After a night of receiving much love, I wrote this email for my fellow peers. Much of it seemed appropriate for any Coptic college student in some capacity, and so I thought I’d share.
To the many wonderful members of Coptic Club,
I couldn’t go without one more long email. Many of you spoke of my sassiness and strong opinions—I won’t argue there :p …But do not confuse my brazen confidence for wisdom. I am a 22-year-old girl chock-full of foolishness. Keep that in mind when you read this, and don’t say I didn’t warn you if you actually heed my advice.
I’ve been changed by the last four years. I have seen suffering that I could not have imagined. There will be days when the darkness seems capable of swallowing the light, when hopelessness seems practical not dramatic.
I’ve also seen joy that I could not have fathomed. Sometimes your heartstrings will hum like a perfectly tuned orchestra. Sometimes you’ll get goosebumps in the middle of a normal moment—just pure, unadulterated happiness and you’ll realize: you can never go back to this time. There are only so many early morning walks to Bodo’s under the lingering stars, only so many nights (like this one) spent laughing in Arch’s. You’ll be climbing Humpback with a group of friends and one time that time will be your last hike up the beloved mountain. This moment can’t be replicated. You can’t put it on rewind and live it again.
So take a mental picture and thank God for the goodness in your life.
He’ll bless you with monumental successes you’ll never see coming, and He’ll teach you with failures that will always blindside you. Sometimes you’ll work towards something never knowing if the seeds will turn out sprouts. Work towards it anyways. ‘Don’t be otherwise; fling yourself straight into life, without deliberation; don’t be afraid—the flood will bear you to the bank and set you safe on your feet again.’ (Dostoevsky)
These last four years have changed me. God knows they will change you too. Be conscious of the change. Let them change you not just for the better, but for the best.
You attend one of the greatest universities in the world, on a beautiful campus with kind and thoughtful and thought-provoking people. Intelligence is everywhere (and so is stupidity, but let’s be glass half-full). You’ll hear it on the Corner and you’ll read it on the signs. You are a quick walk away from famous poets and leading experts and maybe another budding priest is sitting beside you in Coptic Club or will be next year.
Now I, and many others with me, venture out into the unknown. Sometimes life feels like a series of breakdowns in a different library bathroom, and I’ve made more than my share of dumb mistakes to get myself there. But God is gentle—even when He feels like a hurricane, even when you throw yourself into a hurricane—He will guide you to the eye of the storm and you will be at peace. He will use every situation to teach you, to help you grow, and when all your growing through college is done, just when you’ve finally got college all figured out, He will make you move on. So enjoy these adventures while they last. A new round will be here to greet you before you’re ready to say goodbye.
In the love of Christ,