You graduated high school, and maybe you cried because you loved your friends or maybe you felt ready to leave the last four years behind you. You’ve gone through a few months of summer, and maybe you’ve traveled or worked or been bored. Up until this point, you’ve been formed by a lot of events and traditions out of your control.
But now, Bama. This is where you begin making choices. This is where you find new people (or decide if you want to hang out with old friends). This is where you stumble upon a major (or pursue a lifelong passion). Regardless of how you came here, you are here, and I have a few pieces of advice as you begin school.
Above all, seek intimacy with Jesus. Sometimes Christianity becomes clouded with religious terminology and checklist items (or even an obsession with avoiding those checklist items). Forget all of that and do whatever you need to do to draw closer to God and to know him intimately. You will meet incredible people at college, but let God be the one you become closest to during this phase of life. Humble yourself daily before him, ask him to search you. Delight in his presence. You will go through mood swings this year, but the joy that comes from God is legitimately constant.
Paul prays that “your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God”. // Ephesians 3:17-19
In the process of seeking to know God and his love more, Paul points out that it’s important to join together with other people who seek to understand how great God’s love is. Part of your past may involve negative experiences with youth groups or churches. Don’t let these keep you from the Church. Connect at a local church with older people who can disciple you (and make sure to take the initiative to seek their mentorship). Find peers who will drop anything to pray with you and encourage you spiritually. I found these people at the BCM (and I hope you come to see if your people are at the BCM as well!). Even if it the BCM isn’t for you, search hard until you find peace in a group of people who love God, and then stick with those people through the joyful days and the broken days.
Last of all, let God’s love inspire your search for friendship. We all worry about finding friends at college, but ultimately, this is the bottom line: people need love, and as we begin to grasp how wide and long and high and deep his love is for us, his love will begin to overflow from us and into other people around us. Resist the urge for selfish friendship, and instead do your best to love the people you meet.
Friend, college provides a new place for growth, and I highly encourage you not to sit by complacently. Choose God, choose love, and choose to seek change. We only get so many chances to set a new trajectory. Use this one!
I am so excited to meet you! Make sure to come say hi to me at the BCM :)
Cecilia Lee // @cecilia.leee
Senior // Electrical Engineering