Olivia Dear Thames
To the Rising Freshmen. . .
I know how you’re feeling. You have a few weeks left until you fly the coop and head up to your new campus. You’re in a bittersweet spot right now- thinking about leaving your town, your high school besties, and your family. You’re more than ready to start your new path at your new university . . . but there’s just an uneasy feeling inside of you. Or, if you’re like I used to be, you have lots of uneasy feelings.
What if everyone knows that I have poor social skills? Do people seriously WALK to class without having heart palpitations? What if the computers mess up and I don’t get a bid? Olivia, you’re never going to learn how to swing dance- just blame it on public school and move on. What if everyone thinks my dorm isn’t cute? What if my boyfriend Grant finds out that there really are more fish in the sea? Does everyone really gain 15 pounds? If so, I’m probably going to gain 45.
It’s a strange time, in a lot of ways. Just a few weeks that are filled with so much change. A season of anticipation and elation and expectations. I could give you advice on going to class, getting involved, and saving your money. I could tell you that you can just go ahead and guard your heart from bad Mexican food now because OXFORD DOES NOT HAVE AN EL RANCHITO EQUIVALENT. Or, I could tell you to make sure that you don’t make a wrong turn and accidentally run to the wrong house on bid day. . .
But if there’s one thing I want you to know most before you veer right to take the exit to your new college town, it’s this: seeking Jesus in college is worth it.
It’s worth it to be confident that Someone does hear your prayers when you walk in on the first day of college algebra to find that your professor doesn’t speak English.
It’s worth it to know that there IS hope when the Union is suddenly out of Chick-fil-A chicken biscuits and the only other option is Panda Express. . . because the Word of God will sustain you much better than egg rolls will at 10:31 a.m.
It’s worth it to listen to a podcast by Beth Moore or Jen Hatmaker or Francis Chan instead of listening to Lil Jon every once in a while.
It’s worth it to always have a friend in Jesus, to know that there is someone who will never change no matter how often circumstances do.
It’s worth it to step outside of your comfort zone and get involved in a campus ministry. There are so many people who want to pour into you if you’ll just allow them to.
It’s worth it to know that one day we’ll all be wearing the same bid day jersey and eating at the same house with Someone who will always accept us.
It’s worth it to wake up a little early on Sundays to head to church. You’ll need this time of worship every week.
It’s worth it to know that the Lord’s plan for your life is better than yours. . . Especially when He reveals to you that nursing isn’t your call, which leads you to drop Chemistry 105. Thank you, Lord. Lol.
It’s worth it to know what to say when someone asks you to defend your faith. It’s worth it to know the background of the Hope that we have.
It’s worth it to guard your heart and your mind, to resist temptation and to put the glorification of Jesus before your own glorification. It’s so worth it.
It’s especially worth it to wake up a little early or stay up a little late to spend time in the Word. You will start to this crave this time as the Bible begins to penetrate in your heart and in your life. It’s worth it to spend a little more time reading a specific book of the Bible at a time. Go deeper. Be consistent and persistent in the Word, because it is worth it to seek His wisdom daily.
You need to plant that Word in your heart and carve His truths into your mind. You need to seek Him in college because you will need Him.
Don’t let your newfound freedom lead you astray. Rather, let Him lead you and watch as you find a freedom like no other: a freedom of self-forgetfulness, a freedom from proving yourself, freedom from worry and anxiety.
There’s no better time to start establishing daily quiet time. There’s no better time to surrender your life to Him. There’s no better time to be on fire for Christ and the Gospel that sets us free. It’s not too late. And it’s definitely not too early.
“He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6
Yes, He will. If you believe that seeking Him is worth it.
Thanks for reading the words on my heart today! ❤