Things I Learned From Teaching The Freshman Bible Study

Things I Have Learned From Leading A Freshman Girl's Bible Study

The love of God teaches us so much.

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This past year I have had the opportunity to help with the RUF (Reformed University Fellowship) Freshman Girl's Bible Study. The fall semester I was working with one of my friends and our female RUF intern, who was the primary leader of the group. My friend and I were mostly there to help facilitate conversation and add little bits of information when there was something to be said. Starting spring semester my friend and I were given the reins with a set study to do, but we had become the leaders of the Bible Study.

We have been going through the book of Philippians in the New Testament written as a letter of encouragement to the Philippian church. I have studied this book countless times and each time I learn something different or find different ways to apply the lessons to my life.

This time through the book I thought of things that I had never thought of before, because of different points and questions that the freshman girls brought up in conversation. I was always blown away by the ideas that they brought to the table. I would think back to my freshman year and I wasn't able to remember myself being as bold or confident in questions and answers.

I think this speaks a lot to the fellowship and community that I have found in RUF and how it has really grown even within the past year. When I look at this group of girls I see people that feel comfortable being themselves around each other and are so full of love and support for one another. They aren't afraid to ask questions about the Bible, school, or life; even when they know it is going to be a tough answer.

The group often completely throws me for a loop when they come up with questions that I don't know and didn't see coming. It creates a unique opportunity for us all to go looking for the answer together and discuss possible ways for us to answer the question. We share how our days have been, and how they have really really been, not the glamorous version that is on social media. We share prayer requests and pray for one another during the good times and the very difficult times. We pass various snacks around the circle and share hugs and funny stories from the weekend.

These girls are driven and determined. They have come to Emory University to change the world. Each one has different interests, hobbies, and come from different backgrounds. The thing that they all have in common though, is their love for Emory, their love for God, and their love for each other.

I will always be so thankful for this opportunity to get to work with these girls and get to know them so well over this past year. They encourage me constantly and I really am so excited to see what these amazing women do in the future.

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It Is OK To Have Guy Friends That Are Literally Just Guy Friends

Some of my best friends are guys and sometimes they are better friends than girls are.

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Lately, I have come to the realization that some of my guy friends are better then some girls I call my "friends". Ever since middle school, I have always had many guy friends that have always been just guy friends, and nothing more. Some girls had a problem with it back then and they still do now, maybe because they are jealous, or maybe because they feel left out. However, I decided a long time ago to keep those guy friends for reasons like...

1. They Don't Take Things So Seriously

You can always joke around with them, and they will joke around with you right back. You can be as nice as you want or as mean as you want to them, and they will always take it as joke. I think that sometimes girls have a difficult time deciphering between when you are being serious or when you are joking. Most of my guys friends tend to not things too seriously at least 75% of the time.

2. They Are Always Honest

When I need a blatantly honest opinion I always ask my guy friends (and my mom). I do this because guys do not really care about whether or not their response will make you mad. Also, guys do not think about if their answer will benefit them personally or not before they answer.

3. They Genuinely Listen To You

Not all the time. But when I am upset, they are always the ones most concerned. Some of my guy friends take over the "big brother" role when it comes to some situations. My guy friends always listen to my problems or just the same old rants I give all the time because if something is wrong, or something has hurt me, they want to know, in order for them to try and fix it.

I am not trying to say that my girl friends are not my best friends either, and I really do have the best best friend. But sometimes, it just feels good to hangout with my guy friends. Guy friends, that I have never had a romantic relationship or feelings for and they have not had for me. These guys have always been there, and for that I am grateful.

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Finding Your Niche In College Starts With Finding You

Attempting to be someone you are not for the sake of having company only hurts you in the long run.

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Transitioning to college is hard enough, but trying to find a place where you feel "at home" can make this time even more stressful. Here are some tips on how to find that place/group of people that make you feel like sunshine.

I have always felt a little out of place wherever I went, but it wasn't until college that I realized that this feeling was so special and more people should capitalize on their differences rather than conforming to a certain mold. Transitioning to college and finding your place among so many people can be very overwhelming. The added stress of attempting to be someone you aren't for the sake of having company adds a whole other layer to this problem. The easiest thing for me to do in any situation like this is trying to make the setting a little smaller. One of the most obvious ways to do this on a college campus is by getting involved!

It is inevitable that within the first few weeks of the semester at any college, there will be an organization fair. This is a chance to scope out all that your school has to offer! Chances are there will be some type of group or club that lines up with your interests. Most college campuses have extracurricular opportunities ranging from social sororities and fraternities, professional ones, intermural sports, vocal groups, and so many more. You are more than likely going to find some type of organization that you can call home if you seek them out. Joining an organization is such an easy way to interact with people with similar interests. An interest can bring two completely different people together and create some beautiful friendships. It is situations like this where it is important to be your authentic self and mingle with those you share something with.

That being said, finding your place in college isn't always about being involved. Getting involved on campus is just one of the simplest ways to start. There are so many other opportunities on campus to meet people whether it be among others in your residence hall, people in your classes, or just people you find yourself stumbling upon! Finding people to spend your time with is easy; however, you should make it a point to surround yourself with people who bring you up.

Once you have a set group of people that you find yourself spending time with, it is important to pay attention to the way you feel when you're around them. If you find yourself feeling bad about yourself or get the impression that you need to change something in order to "fit in," chances are the people you're around are not the best for you or your self-esteem. It is important to surround yourself with people who allow you to feel comfortable in your own skin. That being said, you also want people who encourage you to make good decisions and help you reach your goals. People who encourage toxic behavior in your life might be fun in the short term, but in the grand scheme of things, you need to be surrounded by people with your best interest in mind. Essentially, surrounding yourself with people who influence you to be your best self is one of the best decisions you can make short and long term.

The key to all of this is being conscious of your own feelings and needs. Pay attention to who reaches out to you to hang out. Notice the ones who pay attention to you as you speak when it feels like no one is listening. More than anything, be conscious of who you're with and where you're at when you experience moments of pure happiness. Life is too short to waste your precious time on people who don't build you up. Wouldn't you rather spend your time with more moments of pure joy than self-hate? Start living for you!

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