So you’ve just graduated from high school and now you’re ready to move on to this new and exciting chapter of your life. CONGRATS!!! I just finished my freshman year of college and I completely understand the feeling of uncertainty yet excitement that is flooding your veins right now. So many questions are filling your mind and you have probably searched
on so many college blogs or websites to at least get a glimpse of what college life will be like.
However, unlike other articles that will just tell how to be physically prepared for college and give you a list of supplies that you will need (even though I have one at the end of this post), you cannot forget your walk with God on this new journey. I understand that it is vital that you must maintain your grades because that is the reason you’re in college in the first place. (I know I sound like your parents right now) However, what I learned my first year in school was that I found myself focusing too much on what was going on around me and the excitement of finally making it at the college of my dreams, that I was failing to keep my spiritual life in check. I do not want you to make the same mistake. Maintaining your walk with God is how not only will you survive college but thrive!
- Have a Prayer Life
If you never had a decent prayer life before, you will definitely need to make sure that you spend some quality time with God once you walk on that college campus. This is the most vital thing you can ever do if you do not remember anything else from this post.
My pastor always reminded me, even before I went to college, of the importance of prayer. The times when I slacked up on my prayer life were the moments I felt the most stressed, anxious, and worried about life. It was not until I forced myself to slow down and to make time in my schedule to really pour out my heart to God and also listen to Him did I feel peace and comfort in His presence. During those quiet times, God will always give you the answers you need, the peace you desire, and the courage to keep moving forward just like it says in Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” I will be honest, there will be days when you are so much in a rush that you may not have time in the morning to have that quality time with God, but my pastor has always reminded me that you can still pray throughout the day or make up that time later in the evening.
Never take prayer for granted. Also, do not just pray when you are in trouble or when exam week approaches (and it approaches pretty quickly) to finally pray. Instead we should life or routine of prayer. Pray when times are good and when times are bad. Pray in your heart while you are walking to your next class or while you are studying the library. I am still working on praying throughout the day because sometimes my mind can wander from one thing to another, but practice makes perfect. So don’t be upset if you having trouble at first to keep a consistent prayer life. It takes time to really get that life of prayer going. Prayer will keep you from the various temptations that will try to seduce you on the campus or attempt to deter you from the truth. Believe me, there will be many oppositions to your faith, nevertheless, you do not have to conform to the beliefs that society is trying to force us to believe in. Yet you can only do this through prayer.
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41 NIV
2. Ask God for Wisdom Daily
Adulthood can be tough, especially when you have absolutely no idea what you are doing half of the time. One my favorite Bible verses say,
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” ~ Jame 1:5 NIV
It does not matter what situation you are in if you ask the Lord for wisdom, He will give it to you. Whether it is about how to handle a dispute with your room mate(s), how to witness to others about your faith, or even how to work in a group, God will give you the wisdom work through anything. All you have to do is ask.
3.Keep the Word of God in Your Heart (Or Book bag)
It is time to crack open that Bible if you have not done that often during high school. You cannot survive on the college campus without God’s Word guiding your path. You will be faced with various temptations and obstacles on the campus, that only God’s wisdom will be able to keep you. Psalms 119:105 NIV says, “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.”
We now do not have any excuse to not read the Bible anymore. There are so many Bible apps and podcasts, that we can literally take God’s Word wherever we go. Sometimes, I would just listen to podcasts while sitting in school’s cafeteria or while walking to class to strengthen my spirit.
4. Turn the Music Up
I remember those times while I was trying to study or just sitting by myself in the cafeteria how listening to praise and worship really calmed me and strengthened my spirit. Whether I was rapping with Lecrae and Toby Mac, worshiping with Casting Crowns, or praising with Kirk Franklin, Christian music always has a way of keeping me uplifted. Praise and worship also brings you closer to God when you are reminded of how great He is rather than how great your situations may seem. No matter what is going on in your life, there is always something that you can praise God for.
“The LORD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; This is my God, and I will praise Him; my father’s God, and I will extol Him ... “Exodus 15:2.
5. Find Friends Who Share Your Faith
Although I’m an introvert, I quickly discovered the importance of having friends. It took me a while, but God answered my prayers by giving me a great group of friends who are loving and who I can have good, clean fun with too! Times when I feel overwhelmed, I’m so blessed to have a friend who is always encouraging or praying with me. You will need strong Christian friends who will keep encouraged in the faith.
6. Stay focused
College is a great opportunity to met new people, to stretch out your faith, and yes, to have fun too. But do not forget the reason that you are in school in the first place.
It is good to write down your goals and to keep them somewhere you can always see them. Even in Habakkuk 2:2 KJV says, “And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.” Writing your goals down will help you keep your vision alive and give you a reason to wake up in the morning for classes (you will definitely need inspiration in the morning if you’re not a morning person like I am) For a while, I had my goals written on a dry erase board that was pinned to my dorm wall. It reminded what my long term and short term goals were. I also had some encouraging Bible verses on my board to keep me inspired in the morning as well.
7. Keep Your Faith in God
I know I already mentioned that your faith will be challenged, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be shaken. That is why it is important to never take your devotion time with God for granted because you will need His guidance. This is not to frighten you but to encourage you to get a closer relationship with God and to place your complete trust in Him if you haven’t before.
My favorite Bible verse, Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” I can truly testify that this verse has been my lifeline. When you trust God and lay aside all of your doubts and thoughts of how a situation should be handled, you give God the chance to move in your life. You will never experience a peace that God gives when you give Him control over your life.
So do not worry about college, which can sound weird coming from the girl who almost had a panic attack when my parents and I arrived on campus. Ok, I may be exaggerating a little but I know I was absolutely terrified of going off to college. Nevertheless, I had to place my faith in God despite pounding of my heart and the sweating of my palms. But looking back now, I cannot believe that I was that nervous. Not only did I survive my first year, I even made the Dean’s list both semesters, got a job, even joined various organizations and became the secretary of one of them. But I could not have done any of that if I did not place my complete trust in God. So if I can do it, I know you guys can with God’s help, just like in Philippians 4:13 when is says, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
College is a great experience and I hope that you will enjoy every moment of it because it will pass pretty quickly. I still cannot believe that I made it through my freshman year already, but I am grateful for the experiences that I gained from that time.
But before you go to school, here is the ultimate college supply list in the following link that I found online. You will not need everything that is listed on the document. It all depends on your living situation and your individual life styles. For example, you may not need a mini fridge because your dorm may already provide one. However, this will give a great idea on what you should pack before you head off.
Ultimate College Supply List
College Supply List – Printable Girls Dorm Checklist
If you have any questions regarding college life, how to live your faith out on campus, or etc. feel free to comment below.
I love hearing from you guys!