Only the Beginning of the Adventure
Guest post by freshman Natalie Wilkerson
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
Now that I am here at Pensacola Christian College, what do I think?
Am I nervous? Excited? Overwhelmed? Homesick?
Well, when I first arrived, checked in, and settled into my dorm, I felt lost in a huge campus of tall, imposing buildings; clueless as to where to go and what to do next; and puny among all the confident-looking college students traversing the campus’s many sidewalks. I kept looking for a familiar face of any kind, but in vain, because I do not really know anyone here. I am back at “Square One” when it comes to settling into a brand-new place, getting to know people… even just getting my mail! I do not like feeling so clueless, and it feels like I am obligated to climb a steep learning curve in order to thrive here.
So I pretend that I know what I am doing… until I actually do have a good idea of what I am doing, and then it's not so bad. I like how one PCC graduate described it as she was chatting with a group of us freshman as we were sitting in line waiting to meet with our registration advisor. She said, “Guess what—no one else in this room knows exactly what they are doing, either! They are all just faking it! And so you get to ‘fake it’ with them! We have all been there! Who here feels like they are socially awkward? You are going to make a lot of friends. Breaking down barriers and being real about yourself is a great way to make friends.”
And it is true! As freshmen, knowing that we are “all in this together,” still learning and trying to figure things out, is a huge relief and helps us all to connect immediately because we all have that in common.
I am naturally an introvert. I like being alone and having lots of quiet time all to myself. However, I cannot hide in my little “corner” forever; there are so many girls on campus to whom I could be a friend, and I am up for the challenge!
There is a quote stuck on the wall in my residence hall (7th floor, by the way!) that reads, “Be somebody that makes others feel like a somebody.” In other words, focus more on being a friend than having a friend. Jesus is my Best Friend that fulfills every longing I have, and He has poured so much love and blessings into my life—how selfish would I be if I did not share that love with the people around me!
This is a big campus, and it is not hard to meet friends everywhere.
Minutes after I stepped into the Administration Building for check-in on Friday, I met a girl from Massachusetts, like me! I have three nice roommates in my dorm room, one of which invited me to have dinner with her and her friend on my first day here. (And most of the people here are super sweet, extremely welcoming toward, and understanding of the incoming freshmen who are still figuring everything out.)
I met a nice girl named Megan during Work Orientation, then I had breakfast with her and her roommate Meghan (no joke! ? ) the following morning.
And on Sunday, I sat at church with a girl who has a similar major as mine! Probably the best way I have started making friends so far is at the “Class of 2022 Connect” event for freshmen on Saturday and Sunday night, which I describe as, “Just a bunch of freshmen sitting in a room, talking and eating cookies.” ? I have surprised myself with my ability to just go up to someone, introduce myself, and strike up a conversation. We talk about our shared cluelessness as freshmen; where we are from; our families; our majors, interests, hobbies, and goals; and any other random topic that comes to mind. And we find that since many of us have been raised in church and homeschooling, we have so much in common!
Yes, I am still awkward. And I still feel somewhat clueless about many things here at PCC—things I will doubtless learn over time and experience. But the Lord is with me every step of the way! Praise the Lord for how He has blessed me and provided me with everything I have needed—this school year is off to a great start! ?
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.