College is a new experience for everyone. When you first step foot on campus you are starting an adventure like no other, but so are your parents, your siblings, your close friends, and familiar faces from back home. You are opening the door to a world of change. The people who have been there for you your whole life are also opening that same door of change, but it leads to a world in which you are no longer just a hollar away. 

While you are beginning this journey into independence, your friends and family are learning how to let you grow apart from them. Not to say you are cutting ties; no, not at all, but you are growing into the person you were always meant to be, and a period of independence is needed to do just that. 

Entering college I would like to think I was pretty independent. I could make my own decisions, handle some of my own finances, and I was working on my own schedule. I could see myself maturing, but I still needed my family. I needed my mom to cook dinner for me, my dad to give me advice in an uncertain situation, my sister to pester me about cleaning my room, and my friends to always be ready to hang out. I still needed what most every human needs: love, care, and a strong support system. 

Students Praying During Welcome Weekend

None of that went away when I came to college. My family and friends can still love and support me from a distance, and they do all the time. At Fox, I have discovered a new sense of love and support from my peers, professors, and new friends. The people on campus want you to thrive and grow in an environment that cares for you but also lets you discover who you truly are. 

Looking back at the first week of my freshman year, I reminisce about the times my roommate and I would stay up late and talk about how immensely our lives had changed. We were now responsible for getting to each commitment on time, making our own schedules, balancing school life and friends without a curfew, getting the little things done like dishes and laundry without being told to, and making connections completely on our own without the initial push from our parents to do so. 

Becoming independent is freeing, exciting and new. At times it can feel scary, but from my experience, it has helped me become who I am today. I have a newfound sense of confidence in myself and my abilities because I have been able to prove I can do most anything on my own. I can feel myself growing and developing independence each day and with each new experience. 

Family Photo of College Send Off

While developing independence is new and exciting for you, your friends and family are experiencing this change in a different way. They are most definitely missing having you around every day, missing telling you to hurry to class, missing goodnight hugs and dinner gathered together at the table. So, while you are growing and experiencing change, so are the people close to you. Nevertheless, watching you grow is a bittersweet experience your parents have been waiting for (maybe not expecting to arrive so soon). 

So, while we all experience this period of change and growth, let us remind ourselves of the people who helped us get to where we are today and who continue to be there for us every step of the way. 

Family, friends and students, prepare yourself for a world of change accompanied by love, support, care, opportunity and fun. Your experience in college is going to set you up to become the world-changer you were created to be. 

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