"Who is headed to the east coast?" My junior year English teacher polled our class for a show of hands. Half the class raised their's. 

"Who is staying in SoCal or the west coast?" The other half raised their's. 

Seemingly, with no one left, she hesitated, but asked, "Anyone going to the midwest?" 

With equal hesitation, I raised mine. One solitary hand. There were some snickers or chuckles, but most of my friends understood-Carrie spends her summers in Iowa. That makes sense. For her. 

Drake University Sheslow Auditorium

The week of graduation found me packing up my bedroom into two categories. One, box up for later. Two, box up for my dorm room at Drake and put in the Blazer. My dearly beloved 1993 red Chevy Blazer. 

4 days after graduation, we hit the road and I didn't come home to SoCal until Christmas.

Driving two cars in tandem across the country for 3 days gave me a lot of time to think about what I was leaving behind and what I was approaching. I knew I was going to the right school, God had made it very clear, but I had no idea what I was getting into. My freshmen year was so difficult, my body started rejecting dairy foods (just add insult to injury, right?) and I lost 10 pounds instead of gaining the infamous "Freshman 15".

But, thankfully, I met new people. Most were "Iowa nice" and I found an amazing group of people that loved me and were God with arms on. It was a fresh start and it was messy, but by the middle of freshman year, it was such a beautiful thing and I was loved for who I was-quirks and all. God used a chisel to shape me into who I am today and through His leading me to Drake, I found a wonderful church body, met my husband (who didn't go to Drake, but "coincidentally" landed at my church), and eventually the life I have now developed. 

Is adulting hard? Gosh, yes. But man, there are some pretty sweet rewards in it. Is there fear in attending a college where you know literally no one? Absolutely. But is it worth it? Darn tootin'. ;) You will be ok-I promise!!

Best of luck and strength to my dear Class of 2017 Carrie Krupke Seniors!!! You will do amazing things!!