Hey Freshman Nick. Yeah you…the kid with the 7 inch biceps and beardless face. The kid that rocks cargo shorts. The kid that thinks green t-shirts match with green basketball shorts. I have a few things to tell you before you start your freshman year.
1.”You laugh at me because I am different, I laugh at you because you’re all the same”
I get it. You are far from home and you are trying to make friends. I understand that you want to be liked by others. Just remember, be yourself no matter what. Do not change who you are as an individual in order to blend in with the crowd. BUnique.
2. “A season of loneliness and isolation is when the caterpillar gets its wings. Remember that next time you feel alone.”
I can promise you that there will be moments of isolation. There will be moments where no one will understand you. There will be moments where you look up to God and ask WHY? There will be moments when you scream from the top of the parking garage. However, in these moments I can assure you that your faith will become solidified. In these moments of loneliness you will find your greatest friendship. Your friendship with God.
3. “How people treat other people is a direct reflection of how they feel about themselves.”
Be kind to everyone you see on campus. Call everyone by their first name. Thank your friends for being there for you in the good and bad times. Thank your professors for helping you succeed. Buy the person behind you in line at Starbucks a coffee. Help that kid get his bike off the bike rack. Smile at others because you see Christ in them.
4. “Be stronger than your strongest excuse.”
There will be times when you want to give up. You will say that you are tired. You will hit the snooze button. You won’t go to the gym because you “just ate.” You won’t study more for the test because your “brain is fried.” Stop. Take a deep breath. Or two. Or three. Remember the Navy Seal’s 40 percent rule. When you think you have nothing left and you feel like you can’t go on anymore that is only 60 percent of your strength. You still have 40 percent left. Keep fighting.
5. Life isn’t as serious as the mind makes it out to be.”
Study but CHILL OUT. The memories you make in college will have nothing to do with the equations in your textbook, but everything to do with your new best friends. Dance when you are walking to class. Sing in your car. Laugh for no reason. Smile because frowning sucks. Wear chubbies and cowboy boots….and rock it.
6. “The Biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply.”
LISTEN to people. Hear their story. Don’t talk so much (I know that is hard for you). Everyone around you is fighting a battle you have NO idea about. So listen. Pray for others. Hug people. Let your friends and strangers know that you are here to fight in this battle of life with them. Use your words to heal not to hurt. Be empathetic. As Brene Brown says…sympathy is looking down at a person in a ditch asking how you can help. Empathy is climbing down into the ditch in order to help them.
7.”If you love deeply you’re going to get hurt badly. But it’s still worth it.”
Forgive others. We are all sinners in a sin filled world. Hate the sin but LOVE the sinner. Do not let small harmful words destroy a well-built friendship.
8. “Too many people are trying to find the right person instead of being the right person.”
Don’t let the search for “Miss Right” get in the way of your development as a man of God. Seek to be a better soldier in God’s army and everything will fall into place. Be a gentleman to ALL women that you meet. Treat them like you would like someone to treat your little sister.
9. We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties.”
Pray everyday. Even when you are tired. Even when you feel that God isn’t listening. Even when you just failed a test. Even when you just aced a test. Pray. Pray. Pray.
Lastly…the most important thing I would like you to know.
Live by this in every moment and you will find peace.
Have a rad journey kid.
Nick Bellacicco, Senior