What’s up everyone?!

Last week, I introduced the series of three blog posts that I am doing called The Freshman 15. In this series, I am giving fifteen tips that I have learned from my freshman year at Biola. You can go back and read part one of the series to get a better understanding of why I am doing this series and read my first five tips! In this post, I’ll be giving the next five tips.

6. Talk to your parents regularly.

This tip probably either sounds super obvious or super scary, depending on the relationship you have with your parents. But, either way, this is definitely something I have greatly benefited from this year, especially since I don’t live close to home. My parents live in Texas, and I can’t go home on the weekends very easily. I do my best to call my mom about once a week. Obviously there are weeks where I can’t find time to do so, but it's always a great time to catch up with what is happening at home. And the older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve realized how important and beneficial a good relationship with your parents is. They have a lot of wisdom that comes naturally from mere life experience, and they can be a good place to vent frustrations about what is going on in your life. Now each relationship will be different, but even taking steps to trying to improve the relationship you have with your parents will really help you during your freshman year.

7. Keep in contact with old friends.

For me, this is in the form of texting, calling, or FaceTiming my closest friends from back home every once in a while to see how they are doing and to catch up on life. Everyone is coming from a different place with different life experiences, and some people may be needing to just get away from their high school friends when they go to college. But if that isn’t the case, it is always so good to reminisce about your past and to stay connected to the people who have seen you grow over the course of your life.

8. Don’t date Freshman year.

Some people have different opinions on this, but from my experience and from the advice of a lot of my older friends, this is an important tip. The reason I say this is not to try to limit your love life, but I say this with the hope that it makes it better. You grow so, so, so much during the course of your freshman year. It is hard to understand fully until you actually experience the growth, but it's so true. You grow spiritually, mentally, and maybe even physically (aka the Freshman 15... just kidding). And yes, you could grow alongside a significant other during your freshman year, but who you are at the beginning of the year is most likely not who you will be by the end of the year. Not dating allows you to focus on what God is doing in your heart and in your life so that you can take steps towards becoming the person He made you to be.

9. The position you hold does not define you.

I have been very blessed to have been able to be involved in a number of things my freshman year. The more and more you get involved in different groups, organizations, or activities, the more and more easy it is for you to feel defined by those things. But it is vital for you to realize and understand quickly that you are not defined by what you are or aren’t involved in. Whether you get a position you apply for or don’t get a position you apply for, you are still the same person who is dearly loved and created in the image of God. It is really hard to fully grasp this, but God will open the doors He wants you to go through and close the ones He doesn’t want you to go through.

10. Your friend group will change, and that is okay.

This one really blew my mind when I first heard it. At the beginning of the year around SOS week and in the first few weeks of school, you find a group of friends to consistently hang out with. But if you ask any upperclassman, they will all tell you that their current friend group looks nothing like their friend group from freshman year. And it’s mainly because of how much people change over the year. Don’t overthink this tip and detach from the people you hang out with during your first year. Be invested where you are at, and if it changes, don’t stress about it.

I hope these tips are insightful and I’m excited to share the last five with you next week!

If you have any questions, as always, don’t be scared to ask!

Jeremy