You may be involved on your high school campus now, but when you become a college freshman, you are entering a world that is bigger, tougher, and much more difficult to feel connected in. The comforts you now know in school will be gone, at least temporarily. Here’s some advice—be prepared.
This may not be as drastic if you are attending a junior college because your community of friends will not be as rudely disrupted and your family likely lives close. However, when you go away to school, you will have to find a completely different community of friends, and for some, adjusting to college life is tougher than others.
Your biggest sense of involvement will come in your time with the individual friends you make. These relationships will take some time to develop, but they will come…with roommate(s), classmates, and those beyond. The key is finding an encouraging community and choosing it wisely.
You might not be able to imagine life without friends you have in high school, but this will change. There might be a few of your high school friends that you keep in touch with, but most you will only see at reunions. Most move on, grow up, and have a life that doesn’t include high school friends. You will probably do the same. It’s not a bad thing. It just happens.
The friends you are closest to in college will be your friends in life and will be around much more than your high school friends ever were or will be. Some will have the same life direction, major, and goals. They want what you want. You sit in classes with them—multiple ones. You study for tests, write papers, and present projects together. You will study at the local coffee shop with them at 3:30 a.m. cramming for the test at 8:00 a.m. You will know them…they will know you; you will be in their lives and them yours.
Beyond the Classroom
People are always your point of contact in life—whether it’s in college or in finding a job after you graduate. Making new friends is harder for some than others, but eventually your contact with people will lead you to involvement. On the other hand, a lack of relationships could lead to a lack of involvement. If you want to be involved on campus, you must be involved with people.
One of the things you will find on more major universities, and even smaller ones, is different faith-based organizations that meet on campus. The Christian world is often small, but key in getting involved.
Be prepared to adjust in college—you are about to enter some new struggles in your life. This next stage for many is by far the toughest of their lives. There are many reasons—too many for this article—but just know you will likely face some depressing and lonely times. Getting involved in a ministry on campus is a key element in not only making it through these times, but also possibly helping you dodge some of the tough times.
There are many great Christian campus ministries on college campuses. Here are some thoughts on them that are worth thinking through.
- They will provide a community of friends that can be very healthy. These people can serve as a great source of accountability and connection. Some could be your best friends that help you through tough times.
- You will be exposed to people with completely different backgrounds—church and family—and view things entirely different than you. You will start to see different ways of viewing things in which you were not previously aware. You will be forced to think through why you believe what you believe—possibly for the first time in your life.
- Most of these ministries have a mission on campus. This is great for you because your tendency may be to lose your sense of mission. You will be focused on yourself, your homework, and your social life and can easily lose sight of the fact that people need to know what you know—the gospel. These ministries can really encourage you to stay strong in this area.
It is vital that you get involved on your campus. This is the place that God has placed you…embrace it with everything you have. Despite coming struggles, you are about to enter a great time in your life! Meet people. Get involved. Cause waves. Make a dent. Charge it.