A Letter to Students on their First Day of College

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To students on their first day of college:

Embrace this season of your life. Don’t waste it. This is a defining season, one unlike any other time, so take advantage of all the opportunities this season brings and enjoy every single moment. Again, don’t waste this season, use it to make an eternal impact on the world.

laugh. everyday. at yourself. it's the best.

laugh. everyday. at yourself. it’s the best.

Make lasting friendships. That means hanging around people who will be there for you, who will love you, help you, speak truth to you and who, ultimately, you want to be defined as. It’s true that you become like who you hang around, so choose wisely.  

Be a friend. More than getting friends for your own benefit, seek to improve the lives of everyone you meet. Toss stereotypes out the window and be a friend to the friendless, to the one who can’t do anything for you and to the ones you don’t like. You’ll mature through the process and make a difference in countless lives.

If you’re a Christ-follower:

Pour into others. College is a very inward-focused time. Everything is about you, your growth and development. Resist that mindset. Disciple others. Set an example. Follow Jesus’ example and pour yourself out for others, and when you do you will experience more and more of Him. {Isaiah 58:10-12}

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Get poured into. You can’t pour into others effectively without being poured into yourself. Join a campus ministry, a small group, a Bible study, something with like-minded people who will help equip you for the journey. Thankfully small groups are two-way streets and you’ll be able to encourage and lift up others as you, together, grow more like Jesus. {Proverbs 27:17}

Get time alone. This may seem like an impossible and completely unattractive idea, especially for you social butterflies, but you need time alone. Not only time alone to study, enjoy a relaxing book or watch a good movie every now and then, but time alone with God. Get in the Word. This is your fuel. This is your strength. Don’t neglect it. {Luke 5:16}

Grow in discipline. This time, because it’s unlike any other season of your life, is made to grow you. Don’t resist the schedules, the challenges or the difficult people. Learn. Grow. Develop. Mature. Don’t waste this time or those frustrating moments but use them as a catalyst into holiness. {Romans 13:14}

“To be a disciple means to be disciplined.” -Elisabeth Elliot

For Seniors:

Congratulations! It’s your last year, maybe even your last semester, can you believe it? You made it. But it’s not over yet. Though you may struggle with it, don’t give into senioritis for there will be a day when you get up and go to your big-kid job and you’ll reflect back on your college days and you’ll be so thankful you gave it everything you had. 


Above all else,
college students: enjoy this season. 

Don’t treat your life as if the real living is just around the next corner. It’s not. If you live that way you just might get around the next corner to realize you haven’t truly lived. Accept and embrace this season and the opportunities it brings as the gift it is. Live your life now. And don’t waste it.

To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of His calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by His power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
(2 Thessalonians 1:11-12, ESV)

With so much love and expectant hope,

A recent college graduate

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3 thoughts on “A Letter to Students on their First Day of College

  1. iceiceandrew says:

    Awesome thoughts. Spot on.

  2. […] A Letter to Students on Their 1st Day of College – Blogger (and sister) Sophie McDonald shares some words of wisdom for college students just getting started.  This blog has much wonderful advice whether you’re in college or not, there is practical application for our daily lives in every point that she makes. Sophie begins “Don’t waste this season of your life, use it to make an eternal impact on the world.” […]

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