A Note from Mary Margaret West: It’s hard to believe that some of the girls we know and love are heading off to college really soon! Don’t miss the opportunity to love on and encourage those girls before they leave. Megan shares some great ideas of how to sent them off well!
Do you ever wish you could pass on the lessons you’ve learned, or the things you wish you’d known, to those who are about to walk the same path? College was one of my favorite seasons, and ended up being such a formative time in my walk with the Lord. There are also things I wish I’d done differently. My heart longs for others to have a college experience marked by joy, learning, and growing in Christ. As you spend time with your girls this summer and send graduates off to college, share your own experiences and advice with them. Here are some pieces of wisdom that I learned from my own experience:
- Remember that your identity and worth are rooted in Christ, and learn to walk in that truth. They’re not found in relationships, activities, or the major you choose. Everything you do and everything you experience is an opportunity to display God’s image and know Him more.
- Focus on pursuing God, not a romantic relationship. This doesn’t mean to never date, but don’t let finding a relationship become your driving goal.
- Study hard — the opportunity to go to college is a gift, so be a faithful steward of it.
- Make friends, and learn to be a good friend. Be intentional to nurture those relationships.\
- Get involved in campus groups and activities. Explore things that interest you.
- Get connected to a local church. Invest in people, get involved in ministry, and learn what it means to be part of the Body of Christ.
- Seek out mentors, whether it’s upperclassmen, women who work on campus, or women in your church. And as you grow, look for younger girls who you can mentor.
- Get involved in a campus ministry. Grow and serve, but remember that this isn’t a substitute for church.
- Make new memories, start new traditions, and take lots of pictures.
- Get involved in serving your community, rather than just staying on campus. You’ll likely be living in this town for four years, so build relationships and make it home.
- Spend time with God and in His Word everyday. You’ll get busier than you can imagine, so decide now to set aside that time and guard it.
- Join a small group Bible study.
- Take full advantage of your summers – work at a camp, go on a mission trip, shadow a professional in your field. Summers are a gift that you won’t always have.
- Value your friendships, but don’t be exclusive. Be intentional to get to know new students and welcome others into your circle.
- Make wise decisions, and don’t isolate yourself from community and accountability.
- Keep a journal. You will look back at it later and be amazed by how much you have grown and changed.
- Know your limits. Be involved in as much as you can, but don’t spread yourself too thin. Examine your motives before you say yes. Seek God’s wisdom and let Him shape your priorities.
- Respect your roommate and practice communicating well. Value that relationship enough to talk about any issues that arise. Be humble, forgiving, and willing to admit when you’re wrong.
- Enjoy this time in your life — every season is a gift from God to rejoice in and walk through with Him.
Megan Burns is a biblical counselor in Virginia with experience counseling students and parents in the local church. She is married to Brian and enjoys writing about counseling, discipleship and missions on her blog, Remade Whole.