Tuesday, May 1, 2012

College Q&A Day (Part 2)

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. 

I was terrified I wouldn't find a Christian group of friends at a big public school like Texas A&M.  I'm naturally a little shy, so it can be difficult sometimes for me to immerse myself into a new group of friends.  If you're the same way, the best advice I can give you is to prepare yourself to step outside of your comfort zone.  Be bold, even when it scares you.  The best way to make friends is to talk to people.  Be friendly.  Smile at everyone.  Sit with new people at lunch.  Invite acquaintances to hang out.  Initiate friendships and they'll come naturally.

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.

I recommend that you apply for more than only your dream school, just in case you aren't accepted.  And even if you do have the blessing of being admitted into everything you applied for, like I did, it's nice to have several different schools to choose from.  You don't want to be stuck going to one place until you're eligible for transfer. 

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?

At first, it definitely was!  A few days ago, my friends and I were talking about our freshman experience.  Someone mentioned "that moment" when you finally say goodbye to your parents and they leave you alone and it hits you that you're by yourself in an unfamiliar place with no one you know nearby.  And it's hard.  It's frightening.

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.

Sometimes you'll need to sacrifice things like a little alone time (you'll only focus on your homesickness during that time anyways) and a good night's sleep in order to fully immerse yourself into the college life.  Most organizations, including Bible studies, tend to meet at night.  A lot of great talks and intentional bonding time happens at late-night coffee stops and trips to Whataburger.  Be ready to put an effort into your friendships and you'll make close friends quickly.  (Although remember not to compromise your standards and your values out of a desperation to make friends.  Seek out friends who strive to glorify Christ with their actions and words.  They won't pressure you to make reckless decisions.)  

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!


  1. Emily you have a beautiful soul. I'm 57 years old and I loved your song. My granddaughter called me today out of the blue. I'm disabled and she is addicted to drugs. I pray for her, but not enough yet. She told me that I reminded her of a song she heard. The lyrics were every time you pray for me I suffer. It hit me hard. I need help so please if you and all your followers would pray for her too, I'd be ever so grateful. I would like to hear the song she was talking about but no luck. If u would please find out would u email me at tnlady22@gmail.com. Sincerely,
    Rebecca Walls

  2. Ok, you have no idea how great this was to read. You should totally do more! I'm only a sophomore but I'm trying to learn everything I can about college before I go.

    I featured this post in my Must-Read Monday blog haul. Hopefully some of my readers will click their way to your blog and read it. (: