à Jealously guard how you spend your time to avoid wasting time and burnout, yet allow your schedule to be under God’s control. Your time can be sucked away by being wasted (facebook, etc) or even by “good” things (ministry opportunities). Make time for the Lord, for sincere reading of Scripture, for listening to God, for homework, for ministry, for friends, for fun. Balance these and evaluate if you are making good use of your time. Don’t always measure your use of time by productivity. Stopping a homework assignment to listen a distraught friend may indeed be the best use of your time at that moment.
à Become best friends with the library and the librarians. Doing homework in the library will keep you from getting distracted. Plus, the library is kind of esoteric. It’s nice to be “in”
à Find a mentor (older woman on campus/at church) and meet with her regularly (if you can’t find someone right away, ask around for suggestions). Be honest with them and have them hold you accountable
à Spend a little bit looking for a church and then just pick one! No church is going to be perfect, so stop looking for it. Once you pick a church commit to staying there during your time at school and GET INVOLVED! They can become your second family. Get involved with music and with the children
à Find families who you can be involved with. One of the greatest things I’ve been able to do is babysit for some young couples for free. It has been a huge blessing to them and it’s also good for singles to be involved with families. It broadens your perspective on life. As singles, we need to be investing in (and supporting) the marriages around us.
à When you meet someone who seems like they really know Jesus, ask if you can meet them for coffee and hear their testimony
à Choose thankfulness for the food (especially since you’ll be on a special meal plan due to allergies). It might not always be your favorite, but it is a gift from God and someone spent time making it for you.
à Don’t date for at least a year. Become friends (good friends) with guys, but keep it at that.
à Be careful that you don’t encourage girls who have crushes. Think of Song of Solomon where Shulammith (the bride) says to the girls around her “Do not stir up or awaken love until it so pleases”. Encourage the girls around you to make good choices and have level heads. Listen to them, but don’t encourage obsessing over guys.
à Get to know your professors. Go up and introduce yourself on the first day of class. Stay in contact with them. If they are super cool (i.e. super wise), ask if you can meet them for coffee or a meal.
à Avoid girl drama. Nip it in the bud if it starts among your friends. Don’t put up with catty actions and certainly don’t start them yourself. It DOES get hard to live with girls constantly, but that’s not an excuse for sin.
à Spend time alone and outside. Grab a blanket and your Bible and spend an hour in a field (if there are fields around you…obviously I’m from a rural campus!!)
à Get to know your RA and RD. Stop by and talk to them. Write them encouraging notes, etc.
à Be careful what movies and TV shows you are watching. Evaluate everything based on Scripture and remember that wasting time is a sin as well.
à Make time for a Sabbath each week. Set aside time alone with just you and God. Ignore your phone, homework, friends, etc. Begin this practice early on.
à Be kind to everyone and try and get to know a lot of people, BUT realize that you don’t need to be open and honest with everyone. Choose your closest friends wisely.
à Realize that you are going to make mistakes. It’s just part of life.
à Don’t shy away from classes because you know that they are hard. Hard is good. You learn a lot more. With your bible classes especially, take the hard professors
à Spend time with people who think differently than you do (theologically, philosophically, etc). Spend time listening to their arguments. Your views on things are going to expand and broaden at college – that’s good! It is a mark of maturity to be able to have an educated, calm discussion with people who think differently than you. Evaluate EVERYTHING (even your presuppositions) to see how the measure up against the ultimate yardstick (the Bible).
à Look for the people around campus who don’t get notice (custodians, grounds crew, etc) and thank them for doing their job well. Show them that they are appreciated.
à Enjoy these years! They go by so quickly.
à When you get stressed and life feel completely overwhelming, take a break to clean your room from top to bottom, wash your sheets and wash your bath towels. Trust me. It helps!
And finally, DON’T FORGET TO CALL YOUR SISTER WITH UPDATES!!! 😉