Looking Forward after Freshman Year

I think we’ve all heard enough of the “this year was full of unexpected circumstances” and the “you’ve missed out on so much”. Sure, we’ve never lived through anything like Covid-19. And yes, there are a lot of experiences that I missed and that I’m still a little sad about. But seriously, when did we ever think we had it all figured out? When did we ever know exactly what to expect at every moment? And when did everything always go our way?

It’s really easy to fall into self-pity when thinking about my freshman year and everything we missed, but it’s so important to consider the experiences and friendships, and growth I may have missed if it had been a normal year. God’s provision comes in such amazing and unexpected ways and focusing on Him instead of my circumstances has changed my mindset and given me a new perspective. If I had to give someone a grand, overarching lesson or theme from my life, I would say that God’s provision has always been so evident for me. When tragedy struck my family, when friendships at school fell apart, when I became my own worst critic, He always had a plan for me—and it never involved muscling through the pain alone. When the pandemic grounded my plans to visit Bama and UChicago, He provided clarity and peace in my college decision making. When I was unsure about how exactly to make friends, He provided outgoing, kind, genuine people who made my transition to college much easier. Before coming to school, I began receiving emails from the BCM with letters to incoming freshmen written by current students. These students poured their hearts into their words, and I knew I wanted to be involved in Christian ministry with this kind of people—people who would challenge me, walk beside me, and just be a friend to me. Since I had never been to campus, I scheduled a class tour with the BCM; my guide was sweet and welcoming, saying I could text her if I needed anything. I went to Lake Nicol with a group of BCM students on Labor Day weekend, and that connected me with a fun, authentic group of people and one of my closest friends. When my housing situation presented me with tense, exhausting challenges, the BCM became a refuge for me. In all these ways, the BCM was such an obvious sign of God’s provision for me. Throughout this past year, the BCM has been a welcoming environment for me to de-stress, work on homework, and meet new friends. From Wednesday Lunch and random Cook Out runs to Journey Groups and life talks, I found a place where I was completely accepted, valued, and pushed to grow in my relationship with Jesus. I’m thrilled to be a part of this ministry because of the opportunity to reach out to incoming freshmen as other students did for me. I firmly believe that I would not have had such a positive freshman experience if I had not found the BCM, and I hope to continue that legacy with incoming classes in the future. And had Covid not affected my entire year, I may have missed out on a ton of valuable experiences and opportunities for spiritual growth. I want to encourage everyone, whether you’re just beginning college, graduating and moving on, or continuing your education here at Bama, to always look for a way to grow through every season of your life. God promises that He will work everything for your good, even if the situation itself may not seem good; search for His perspective and you will find peace. He will sustain you, and He will provide for you. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you” Isaiah 43:2


Lindsey Weeldreyer | Sophomore | Emery, SD | @lindseyweeldreyer