What if I have a hard time fitting in and making friends?
It's normal to wonder if you'll fit in and make friends, but remember: if you smile and you're kind to those around you, you'll find friends! There are lots and lots of students attending your university. Whether it's smaller or huge like mine, out of everyone who attends your school, you'll relate to someone.
At the beginning of your freshman year, everyone else is just as eager to make friends as you are. I know it's hard not to worry about making friends in college, but just trust me. They're there. You'll make friends. People will like you.
Start to pray for your future friend group right now, before college even begins. Ask that the Lord will bring great Christian accountability and encouragement into your life.
How did it go with applying to your university?
I applied to Hardin-Simmons University, Texas A&M University, Houston Baptist University, and Baylor University. The application process varies for each school. Usually you have to send in your official transcript, write a few essays, and answer some questions.
Was the admission process overwhelming?
It is a little overwhelming at times. The long waits are the most difficult. After you finish submitting your application, all you can do is wait... sometimes for a few silent, agonizing months where you don't hear anything from the school you want to attend. That was probably the most stressful part for me. I tend to be impatient, so I hated that long wait.
And occasionally there will be mistakes in the admission process. There were in mine with Texas A&M that took a while to fix. These were pretty overwhelming at times, but it worked out.
Although the admission process can be frustrating at times, remember that it will all turn out okay. God's in control. Don't spend too much time worrying about what's going to happen.
Was it scary being away from friends and family?
After the shock of being left at college wore off, my fears faded quickly. It took a few weeks before my homesickness waned, but it only took a matter of days before I wasn't scared anymore. I made my first few friends within the first two days of moving into my dorm. Having someone you know makes college life a lot less daunting.
Ultimately, living independently isn't scary. It's liberating. While I am living away from my family and some of my friends, I don't live away from my friends anymore. I've made great friends here, all around me. I'm not alone. College life isn't nearly as scary when you don't feel alone, so as soon as you begin to make close friends, you'll begin to feel much more comfortable.
And while you're in that rough transition period when you're feeling a little lost and lonely, take the step to place your trust entirely in the Lord. This was one of the biggest growth moments in my relationship with Him this last year. When you're feeling absolutely alone and friendless in a strange place, He is still there. He won't leave you alone. He is enough. Rely on Him. I love Psalm 68:19-20, which says, "Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Our God is a God who saves."
Is it hard to find your way into college life?
This depends on you. Make the step to get involved right away, even if you're feeling homesick and you don't want to get out and have fun. Climb out of your comfort zone. Try to get involved in the college life within the first week or two of college.
It took a full semester for me to get involved in great organizations in college, but that was largely because I picked them apart first semester. Nothing was good enough for me. I wanted the perfect organization. I wanted best friends right away. That's not going to happen, no matter what school you attend. Search for a great group of Christian students who are loving and kind and spend time with them. It may take a little while for you to become "best friends." If you know any upperclassmen who are involved in the Christian community at your university, ask them for recommendations about organizations for you to consider joining.
Incoming freshmen to Texas A&M, email me and I'll be happy to give you some recommendations of Christian organizations you can attend.
Thanks for your questions! I will be having at least one more College Q&A Day over the next week or two to finish answering your questions. If there is a question you have about college life, the admission process, how to get involved in the Christian community at your college, or etc., please don't hesitate to ask in the comments below. Others are probably wondering the same thing.
Have a great day!