To start this off, I want to give a little disclaimer: I’m only a couple years ahead of where you are, so I’m not going to pretend to have all the answers. All I can offer is some tips based off my own experiences and what God has taught me.
Pretty soon, you’re going to be face-to-face with a new beast called college. Maybe you’re excited, maybe you’re afraid, maybe you’re a little of both. Either way, here are some tips that might be helpful:
1. Don’t be afraid to get out there your first few weeks on campus. There will be literally thousands of freshmen in the same boat as you just looking to find some friends. If someone is sitting alone at a dining hall, ask to sit next to them. Say hi and get to know the people in your classes. Try out clubs, check out different organizations, visit the ministries on campus (especially the BCM). Soon, you’ll find your community. UA offers dozens of different ways for you to get plugged in, so take advantage of them!
2. In all things, the good and the bad, consider Christ. I was a Christian coming into college, but I had not been in church for several years. Not having a community of faith in my life during that time took its toll. If I had any idea the roller coaster God had waiting for me, I would’ve fastened my seatbelt and braced for impact. Through some crazy circumstances, I landed at the BCM, and even crazier still, I got baptized at my church in November of my freshman year. God called me to Himself, and I knew His plan for my life would be far greater than any I could conjure up on my own.
"You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the Lord, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by chasing after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes. Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to your God. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the Lord your God." // Numbers 15:39-41
The truth is, if you are a Christian, God has redeemed you at a price: the price of his only begotten Son. So when you are entering this new phase, have some sort of reminder, like a tassel, to keep God at the center of your life. Out of His great love for you, He wants to be your God. That is no small thing.
For me, I’m reminded by my recent baptism. When the worst of college comes weighing down on me, I’m reminded of my public declaration that I belong to the Lord, and, as one of my favorite songs says, “Earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t heal.” God is bigger than anything that comes your way. Consider Christ.
If I’m being honest, there’s not much more that’s important to know before you arrive. If you are seeking after your relationship with God and your relationships with people, everything else will fall in line. Know that as you’re reading this, there are prayers being lifted up for you by some loving folks at the BCM. Can’t wait to meet you this fall!
Jeff Bell // @jbell248
Junior // Piano Performance and Math
Farmington Hills, MI