Letters to my freshman self

Letters to my freshman self

Northwest Nazarene University
Jan 11, 2019

Dual-sport athlete in track & field and basketball 
Ellie Logan (Fossil, Oregon) graduated with a biology degree summer 2018. Now pursuing her MBA, she reflects on her journey at NNU and the process of constantly growing and learning.

Dear 18-year-old Ellie,

Hold on. Tight. You have no idea the ride that you are about to go on. There will be ups and downs, but don’t let your focus stay on the turbulence. It’s like that red-eye you’re going to take coming out of Fairbanks later this year. You can focus on the fatigue, or you can wake up and see the Northern Lights. Keep your eyes open, soak it all in, and engage every moment.

I know this sounds crazy to your competitive mind, but this next season of life is never about what you do in the gym or out on the track. It is about investing. Invest in your faith; it is the only eternal bank account. Invest in the people around you, they will show you what it means to have a home away from home and a second family. They will accept you at your worst and love you into being your best. Never doubt how far they will go to make you know your value. Make sure you do the same for them.

At the same time, never forget that your value doesn’t come from what others may or may not think of you. You are fearfully and wonderfully made—it’s about time you start believing it.

This is a season of growth. Get outside your comfort zone. Fail hard. Get back up. Do it again. In all honesty, this is a challenge you will still be trying to meet in year five (yes, I said five; don’t freak out). You are going to mess up (a lot), so learn to give yourself the same grace that you give others.

Speaking of year five, let’s talk about that whole injury bug thing, because it’s not going away anytime soon. Embrace the setbacks; they are really just set-ups for greater things. The elbow surgery, concussions, fractured tibia, torn ACL—yeah, they’re all coming. The thing is, though, they will make you fall in love with the process of rebuilding, taking something from ground zero and working until it’s back where it was meant to be. It’s what God is doing with you. It’s what you are going to do with your body. You don’t know how privileged you are to have family, trainers, physical therapists, teammates, coaches and so many others who are going to take you through this process. Never forget to say thank you.

The ride is never static; it’s going to be a constant carousel of people coming in and out of your life. Some will be there for a moment; some will be there for it all. Each one has something to show you, something to teach you. Be a willing student.

Lastly, never forget the power of a pause. Pause, and spend time with God. Pause, and get outside somewhere. Pause, and go play cards with Martha. Pause, and remember your roots. Pause, and cherish right now.


Read more of the ongoing series “Letters to my freshman self” written by senior student-athletes at