Finding Faith in College
Tessa De Vilbiss
No matter if you are a freshman starting school for the first time or going back for another year, the start of school is always a transition period. Getting into a routine, finding new friends and possibly determining who you want to be and how you are going to fit it. It’s hard. But through all transitions, no matter what they are- the Lord is always there. Here are some tips and insight from Tessa on how to find and stick to your faith at school.
I (Tessa) am graduating in December, and my brother is starting school at USC as a freshman. It’s such an interesting place to be almost finishing up school, and my brother just starting. Talking to him, I remember how I felt when I first started school, with my experiences, and all. So as I talked with him, a few things and advice came to mind that I want to pass on to you.
4 Bits of Advice for Finding Faith at the Start of School
1) It’s on you… well mainly on you.
Jesus is always there and He puts people in your life to build up community and work things out for your good, but you need to make the effort. This time truly tests faithfulness, as you figure out how to live with God in a new way without family or a familiar church. No one is there to physically make sure you read the Bible or spend time in prayer. Familiar community is far away, so for the beginning of this transition it’s just you and Jesus. So make sure you seek out different communities, try out different churches, and spend time in the word and in prayer. Don’t get discouraged, these are all just seasons of life!
2) There’s a perfect place for you, but it takes time.
There could even be multiple communities for you to be a part of, you just need to search them out. Try out different clubs on your campus, look to see if there is a Delight or Younglife in your area, send out some emails to the young adults groups in the surrounding churches. Again, I want to encourage you to not be discouraged in this search. Krista, Salt’s founder, didn’t start SALT until her senior year and her and I didn’t really become friends until her junior my sophomore year. I say this, because she is one of the strongest believing friends I have, but I had to wait two years to find her. Our Father loves to teach patience, so take joy in trusting Him to work things out and put you exactly where you need to be.
3) You will grow and see yourself in new ways.
There’s something about moving out that forces you to be more mature and self sufficient. We have more choices and chances to choose God, but also more times to avoid Him. Something important to focus on in this time is our identity. So many forces want to pull us in different directions and define us in college: sororities, success, partying, grades, etc. In this time of growth and vulnerability, stand firm in who you know you are and who God created you to be.
4) Upperclassmen want to help you!
This is more of a tangible little tidbit, but upperclassmen are so excited to help in whatever way that maybe. When I look back on my freshman year, and that crazy time, all I think about is how I want to help that little me. Being an upperclassmen and having other friends who are as well, we love taking people to church, grabbing coffee, and showing love to others. Don’t be scared or timid in asking to hang out- the worse that can happen is they say no!
There’s so many things Jesus taught me in my first few months of school, and there are so many things that He is going to teach you. Everyone’s experience is different, because we serve a dynamic God who made each of us unique. He has your back and will provide everything you need to learn about yourself as well as His plan for you! It may take some time, even a few months, but don’t be discouraged. Live into your identity as His daughter, be patient, and take in this time in your life as much as you can. Every moment is one to be lived to the full! (:
Have any advice for other women like you around the world? Share some of your wisdom down below in the comments. This world is hard to navigate, so lets work together to do the best we can with what we have. Jesus came to give us life to the full, and now it is time for us to live into that! #livesalted