Can’t believe it’s already the end of the semester! Wow, it’s been a crazy ride and I’m so glad you all got to read along this year. I wanted to share with you some of the things I learned over the course of my freshman year.
1. You’re gonna be okay! This might seem like a blanket statement, but I think it does cover a lot of things. My summer before college I had a million things on my mind. Will I be able to adjust academically? Are me and my roommate gonna get along? Will I make friends? The answer is yes. Looking back at the beginning of freshman year I was worried about all of those things. But now I wonder why I worried. College is an amazing experience and we should look forward to it, not fear it!
2. That being said, you should expect great things from your college experience, but also expect that there will be bumps in the road. One thing that we all desire is community. And most people choose Biola because of the community they feel when they come on campus. That is true, we do have an amazing community and I have firsthand felt that within my Torrey cohort, PR major, and my job. But, a good community takes time to form! Don’t be discouraged if you haven’t made your best friends within the first week or even the first semester. For me personally, my closest friends now weren’t my closest friends at the beginning. The more I got to know people, the closer I became with them, and that can only happen over time.
3. So, trust the process. If you aren’t having a good first semester, know that every sophomore, junior, senior was once in your position. And you know what? They made it though. Some of them may have had an easier time than others, but in whatever place you are in, there is someone who can relate to you. Even in hard times or easy times, we as Christians are called to rejoice. So, rejoice then, for God has you in this period of life for a reason, and he can use it to shape you to be more like him.
4. Don’t compare yourselves to others. This goes beyond just your college experience, of course. But, being put into a new environment when we are all out of our comfort zones, puts us in a position where we can start to do those things. You have to remember, you are different from everyone else. Where you grew up, what your family is like, what your high school experience was like, your cultural background, all these things go into you being you. So, how could you even begin to compare yourself to another when you are so different? The same goes for your college experience. Just because you go to the same school, eat in the same Caf, and go to the same chapels, doesn’t mean your experience should mirror anyone else’s.
5. Keep God up to date with the little things. This might seem a little weird to think about considering God is omniscient. But, something I’ve realized this year is how dependent I am on God. He wants a relationship with His children, and that means being involved even in the little aspects of our lives. For me, this means asking Him what classes I should take for my next semester. This may seem trivial, but by inviting Him into my life in this way, I am learning to be more dependent on Him. After, all He has blessed me in so many ways throughout my life, so why wouldn’t I want Him to be involved in the little decisions if he has given direction in the big ones. For me, this even started before college did. I asked Him to guide me in making the right sort of friends when I did arrive at school, that I would be surrounded by strong believers who continuously pursue the Lord through everything they do. I can definitely say that I have found that in so many different areas at Biola. I also prayed that my experience in college would shape me according to His will. Though I only finished my freshman year, I truly have grown spiritually through my short time here at Biola, and I am excited to see where I am at the end of my four years. Don’t be afraid to invite Him into your daily life, He might just surprise you :)
6. Finally, GET EXCITED! I think I definitely stressed that college will be an adjustment and you might not know what to expect. But, you should definitely have high expectations! Sometimes, I always see and anticipate the unavoidable struggles that will come with any situation to the point where I forget to also expect great things. This semester, I went on numerous beach trips, learned to ski for the first time with a bunch of friends, got my dream (on-campus) job, made friends that I know will have for a lifetime, found an awesome church that I get to attend with all my Biola buddies, found community in different niches on campus, and I saw God’s hand play a part in ALL of it. Expect great things, for God wants to bless and give good things to His children. . . and that’s YOU!
For those of you who are going to be college freshmen next year, I hope this was helpful in giving you some ease about wherever God is leading you. Remember, even my experience will be different from yours, so get excited about what college has in store for you, and remember to trust God through the whole process, He has your back!
P.S. Thanks to everyone who read my blog posts this year. I hope I was in some way helpful to you, and I hope I gave you a little more insight into what being a Biola student looks like. Make sure to keep up with Becoming Biola, we will be back in the Fall! Happy Summer :)