5 things to keep in mind as you head off {or back} to school

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It’s that time of year again. The smell of new new backpacks and freshly sharpened pencils fill the air. You’re packing your car for the first {or second time or third or fourth} time, and heading off to school. New faces, new places, new challenges are all ahead of you. As nerves and anticipation and excitement fill your heart and mind, I want to give you some advice to pack along with your toothbrush to use as needed.

1. Keep an open heart, but don’t close your eyes.

You will be faced with choices about new people, new friendships, and new relationships this year. Have fun! Get to know as many people as you can. This is a fresh place where nobody knows your name yet. Put your best foot forward, and be friendly and open. But don’t be naive. Not everyone you meet is good for you. Not everyone you will meet will be safe. Not everyone you meet deserves your heart. Be smart about the people you let close to your heart and in your life. You will take advice, pick up habits, and develop similar mindsets of those closest to you. Choose people who are best for you in the long run mentally, spiritually, academically, and socially, not people who look like they are just having fun in the moment.

2. Not all Christians get a green light when it comes to dating.

Just because someone is a Christian, does not mean that this person is automatically a potential future spouse. There are so many deeper questions that have to be answered and characteristics to be considered before setting your heart on one “Christian” girl or guy. We hear it all the time, “He/She is soooo cute, and they’re a Christian!” Um… okay what does that mean? Reality is, it could mean many many things in our society today. Understand really who this person is, what their background entails, how serious they are about obeying what God has said in His word, and how committed they are to having the type of relationship that you desire. I beg you, be smart. Just because someone is a “Christian” does not mean they will not use, hurt, and abuse you in ways you never thought could happen to you. Search for a mate with a heart after God, and do not give your heart away for less.

3. Your God at home is still your God at school.

You have a routine at home. You have people looking over your shoulder. You go to church every week with people who care about you, and look out for your spiritual well-being. You might not have that off at school, but guess who is there looking out for you, and caring about you, and wants to still have a relationship with you. Ya, you know… God. You can’t leave Him home. He travels everywhere you are. He will be there in the good times, and he will be there in the bad times. He will be there in the easy breezy times, and he will be there in the tough times. He is always, always there, and his promises always, always apply. Don’t forget about Him.

O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. Psalm 139:1-10

4. Be true to who God has called you to be.

Going off to a new place shakes you up a bit, I get it. But you’re grounded. You know who you are in Christ. Maybe you don’t know what you want to do for the rest of your life, or who you will marry, or even what your major will be next year, but you know who you are. You are a child of God, who has been set apart to do what is right. If you remain true to this, you are not going to fit in, christian college or secular. Don’t sell out to what this world dangles in front of your face. Don’t trade the beauty of a life given to Jesus Christ for the dirty hands of the devil. Stay grounded in your decisions, and principles, and morals. Stay true to you. Keep your eyes on Christ.

5. Learn, grow, and have fun!

College is a wonderful time of your life. A time to learn…Yes, you need to study! That is what you are there for. It won’t kill you and it won’t last forever. Don’t get overwhelmed when your professors hand you the course outline with every paper, project, quiz, and test. Take all your classes one day at a time, and keep your eyes on the prize. You can do it! It’s also a time to grow as a person. You’re going to have tough times, I’m not only talking about finals week here. You will learn through friendships, relationships, and circumstances in and around you. Take it all in, go to the Lord in prayer, ask what God would have you do about every situation, and do right the best you can, and you will be blessed for it. Lastly, have fun. Don’t spend all your time cooped up in your dorm room studying, or being shy, or boring. Get out there. Make good friends. Ask that girl out on a date, guys. Give that guy a chance, girls! And make memories that will last a life time because they will.

oh ya, and ps… call your mom and dad every once and a while.

 

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11 comments

  1. Wow, thank you, Lauren!! This is so spot on for my life right now! I go back to school in exactly a month, and this is so reassuring and refreshing! Thank you for sharing this!

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  2. Thank you so much for this post. Even though I just graduated from homeschooling, I find that these five principles apply also to my job.
    How important it is to remember that although we are out on our own (not with Dad and Mom), God is still there, testing our faith and proving to us that staying true to him is the only best way to follow.
    Thank you once again and God Bless.

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  3. This is so spot on! I wish I had read all of this before starting uni. But it’s all good; I’m in my final year now and I could definitely use this advice from now on. Thankies πŸ™‚

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  4. Thank u so much!!! I leave for school in 2days and this is exactly what I needed! I will be reading this over and over again in school to settle me! Thank u again! I appreciate your honesty in Christ and standing for what you believe in! πŸ™‚

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  5. Hi Lauren. I am really excited about your posts. Really wish i had known about this sm 8 years back. But i am hopeful and i believe it is never too late to be a FULLTIMEGIRL. God bless u so much for all the insight u give and buttressing them with the word of God.

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  6. […] Romantic Relationships – When I first got to college I was so excited about this part of my life. And then I found at my school you β€œcan’t” date which is called the October rule. Basically, they want you to establish friendship and your class workload. Yet, I was desperate for boys and their attention. Yet really, I was just trying to put my identity and find worth through a romantic relationship. Then I realized that this was an idol in my life and I was putting my need for boys above my relationship with Christ. Once I let go of this I ended going on blind date that lead to several more dates and now a steady relationship just about to approach a year. The best advice I have is to be yourself and not search for your identity in guys but realized you have value as God’s masterpiece and a child of God. Here is what the fulltime girl says about dating https://thefulltimegirl.com/2014/08/28/5-things-to-keep-in-mind-as-you-head-off-or-back-to-school/ […]

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