1. Get involved
There are so many ways to get involved on campus. Texas State offers many organizations to keep you running towards God even on the worst days.
-Sigma Phi Lambda
These are great groups to get to know and try out. There is a place for every bobcat here at Texas State! Get involved this semester, you won't regret it.
2. Find your crowd
Now obviously, not every crowd is great for everyone. I had to try a few myself to find the ones that didn't fit well and the ones that I have loved and grown in my faith with. The moment you realize that you are in the right place is priceless and full of joy.
3. Work hard
Every student is different. Some study more than others, some don't have to study as much. And then there's me, who has to study every chance I get. Although it is a lot of work, I'm glad I found out early and learned just how much I need to trust God's plan for my life. You are probably only here for about four years, make every day count.
4. Skip the party
Even though sometimes we think this may be a way to make friends and find our crowd, it's never a good idea. A few good friends that will lead you toward Christ is better than any dangerous social event, especially if you don't know half of the people there. Trust me, it's not worth it. College is a time of growth. We are adults. We need to make good decisions that won't hurt us or put us in danger. Skip the party scene. It will be worth everything when you put school first and become successful.
Many times, we like to make excuses about why we don't have time to be with God. "I don't have time to pray because I have a test tomorrow." Who else will help you through that test but God? I find time while I'm walking to class to pray by myself and either ask for guidance or thank Him for my day. "I can't read my bible right now because I have a project coming up." That passage you read may just be a light to you before you get stressed. We always have time for God. Think about your favorite thing to do. We sometimes always make time for that. Our addictions, our friends, whatever we find fun. These things, we will always have time for. It's just a matter of our realization that some things are more important than others.
6. Get a planner
It took me about 2 hours of the first day of class to realize I needed a planner if I was even going to come close to passing my classes. I really don't know how people survive without one. I put every single due date and test date so I don't forget. Especially those dang online classes that are easy to forget about. Invest in a planner and make life easier!
7. Meet new people
If you're like me, this is the biggest challenge. It takes me so long to warm up to people, but I have made some amazing friends that have carried me through college. Being brave and stepping outside of your comfort zone could bring you a best friend, or maybe even a roommate for next year!
8. Stay kind
Through this whole college experience, the one thing that I feel is most important is to stay kind to others. There will be bad days. There will be tears. There will be tough classes, tough teachers, tough tests. But in the end, with the help of God, you will get through them and the best way is to "start each morning with a grateful heart." Psalm 107:1
9. Don't give up
With these trials, comes prayer for wisdom and strength. This is where the groups that you meet will make an impact. Will it be a positive impact or negative? The best part is that you get to decide! A good crowd will help you through these situations and keep you on the path. We need these people in our lives to positively make an impact on us. "I will praise the Lord no matter what happens. I will constantly speak of his glories and grace. I will boast of all his kindness to me. Let all who are discouraged take heart. Let us praise the Lord together and exalt his name." Psalm 34:1-3
10. Remember your purpose
This is college. We are here to get an education. However, we are also here to shine a light on campus. Let others see Jesus in you. Whether it's through joy, kindness, or just a smile. Lastly, once you find a home at Texas State that helps you grow in your faith, invite others. Let others also experience that joy you have received. Glorify God and make him known.
Welcome to your freshman year of college. Let every moment count, and let God be the center of your life at all times.
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9