The Dorm Life Exposed! Whats Happening On Campus?
Yes, another college inside scoop…
To up-and-coming collegers,
I’ve been in college for six months now and I must say wow, time flies when you’re having fun. Sitting here writing this blog as I reminisce over my college experience thus far leaves me in awe at how different my life has become in such a short time. If you would have asked me in August what I was expecting from college, you would’ve been disappointed with the negative response; I figured I’d be:
And I’ll admit, when the semester started I felt as if all these were coming true. Just a few days before move in a friendship that I had been extremely invested in for several years ended and I was determined to move on as soon as possible. This thought process caused me to lose sight of my main priority in college: my faith. While I did not stay on this rocky path for very long at all, it was exactly what I needed in order to become focused.
But, focusing on God in college also instilled a lot of anxiety in me. I had this perception that college is where faith is lost, where professors constantly throw the idea of evolution at you and God is a forgotten thought. I was terrified to make my beliefs known…that is, until I realized that maybe I wasn’t the only one feeling this way. As I got to know my peers in our residence hall I felt that maybe they shared the same values as I did and that they were just as anxious of being ostracized because of it. So, I began to live it. I worked day in and day out to grow in my faith, not by advertising but by simply working on it for myself. Things began to change after that. I made friends and a lot of them shared the same beliefs. They helped me grow and challenge myself in my walk and as a result I ended up having one of the best first semesters of college possible.
Now, in my second semester, I have the inside scoop for all you soon-to-be-collegers:
1. For starters, college isn’t as hard as you think.
Don’t get me wrong, yes it’s difficult. Yes, there are a lot of papers. Yes, you have to read all the time. Yes, sometimes going to class is a real beating. Yes, you will stay up too late and yes, it’ll make the next day miserable…but all of this is okay. College is manageable and it’s fun. Your professors are cool and they’re there to watch you be successful as long as you put in the effort. The amount of extra credit opportunities some give isactually a little ridiculous and makes it impossible to fail. They’ve got countless hours devoted to you and they are more than willing to help if you put in the time to improve. Just study, stay on track, and build relationships with professors. This will help you more than anything else.
2. Everybody is looking for friends in college, you aren’t alone.
College is a new experience for everyone. Adjusting isn’t done overnight but you will figure it out and you’ll feel pretty cool as you do. Also, don’t stress about making friends right away. Friends will come in time and a lot of times it happens without you even realizing/looking. God’s funny with the way he brings people into your life, trust him and his timing. That kid that stumbles into the seat next to you in your 8 A.M. class with bedhead and a giant mug of coffee may end up being your best friend. Maybe not though. The boy that pokes his head into the doorway of your room one night, asking about the music you’re listening to, may lead you to 5 of the coolest people you’ve ever met. (And you’ll question for the rest of your life how you managed to click with all of them.) When people say college is where you meet friends that’ll stay with you for the rest of your life,believe them. It’s true. I’m only beginning my journey here and I already believe this whole-heartedly.
3. The dorm residence hall life is actually pretty great if you embrace it.
If you don’t embrace it, it will suck. If you look for the negatives they will arise. If you don’t put in the effort, opportunities will not present themselves. What you put into residence hall life is what you get out of it. You and your roommate may not be best friends, you may not have the same schedule and you may not have similar habits but adjusting and compromise are a part of life. Respect is vital and as long as you’re sincere in being kind to the person you share your space with, everything will work itself out. The biggest perk of a residence hall is the community you have the opportunity to build. In your wing alone there are dozens and dozens of potential friends. Reach out to them! Get to know them! You’ll see them day after day for a whole year so why not make the most of it?
There are several things you need to know when it comes to faith in college.
• Not everyone will share your beliefs, but that’s okay.
You cannot change someone’s beliefs, only God can, and forcing your beliefs is not the right plan of action. Also, even though someone may not share the same beliefs, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be friends. Some of the most important relationships in my life are with people who do not share the same beliefs. In this case a mutual understanding and respect for one another is so important.
•Finding a community is necessary.
Finding a church group is extremely important. They will help you stay accountable while also becoming some of your closest friends. Finding a community isn’t that difficult either as they come in all types. There are Christian sororities/fraternities, small groups, young adult groups, on campus communities, etc. Trying out different groups is not bad, in fact it’s awesome. Some you’ll click with immediately while others just won’t be the right fit. However, when you do find the group that fits it is an amazing feeling and you’ll grow your faith in ways you never expected.
• One-on-one time with God is more important than ever.
It is likely that your social life in college will become a little overwhelming. There are so many people around and before you know it you’ve made friends with people and you’re spending all your time with them. This is tons of fun and will definitely make the work load and exhaustion worth it. However, it is important to not lose focus on God in the process. Bible studies and church groups are a great way to worship God in connection with others who also love the Lord, but one-on-one time with Him is so so so important. Just like every other relationship in your life there needs to be time devoted to serious moments and in- depth conversation. Individual time will also bring you closer to God and it leaves opportunity for Him to speak to you personally. Don’t let this opportunity pass you up in the hodge-podge of college friends and plans.
College is a great experience and I hope more than anything that anyone and everyone who wants to further their education gets the opportunity to. It can be challenging and scary, fun and adventuresome, busy and overwhelming, and the best time of your life all at once. Whatever you do, don’t let fear of the future stop you from embarking on this journey. Take everything a day at a time, and do everything you do with God by your side. You’re going to do great.
Elisa Anne is a Jesus Follower, Chocolate lover and blogger at Elisatations. Read more from her there!