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What NOT to do your Freshman Year of College

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What NOT to do your Freshman Year of College – by Elizabeth VanTol

As a freshman in college it is natural to be excited about all the new things happening around you. For most freshmen, this is the first time in their lives they get to live without parent’s rules and guidance to help them make decisions… which can be very exciting and very overwhelming at times. I have learned, both by going through Bible College and working at a Davis College that there are some definite “Dos and Don’ts” of being a college freshmen. I have made a short list for those out there looking for some advice on what NOT to do while being a college freshman.
1.)    Don’t limit yourself. Your freshmen year is the first year that you get to define yourself. You don’t have parents, siblings, friends, etc. who have gone before you and set the tone of who everyone assumes you will be. This is the first time you get to be you, fully 100% you. So… try new things, make new friends, talk to people you never would have talk to in the past. You’ll be amazed what kind of things you find out about yourself when you try new things.
2.)    Don’t give up. Along the way things will get hard. You might get homesick, or you might have an overwhelming amount of homework due all at once, you might even get trouble… But don’t give up, because when you get to the other side… things probably won’t be as bad as they seemed.
3.)    Don’t think you know everything. As humans, especially humans who are experiencing freedom for first time, we tend to develop this mindset that we know all there is to know. Somehow, by attending college we’ve learned everything we need to know to get through life and we don’t need to listen to authorities, parents, friends, or teachers anymore. This is false. If you can learn anything your freshman year, learn that you know absolutely nothing.
4.)    Don’t plan your future. You will meet people in college that you think are going to be your everything. Your husband/wife, your best friend forever, your ministry partner for eternity… But, in reality things are going to change for you so much over the next four years – and for the rest of your life – that yes, you will make great forever friends, but it may not be who you think. Leave room for God to develop your relationships and your future.
5.)    Don’t fall in love. First, let me clarify that I think love is a wonderful thing and I fully support relationships and marriage. However, as I already mentioned, you change so much your freshman year of college that falling in love your first year of college can be really detrimental to your growth. God didn’t design you to be a mirror image of anyone except for Him, and dedicating your heart and soul to another human being during such formative times in your life can lead you to missing out on some really awesome opportunities to get to know yourself. In college, especially Bible College, everyone is looking for their soul mate. They are all looking for the one person that will fulfill their every desire, make right all their wrongs, and bandage up their every scrape and bruise. And, maybe someday you’ll find the person you believe is your soul mate. And, I hope you do find them… but, your freshman year of college is probably not that time.
Now, I know that I’ve given you a long list what not to do and I could tell you more about all the mistakes I think students can make when they are in school… but, to end on a positive note, let me tell you about the one really important thing you CAN do. Pursue God. If you are pursuing God, no matter what, in easy times or in hard times it will always bring you right where you need to be.