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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.
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, friends or a familiar church. No one is there to physically make sure you read your 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!
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 local churches, and see if they hold young adults group. Again, I want to encourage you to not be discouraged in this search. Krista, Live Salted’s founder, didn’t start Salt until her senior year and she 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.
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.
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 upperclassmen 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 are 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 let’s 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
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