Dear College Freshman

Dear College Freshman,

I think it would be most appropriate to begin this letter by saying congratulations. You are starting a new and exciting journey! I know you’re probably thrilled about your upcoming adventures at college. I’m sure you’re excited to meet new people, take new classes, and experience new activities.

But, if you’re anything like I was as a college freshman, perhaps you’re also crazy scared—about meeting new people, taking new classes, and experiencing new activities. Though there is often a freshmen orientation to address the basics of college life, no one tells you how to make friends in a new setting or how to master statistics or when Mr./Mrs. Right will enter the picture.

My freshman year was not long ago, and I can relate to your worry. (And, by the way, I still worry about going to college.) However, I believe it’s possible to worry less about starting college if you don’t put so much pressure on yourself to succeed.

About Friends

I wish I had had lower expectations about making friends. Even though I was (and am) a hardcore introvert, I still thought I would make a ton of friends. I believed that these friendships would come naturally and easily, but I was wrong.

Friendships don’t just drop in your lap. Forming friendships is hard work, but it’s worth it.

I want you to make meaningful friendships while you’re at college. I want you to form relationships that are built on your faith. Maybe more friends = more successful in the world’s eyes, but sometimes less friends = deeper friendships.

About Grades

I wish I had had lower expectations about getting good grades. College can be incredibly demanding, but I still wanted to excel. Unfortunately, C’s and D’s and F’s still ended up on my quizzes, tests, and assignments.  

Truth is, you’re going to get bad grades, even if you work really hard.

Perhaps you had straight A’s through high school or got an academic scholarship for college. While it is a gift from God to succeed academically, getting B’s, C’s, D’s, or F’s doesn’t make you a failure. Some classes are just crazy hard, even for brilliant students. Doing your best—whether that produces an A, C, or even an F—is the most important thing.

About Marriage

I wish I had had lower expectations about finding a boyfriend. Though I didn’t necessarily expect to meet my future husband at college, now I really don’t expect to meet my future husband at college. Honestly, I’m not ready…and I have met few people at college who are.   

There are so many opportunities awaiting you, and I’d hate to see you miss them because you’re too focused on finding Mr. or Mrs. Right.

Yes, it’s possible you may meet him or her at college…but you may also meet some wonderful friends, acquaintances, and professors. You may not be ready for marriage, and he or she may not be ready. Don’t pressure yourself to find your future spouse at college because you might miss out on other valuable relationships.

A Final Word of Encouragement

I hope this verse offers some encouragement as you prepare to start your college journey:

But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!” (Isaiah 43:1 NASB)

So, college freshman, the adventure awaits. And the best part is that God is with you through it all.

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