  I arrived to my first class wet, muddy, frazzled, and a little bit sore.

As college continued, I often thought about that first day, partly because it was a hilarious story, but also because it was a little bit of foreshadowing for what was to come.

I arrived at college trying to so hard to give the impression that I was this cute girl who had her life totally put together.  Sometimes all it takes is a tumble down the stairs to realize that’s not the case.  In my first two years of college, God worked on my hardened heart and taught me so much about being real with the friends God put in my life.  Slowly, I began to learn about letting down my walls and opening up.  It was, and still is, so hard for me to share what’s really going on in my life…isn’t it just easier to try hide behind our cute purses?

But throughout college, I learned that when we’re willing to be vulnerable and share what we’re facing with other Christians, all of a sudden, we’re notice we’re no longer alone.  We have people who can listen, pray, support, and encourage us.  And often, when we muster up the courage to share some of life’s challenges with others, we see their walls begin to fall and as they open up, we discover we’re not the only ones who don’t have everything totally put together.  I mean, who really does?    

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
James 5:16 (NIV)

“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.  If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” 
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NLT)

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