I was a party girl.

A St. Paddy’s Day, party like it’s 1999, drink you under the table, party girl.

Like do a keg stand at second base, while playing a game of sloshball during my first year of college, party girl.

Like selling cans of Keystone Light from my backpack at an empty kegger to get enough money to buy a full keg to host a party, party girl.

Like hosting a party and selling cups of beer out of a keg of “Meister Chow” from my bedroom window to fill in the financial aid gaps brought on by too much partying, party girl.

Awesome, right?

I wish I were done.

I followed my high school sweetheart to a junior college and flunked out my first year. Let that sink in a bit. Instead of accepting the offers at the good schools with great athletic programs that were on the table, I followed a boy.

Did you hear that, little sister?

I made a big life choice based on a boy.

I passed on opportunities that were good for me. I passed on opportunities for individual growth and a stable future. I wanted to be anywhere that high school sweetheart was, although it was never about him. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize it until he broke up with me not even one semester in.

I was a mess, but I was a mess before he broke up with me.

I had no focus, no direction, and I never asked anyone for help. Not even him.

So diving head first into the party girl life was easy and I thought I had nothing to lose . . . 

I was wrong.

Today looks so different, thank you Jesus. I am a wife and a mama but I took the long way around to get here. When I think about those days and what they cost me, I choose again to forgive myself. I hand the regret back over to the One who holds the freedom, and I choose to see the joy that was there too.

The joy that came out of that year came in the form of roommates, sisterhood. Pure joy minus a couple of now hilarious knock-down-drag-outs. I love those girls and that first year of college together. We shared our first taste of independence together in our first home. We became a family. We went to each other’s doctor appointments, shared each other’s Ramen, and picked up the pieces after break ups. We moved our furniture outside and ate pizza straight out of the box in the car. So much joy.

Little sister, the first year of college can hold great things. But take it from an ex-party girl: know your worth. Know who you are in Christ. And if you don’t know, ask someone.

Go to church. Get a mentor.

You are worth it.

Slow down and choose wisely.

Tell a friend if you are struggling. Ask for help.

Tell. Some. One.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made by a King who adores you.

What’s around the bend is so worth it.

Stay His course. Skip the party girl life. It’s really not worth it.

But, He is. 

Originally published on the author’s page

Meredith Wiser

Meredith Wiser lives in Northern California with her husband and five kids. She writes of her walk with Jesus through marriage, motherhood, and health.