College. No matter how much you try to prepare for it, there’s no way to know what exactly will happen in the next four years. You’ll also find that the years fly by quicker than you ever thought possible. I was blessed to have some pretty sound advice passed on to me from older brothers and sisters, which really helped me keep things in perspective. Even through several unpredictable situations, I was able to recollect these pieces of wisdom in order to both keep my sanity and also make the most of my college career.
For all of you incoming freshman, I present to you – 15 pieces of advice before moving out to college:
- The friends you make this year will really make or break the next four years for you. Choose wisely, and use good judgement.
- Congrats! For the most part, you get to make your own decisions now. But beware, this freedom comes with a price, and it doesn’t always just affect you.
- Your parents are going to miss you being away from home. They’re also going to be praying for just about every aspect of your college experience. Don’t forget to call/text them.
- Don’t think that just because you’re a freshman, this year is a freebie. In fact, the harder you work this year, the easier your upperclassman life will be!
- Find an on-campus Bible study that shares your beliefs. It will make your whole life better.
- Establish and set apart quiet time with God from the very beginning of your school year. Don’t let yourself put it off and slide it onto the back burner.
- Remember this old Polish proverb: “Not my circus. Not my monkeys.” If it isn’t your drama, stay out of it!
- Just because you don’t have a “curfew” anymore doesn’t mean you aren’t responsible for what you sign yourself up for in the morning. An 8 a.m. class still starts at 8 a.m. even if you go to bed at 3!
- ^^^Keeping that in mind, don’t be afraid to wake up a little sleep-deprived if it means getting opportunities to fellowship with good friends the night before! Those are some of the best moments you’ll experience.
- You’ll probably eat out a lot. Maybe try to limit this from the beginning to save yourself a few pounds (and dollars).
- If you’re going to look for a job, try to find one that will allow you to study and work at the same time.
- Go in knowing what you believe and why you believe it. When someone is asking about your faith, replying with “because that’s what my parents believe” isn’t going to cut it. Make your faith your own.
- Get yourself an accountability partner – someone who you can trust and that you can pray with about the different things that happen in the next four years!
- People are not only going to let you down, but some of your friends will probably change! But don’t forget – you most likely won’t be friends with the same people years after college ends. Find the ones who matter.
- Your first round of midterms/finals are probably going to worry you a bit. BUT, worrying won’t help! Instead, repeat these promises to yourself, over and over again:
Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks. And God’s peace, which is so great we cannot understand it, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. | Philippians 4:6-7
Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. | Psalms 37:5
But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. | Jeremiah 17:7-8
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. | James 1:2-4
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.| Matthew 11:28-30
Enjoy these next four years. And never forget that you’ve been placed exactly where you are for a very specific purpose – just ask God to help you figure out what that may be! Welcome to college!