College can be the most exciting time of a person’s life, or the scariest. Oftentimes, it’s both. It’s a completely different lifestyle from what you’ve done so far in your life. Some of us are out on our own, out of the house, while others are still living at home. Whichever living situation you fall under, there’s most likely at least a little more freedom than when you were a high schooler; and that’s both exciting and scary. It’s exciting because, you don’t want your parental figures hovering over you second guessing your decisions. No one is completely controlling you anymore, which leaves room for more fun, but also brings the opportunity for things to potentially go bad: physically, emotionally, and/or spiritually.
Being a student of a strong faith, I started off scared to go into college. I wasn’t scared of His plan or things I would face, but rather I was more worried because I know myself and I know that I am just as broken as the next person. With more opportunities to make poor decisions, I stressed that I’d slip up, not be a reflection of Jesus, and start to stray from God.
I don’t have much of anyone monitoring me as much as in high school (other than my mom, she’s the best but doesn’t want her baby to grow up). In high school, if you do something, someone knows about it in about 5 minutes. Rumors spread like wildfire and everyone believes what they hear first. So not only do you have others monitoring you closely, but you have to monitor yourself as well so no one can come up with anything about you to spread.
In college, no one cares what you do. If you’re pregnant, cool, good for you. If you are doing every drug in the book, nice, me too. If you’re sacrificing animals while singing around a fire, I probably won’t talk to you, but hey you do you. No one cares what you do! Everyone just shows up, and goes home. That kind of freedom is refreshing, but can also cause you to make poor decisions if your easily influenced by others who make poor decisions look like good ones.
Everyone, whether they have a faith or not, is absolutely prone to making stupid decisions every now and then. Even if we know it’s a bad decision, we do it anyways because in the moment it might be fun, we don’t consider the long-term consequences. We all desire earthly things and want to fill something within ourselves whether its temporary satisfaction, insecurity, emptiness, or pain. We search and search for what can fill us for the moment, but that’s the thing, it only fills us for a moment. Truly, the only thing that I’ve ever had that is satisfying, fulfilling, and enough, is the presence of God.
The Lord has proven Himself faithful time and time again and continues to give me mercy and grace and peace and love. Any time I’m tempted, I try to think of how much He loves me and how jealous He is for my soul. He’s already given me way more than I deserve or could possibly ask for, so why would I turn my back on Him? The best way to be obedient to God and to desire to continue in your faith, is to get to know His character rather than the “rules”. When you get to know who He really is, you’ll fall in love with Him, no doubt. When you’re in love with someone, you spend a ton of time with them, and start to become more like them without even trying. While growing closer to Him, He is making you more like Him. At this point, it isn’t a chore to do God’s will, but a pleasure to serve Him.
Being in college while seeking the Lord can be a difficult thing, but the best way to go about it is to surround yourself with people that also love the Lord. Continue to make sure you set aside unhurried time to give to God daily to spend time with Him, getting to know Him on a personal, more intimate level.
You can do it!!! Seek Him and you will find Him. And that’s a promise!
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If you are a student with faith and want to consider some groups to have community with, check these out!
Middle & High School Students:
-Deerlake United Methodist Church (I am a leader there for middle and high school girls) Sundays and Wednesdays @6:30 PM @ 8013 Deer Lake S
–City Church, Wednesdays @7PM @ 3215 Sessions Road
–Celebration Baptist Church, Sundays 10:15 AM and Wednesdays 6:30 PM @3300 Shamrock St E
–Engage Church, Sundays 9:45 AM or 11:15 AM @1660 N Monroe or 6:30 PM @705 S Woodward Ave
–City Church, Sundays 8:15, 9:45, or 11:30 @3215 Sessions Road
–Downtown Community College, Sundays 9:15am, 11:00am or 5:00pm @231 E Palmer Ave
Other Churches in Tallahassee: