There is something so heartbreaking about leaving something behind even though you know it’s time to move on. GRIT has been my heart’s home at Biola since my freshman year. In other words, I would not have grown into the woman I am today without GRIT nurturing strength in me and being the guiding light it always was.

With each year came a new team and my team members were always older than me (until this past year). I have gained so much wisdom from the women who have walked through this space with me and held my hand as I grew up. Departing from this sacred place is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.

If there’s a few things I want to leave you with, it’s these: College passes by in the blink of an eye. Cherish these days—even if you hate it right now. I’m telling you, you’re going to miss them when they are gone. Go out of your way to make friends with someone you have a friend crush on. Go out of your way to tell someone you actually have a crush on them. Your days in this phase of life are so limited and I cannot stress enough how precious they are.

Another thing is this: being a woman is a high honor from God. I’m telling you… it is such an incredible thing to realize the power of being a self-aware, self-loving woman. The world and the people around you (even at Biola) are going to try to bring you down and make you feel lesser-than for being a female. Do not let anything stop you. Some of you may be wondering “why make it a gender thing?” And to that I say: because women have been put down for generations, and I won’t stand for it. You shouldn’t either. Get out there and change the world.

Before I get to my last point, here are some quick pieces of advice I have for you: caring about what the general public think of you is a waste of time, but it’s not a waste of time to care what your loved ones think of you (they only want the best for you). It’s okay to spend $6 on an oat milk matcha from Stereoscope, but don’t do it every day. Invest in a planner. Go places by yourself! If you need to scream, do it in the car so you don’t scare anyone. If you think a fight is worth it, stay in the fight until things are resolved; keeping things in harbors bitterness. Lastly, experiment with your style in college—no one knows who they are yet and don’t expect you to either.

And finally, lean into Jesus. I’m keeping this vague because everyone’s faith looks different. Maybe you have doubts about who Jesus is. Lean into that and do some searching yourself—you may be delighted in what you find. Perhaps he’s nudging you to pursue something greater in your life. Keep your eyes and ears wide open to your calling. There is not a better thing you could be doing than what Jesus is calling you to. And that’s a promise.

To Lisa, Sarah, and Katie: I owe you everything. You saw me through the roughest breakups and the most exciting opportunities throughout my college career. Lexi, I am so proud of you for taking on GRIT. You are going to see this thing go further than you ever could have imagined. And to my fellow interns and closest friends, Danielle, Logan, Rachel, and Thecla, thank you for being an incredible source of comfort and support during my final days of college.

I’m done here for now, but I can only imagine what incredible things the future GRIT ladies have in store for Biola. This campus needs you.

All My Love,