Hey everyone!

Today I want to talk about something very pertinent to the freshman experience: The Freshman 15. I’ll be honest, it’s pretty real. If you are unfamiliar with the phrase, “Freshman 15” is used to describe how many pounds a freshman will put on during their first year in college.

Ok, I kind of lied to you. Yes, I will be talking about the Freshman 15. But no, I won’t be talking about how it is easy to gain weight the first year of college. I want to give you all 15 tips for freshman year. I will be taking three weeks, talking about five things each week that I have learned over the course of this year.

Let’s jump into it:

1. Don’t be afraid to be yourself.

I know this one may seem obvious, but it is very easy to get sucked into wanting to please others right as you move in. I remember doing things to get attention that I wouldn’t normally do, and I had to pause and really think about my actions. Once I stopped trying to be a person I thought people would like and started trying to be the person God made me to be, it felt like a huge burden was lifted off my shoulders. I was able to naturally find people who wanted to be around me for me, not some other fake Jeremy that I thought could make it in college.

2. Take advantage of the experiences placed in front of you.

You most likely won’t regret the fun things you do at Biola (unless it gets you in trouble). But there will be times where a spontaneous opportunity presents itself in front of you, and if you are like me, you might talk yourself out of doing it. But there have been a handful of times where I have put up with the lack of sleep in order to share random experiences like going to the beach at 1 A.M. or making spontaneous weekend road trips to Joshua Tree.

But on the same note,

3. Don’t beat yourself up if you miss out on something that seemed fun.

FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is way too real in college. I do remember staying up way too late during the first few weeks of college because I was scared of missing out on all the fun that people seemed to be having. In reality, all I was missing was watching people play ping pong until 2 A.M. If you do end up missing out on a fun opportunity, don’t worry. There will always been another opportunity, another experience, for you to enjoy.

4. Go to church.

I could talk for a while on this point alone, but to make a long story short, finding a church and getting invested in the community is HUGE. Being at Biola can trick you into thinking that you are getting the fellowship that the local church is supposed to provide, but Biola isn’t the church, nor is it supposed to be. God intended for us to be involved in our communities, and plugging into a church is essential for the first year of college.

5. Your education is the reason why you are at college.

Contrary to popular belief, people actually go to college to study and learn. Yes, there are so many other things that the college experience provides, but at the end of the day, you are there to grow in knowledge. Biola does an amazing job to grow its students in areas other than school, but one thing I want to suggest for all of you incoming freshman: make the most out of your classes. Go to your classes, pay attention in them, go to office hours, do homework before 3 A.M. on the day it is due. Studying your butt off actually glorifies God just as much as worshiping Him in church on Sunday does. But just like anything else, don’t make it an idol in your life. Take it seriously but don’t let it determine your worth as a person. These things all may seem obvious, but it is so extremely easy to slip into this mindset.

Well, there are the first five! I’m excited to continue this over the next few weeks!

Jeremy