Last week, we discussed three of the greatest fears of future college students. But most incoming college students have more than three big college fears, so I’m going to discuss a couple more today!
Fear #4: I’ll fall away from my faith. Whether you’re attending a giant secular university or a tiny Christian college, it’s likely that college will change you—for the good or the bad. You probably won’t be the same person as an incoming freshman and as a graduated senior. Maybe you’ll develop some great habits! Or, if you’re more of a worrier, perhaps you assume you’ll develop some awful habits. Maybe you’re worried that you’ll become rebellious since Mom and Dad won’t be around to punish you, you’ll get addicted to drugs or alcohol, you won’t make your devotions and church attendance a priority, or you’ll be surrounded by negative influences. After all, we’ve heard the statistics. Most college students who went to church before college probably won’t go back after college.
But never ever forget this: You aren’t a statistic. You’re a real human with a real heart and the real ability to make decisions. You can choose whether or not to attend that party, date that non-Christian, take that drink, attend that church service, serve in that ministry, or surround yourself with negative influences. You have a choice. So choose wisely! Don’t use your freedom as an opportunity to sin; instead, look for ways to grow even closer to God in this new season of life. Also, you don’t need to freak out about losing all self-control when you walk on campus. Instead of worrying that you might mess up and disappoint everyone, pray about your fears and ask for God’s strength. We’re all prone to sin, but the Holy Spirit is more powerful than our sinful flesh.
Fear #5: I’ll have to become a grown-up once I start college. I totally understand this fear. When you see family members and friends and people at your church, it feels like they expect you to have your life figured out. They ask about any significant others, job opportunities, and even where you want to live after you finish college! It may cause you to wonder if you should know the answer to all their questions…
But never ever forget this: Being a college student does not make you an adult; maturity does. People may expect you to have all your plans in order as you enter college, but trust me—they’ll change a million times. It’s not a bad idea to have a plan. In fact, I’d recommend it! But remember that our plans will change, and that’s normal. It’s good to hold them with open hands. As Proverbs 16:9 says, “The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (NASB). Don’t worry about figuring out your whole life; instead, focus on maturing in your walk with the Lord.
I think Philippians 4:19 (which I included in last week’s post) is the verse future college students must cling to. It says, “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (NASB). Starting college doesn’t give us an excuse to worry. But I must confess that I did—a lot. As I also mentioned, I had (at least) ten “greatest fears” about college. These varied from missing my family to continuing with my writing.
And God supplied my needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Did He supply thirty friends or a schedule full of easy classes or a perfect night’s sleep every day? No, but He supplied what I needed when I needed it (and plenty of added blessings as well).
Of course, I struggled when I started college–and so will you. It isn’t meant to be easy. It’s hard work, and it can be nerve-wracking.
But never ever ever forget this: God will supply what you need when you need it. We simply must trust and obey Him.