May 30, 2023 by


So, you’re going to be a freshman in the fall at Cedarville University. That’s so exciting! I can remember how excited I was about attending the same school my parents did. I couldn’t wait to experience some of the things they did. However, I was also very anxious. I had never spent a long time away from my family, and although this place was familiar to me because I had visited it before, I didn’t know too many people. I didn’t want to leave my family to attend a school where I would spend my time with complete strangers. Not only that, but I live in New Hampshire, which is 12 hours from Cedarville. My time at Cedarville University has been full of all kinds of ups and downs. Allow me to give you an insider’s view into what freshman year will be like.  

Blogger Jillian Basner posing with Cedarville's mascot, Stinger.


It Will Be Full of Laughs 

I don’t just mean laughing at a joke someone made or a funny video they showed you, but even just random, silly things that take place in a variety of settings. Someone may trip over their own two feet or something like that, and everyone will laugh. There will be all kinds of instances like this when people laugh, and sometimes they laugh for no particular reason. That’s part of college life. Even though things will be hard at times, there will be plenty of things to laugh about and enjoy.  


There Will Be Many Opportunities You Will Only Experience During Your College Years 

12 students, a STING group, stand around each other and pose for a picture in front of a Cedarville University backdrop.

From weekly D-Group meetings to ALT Nights to spring break road trips with friends, there are many opportunities that you will only experience while you’re in college. Take advantage of as many of them as you possibly can. Yes, getting an excellent education is why you’re here, but it’s also important to maintain your physical, spiritual, and mental health. It’s OK to take a break from typing on your laptop and reading your textbooks to refresh your mind and spend time doing something fun with friends. You’ll all be going to different places when you graduate, so take advantage of the time you have now to get to know each other and enjoy each other’s company. You’re going to be in college for four years, possibly more if you go to grad school, so I encourage you to make the most of it.  



You Will Have to Manage Your Time Well and Say No 

Between classes, chapel, homework, and everything else going on in life, you will have to learn how to manage your time well. Like I mentioned above, it’s important to take a break from studying, but it’s also important that you study well and complete your assignments. School is the reason you’re here, so make the most of it. Life is a balance of work/school, leisure, and everything else you do in life. There is no one right way to make a daily schedule. Just do what works for you. If that means trying to schedule all of your classes earlier in the day so you have the rest of the day to study and socialize, great! However, if you find that it’s better to spread them out a little more with a gap of an hour or two between each one, then do that. It’ll take some getting used to, but you’ll find your groove.  


You Will Be Homesick 

I’m not trying to scare you, but you will miss home. A lot. And that’s OK. It’s totally normal to miss your home, your family, your pets, your friends, and your church. While it’s important to form friendships while you’re in college and get plugged in to a local church, it’s also a good idea to keep in touch with your loved ones back home. I make it a habit to call my family on Saturday or Sunday afternoons, and I text my mom at least once a day about important and random stuff. Your parents want to hear about what’s going on in your life. Keep them updated on how things are going.  


You Will Build Strong Friendships and Find a Close-Knit Community 

6 female students pose in front of a car trunk for trunk-or-treat, 5 of them dressed as different planets and 1 of them dressed as an astronaut.

You will build long-lasting friendships at Cedarville University, I promise. It’ll take time and intentionality, but you’ll find other people that you click with. Go ask a student sitting by themselves in the dining hall if you can sit with them. Introduce yourself to a classmate you sit next to, and maybe exchange phone numbers so you can arrange study sessions later. Introduce yourself to a group of people and ask if you could join the friend group. Find little ways to put yourself out there.  


You Will Struggle 

I’ve learned so much about myself since starting my college experience, but one of the biggest things I didn’t realize until I started my first semester was how much anxiety I struggle with. Not only that, but some of my classes were challenging. And, as mentioned above, there’ll be homesickness. There will be plenty of good times and you’ll make amazing memories, but I want to warn you, and not discourage you, that there will be some hard seasons in your time here at Cedarville University. The good news is, there are people who care about you. Talk to your RA, your RD, a counselor from Counseling Services, or your favorite professor. You are not alone in your struggle. There are plenty of people who would love to talk to you and help you as best as they can. All you have to do is reach out.  


The Lord Will Guide You Through It All 

Yes, there will be hard times, but the Lord will be with you through it all. He brought you here for a reason, and “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” as Philippians 1:6 says. When things get tough, dig deep into God’s Word. He will refresh your soul and give you rest. I know that the busyness of college life can cause you to neglect spending personal quiet time with the Lord each day, believe me I struggle with that, but it’s so crucial to be rooted in Scripture to fight your battles. God gives you life partly through His Word, and it’s essential to look to God and His Word for strength and energy to fight your battles and persevere through those hardships.  


Your freshman year will be full of “the best of times” and “the worst of times” as Charles Dickens once wrote. But through it all, God will be with you, and He will provide you with amazing friends who will encourage you in your walk with Him. I would like to repeat something Dr. White has repeatedly said during his sermon series in the Psalms titled “The Lord Is Good.” He would end nearly every sermon he preached with these words, “You are loved.” You are loved by the God who created you, and you are loved by the faculty, staff, and other students here at Cedarville University. So, take a deep breath, hold your head high, and take a step out in faith. You’ll have an absolute blast. I’ll be around next semester, and would love to meet you, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. You’ve got this!

Tags: , ,
Posted in: , ,