If you’re gearing up for college, you’ve probably considered the big transition from high school to college. Let me help clear that up for you. It is, but it will be alright. I would love to go over some personal explanations behind why, add in some insight (hopefully helpful) and leave you with encouragement because that is the most important thing. I know the butterflies may be beginning to sit in your stomach, but be assured, it’s perfectly normal. They aren’t real butterflies. So I’ve heard…

“The turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover the core of strength within you that survives all hurt.” - Max Lerner

The biggest change I experienced when I arrived at college was my newfound freedom. I mean, we all have freedom in a sense, but I was no longer under my parents' roof. They gave me to the world and hoped the lessons they taught me growing up developed me into the Christian man I was called to be. It is scary for everyone involved, but there is a sense of trust to be had in the decision making.

Trust is another important aspect of college. Get this, I have to actually make choices for myself without always asking what my parents think! Crazy, I know. I can choose what I want for dinner without my mom asking, “What would you like, honey?” To be honest though, I miss that. She made the best breaded chicken, I swear. Anyway, I just want to ensure you that these decisions, though stressful at times, are experiences and chances to grow, make mistakes and learn.

What is life without mistakes made? What helps get through these tough times, however, is the camaraderie and endearing friendships that will be gained throughout your four years of freedom. We are all experiencing similar emotions here at college, and that honestly acts as a sort of glue to developing friendships. The wonderful idea of empathy. You can make friends almost anywhere on Biola's campus. Whether sitting around at the local coffee shop or waiting in line for a chapel, and I have to say I haven’t had this opportunity anywhere else.

“Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands.” - Anne Frank

Lastly, college is a time to grow up. I cannot begin to tell you how exciting this truly is. College is a melting pot of different cultures, ideals, and perspectives. We have the choice to listen, learn, and grow from understanding these differences. We have the power to choose to be who we were meant to be.

These next four or so years are the primary steps you will take before true adulthood. Nerve-racking, I get it. But it’s something great and one-of-a-kind as well. I would never trade my college experience and the freedom it has given me. Of course, my parents and loved ones are still present in my life, but less so. And it’s for the better, for independence and growth. Don’t lose contact with the people who helped form you. Rather, take what they have given you and continue to develop. And if your mom makes breaded chicken as good as mine, then definitely be sure to call her every once in a while.

-Max Klaiber