July 5, 2023 by


Before entering a new season of life, it is common to have many different expectations, hopes, questions, and worries. You are about to enter the great unknown. I am sure many people have offered their advice, experience, tips, and words of wisdom. It can be challenging to sort through all of that as well as your own thoughts. Well, I am here to add to the mix. Just think of me as a friendly voice who just one short year ago was in your footsteps. I anticipated college with my own thoughts and concerns. Here are a few of my worries that I had going into my first year at Cedarville, how they turned out to be, and how I was able to manage them and make it out alive (don’t worry I made it out very much alive). 


My Childhood Was Over 

No one really tells you the grief that you feel about not being a kid anymore. My whole life I have been so excited about adulthood. I was always told I am mature for my age, and maybe that spurred on some of the excitement for growing up. However, once I reached that age of no longer being a kid anymore, I felt intense sadness and nostalgia! My life would never be the same, and I could no longer “just be a kid.” 

This was true, to an extent. My childhood is over, but I am not yet fully an adult. I like to refer to myself as a ‘half-adult.’ No longer a kid, but not totally an adult either. There are still many parts of my childhood that I miss, but there are new thrills and blessings that come with the next phase of life.  

Something that has helped me with this (and has helped with many of the other fears, too) is to be thankful for the season that the Lord has me in and to embrace it. He is a good God and intentionally puts you in different seasons to grow you closer to Him and to strengthen your character and gifts. By delighting in where the Lord has me, I have learned to find joy in the present. This doesn’t mean my life is always simple and fun, or that I don’t miss the past or yearn for the future. It means that I don’t want to waste precious time wishing I was somewhere else, when I could be missing out on something that God has for me right now. 


I Would Lose Relationship With My Family 

My family members are some of my best friends. I grew up in a Christian household with both my parents and my younger sister. We were homeschooled for most of our education, and my sister and I were both involved in musical theater. These contributed to my close relationship with my family. I do not want to take these things for granted, because I know that not all families look like mine. Before heading off to college, I was nervous that I would lose my close relationship with my family. They would move on without me and soon wouldn’t need me anymore. My sister and I were getting a lot closer as we had finally entered similar seasons of life and now, I was about to “abandon” her. 

I will not lie, that first semester it was very difficult to be away from them, but it was not nearly as terrible as I was anticipating. The biggest piece I have in keeping up your relationship with your family is to be intentional. First, acknowledge that it will look different, but different does not always equal bad. Then, don’t forget about them. Be intentional in texting them little updates or pictures and take the time to call them. Let them into your life. Many people are excited to escape the watchful eye of their parents, but I think it can be a sweet thing to allow them to counsel, love, support, and encourage you through these next few years. Again, I don’t want to assume the type of relationship you have with your parents, but maybe give some thought to letting them still be a part of your life. 



This worry goes hand in hand with the last. I was scared that I would be so homesick I would not be able to make it through the whole year. There were times, especially during the first semester where I just wanted to go home. Especially when something challenging or hurtful happened, I missed the safety and comfort of my home.  

It took time, but once I found my rhythm and people, Cedarville also became home. This did not come until part of the way through second semester. After spring break, I didn’t see my family until I went home for the summer, which would be the longest period I was away from home. Those two months flew by and were my favorite period of the whole school year. Not because I was away from my family, but because Cedarville truly felt like a home. I found a great friend group, was involved in multiple areas, and had grown comfortable in the atmosphere. I want to encourage you that though you will feel homesick, if you are intentional in seeking out community, you will find it. Cedarville also provides many ways for you to get involved which help to make it feel like a second home. Take advantage of everything that is offered! 


I Would Never Sleep 

College is notorious for severely decreasing your sleep every night. This is partly true. Classes, mixed with social life, extracurriculars, and personal growth, leave little time in the day for sleep. I have a more sensitive immune system, and usually when I am down on sleep and am running myself thin, I tend to get sick. I was nervous that I would be getting just a few hours of sleep each night and as a result be sick for the whole school year.  

There are two things I have learned about sleep this past year. First, you are the master of your schedule. Except for your classes, which are set for you the first year, you can get as much or as little sleep as your heart desires. This all depends on what your priorities are and how much you add to your plate. First semester, the majority of my energy was spent on trying to figure out college life. Second semester, the majority of my energy was spent on getting involved and developing solid community. So, during the spring semester I did not get nearly as much sleep. However, I was intentional about keeping up my health in other ways, which helped to balance everything out. Caffeine and power naps also became my best friends. This was the second thing that I learned. There will be painful effects both short-term and long-term if you do not take care of your body. Our bodies are vessels, and we are called to care for them and steward them well. If you will only be getting six hours of sleep every night, make sure you are feeding your body nutrients, staying hydrated, and getting as much exercise as possible. 


It Would Be Difficult to Find a Church 

My family has attended my home church for almost 13 years. It was really difficult for me to think about finding a new church on my own where none of my family or friends would be. I was also worried that it would take months to settle in a church I could call another home. The Lord, however, was so gracious to me. The first church I visited, Heritage Fellowship Church, turned out to be the one I chose to call home. I did research and sat under several sermons before officially deciding, but I was so thankful and surprised at how easy it was. Now I am not saying that this will always be the case. Some people switch churches after a semester or even a year of going there. Others shop around for months before landing on one they are comfortable with. What I found helpful was finding friends to go with you, researching their doctrinal statements, and going to the Involvement Fair at the very beginning of Fall Semester. Pray that the Lord would lead you where He wants you to go and have faith to obey His leading and to use biblical discernment! 


It Might Be Difficult to Get Involved/Be Known by Others 

As a result of going to my home church for so many years, I had the opportunity to be mentored by many people and to serve in multiple ministries. You could say that my family and I were well known. I do not mean this in an arrogant way, but just to say that I was trusted, and my character was recognized by many in the Body. Entering into Cedarville I had to rebuild my reputation. I have two big encouragements that helped my heart for these concerns of mine. First, my life is not my own. Nothing I do is for my own glory or praise; I am a servant of Jesus and I do everything for His name. Second, all I am called to do is to walk in humble obedience to the Lord. I do not need to build this reputation or try and get people to trust me. Christ will be reflected in my humility and as long as He is glorified through my life, that is all that matters. So, my friends, be intentional about your relationship with the Lord and people will notice the holy fruit you are bearing. 


All in all, there are new and exciting things ahead of you and it is normal to feel anxious about the unknown. But I urge you, trust in the Lord for strength and walk forward in joy and gratitude for the path He has set before you. You got this; I am cheering you on.

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