3 Ways to Thrive at College
Guest post by freshman Natalie Wilkerson
No matter what year of college we're in, we all remember the changes that hit us during our freshman year.
Sharing a residence hall room—with people you've never met before.
Living away from home—for months at a time.
Being surrounded by hundreds of people—every time you go to dinner.
And for the homeschool graduate, just going to classes at set times in different buildings each day could be a huge adjustment. And on top of all that, doubts often go through the mind of a brand-new student: “Will I make any friends? Will I feel accepted?”
Speaking from my own experience, I know how overwhelming college seems at first, and how easy it is to feel “lost in the crowd.” I've considered, “I'm just one student among thousands, identified by the six-digit number on my ID card—can I really make a difference?”
If you've ever had similar thoughts, I have three bits of encouragement to share.
1.) Recognize that God is with you.
In the overwhelming obstacles that accompany any new learning experience, God Himself promises that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5; Matt. 28:20). How comforting to know that in everything we experience, God is right there with us!
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Ps. 46: 1).
2.) Remember that no matter how “lost in the crowd” you may feel, you are special and unique.
Instead of letting our emotions define who we are, we can turn to our Savior for our identity. As Christians, we find our esteem in Christ alone, who has redeemed and sanctified us. You are a “somebody,” created in God’s image for a specific purpose!
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Pet. 2:9).
3.) Realize that you can make an impact and a difference!
You may not be the Student Body President.
You may not be the most outgoing person in your class.
But each one of us can influence the people around us through a simple word of encouragement.
When you compliment that girl on her outfit or take a minute to stop and chat with that quiet student who always sits alone, that can truly make their day.
We may not be able to change the world; but in little ways, we can change one person’s world by building them up.
“But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Heb. 3:13).
God has us here at Pensacola Christian College right now for a reason—it's the least we can do to trust Him and embrace who He has called us to be today!12
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