In the past, I’ve shared about The 3 Greatest Fears of Introverts and The 3 Greatest Fears of Homeschoolers. But, to be honest, I feel like soon-to-be college students have more than three fears. I had lots of fears about college. (But if I wrote about all of those, this post would be way too long!) I think we should focus on the top five fears that future college students have. Maybe you have some of the same fears I did!
Fear #1: I’ll miss home too much.
This was, by far, my biggest fear about college. I was scared that I’d miss my family unbearably and wouldn’t be able to handle the distance between us. I was also afraid of missing my friends, house, church, and normal routines. I liked my life the way it was—but I suddenly had to travel to a land far away called “College.”
Missing home is a legitimate fear. If you’ve seen your family members every day of your life and suddenly can’t anymore, it’s normal to feel uneasy. The same is true for missing your friends, house, church, pets, routines, hobbies, etc. If you’ve consistently attended the same church or consistently hung around the same group of friends, it will be hard to leave them. I can’t lie about that.
But never ever forget this: you can go home. You can call your parents, text your friends, or FaceTime your pets. You can visit your church, return to old routines, and sleep in your old bed. You don’t have to create a new life for yourself at college or erase your past when you step onto the college campus. You don’t have to feel like a child for wanting to go home on weekends or during breaks.
Fear #2: I won’t make any friends.
This was definitely my second-greatest fear about starting college. I was bummed that I had to leave my friends from home and form new relationships. Making friends seems like a daunting task, and I didn’t know if I’d meet likeminded people. We should be somewhat concerned about making friends because if we aren’t, we won’t make an effort to meet new people.
But never ever forget this: Instead of trying to befriend the students who are the most popular, funny, talented, or smart, get to know students who seem like they need a friend. There are countless students who feel the same way you feel—unsure and intimidated. Don’t just think of college as the time to make good friends but as the time to be a good friend.
Also, never ever forget that realistic expectations are essential. Unfortunately, even though I was scared about making friends, I still held the unrealistic expectation that I would make lots of them—and I was disappointed. Instead, I met several acquaintances and a few people I would consider “friends.” So if you make an effort to be friendly, God will provide the friends you need. He may provide a few friends for you, rather than thirty, but those friends will be more valuable to you.
Fear #3: I won’t be able to handle the workload.
Before I started college, I heard horror stories of students pulling all-nighters and of professors who were impossible to please. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to finish my assignments or that my professors would expect too much from me. What if I didn’t have time to write? What if I had to cut all fun activities from my schedule? What if I had to live like a hermit to get everything done? Whether you were schooled at home, in public school, or in private school, you may be asking the same questions.
But never ever forget this: You can handle the workload if you make the effort to handle the workload. As you’ve probably learned by now, homework doesn’t finish itself. You have to finish it—and that doesn’t change when you start college. When college began, I didn’t have time to watch an hour of TV before bed or write a new article every day. But I did have time to finish my homework and even waste some time on the internet (a favorite pastime). 😛 As my older sister wisely reminds me, it’s not that we don’t have time for activities; we simply don’t make time for them. If you make time for your assignments, you can handle them.
The verse I want to end with for these first three fears about college is Philippians 4:19 (NASB), which says, “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
I’ll explain how that verse relates to my own college experience next week! To be continued…