It is a difficult time to be a senior in high school. The circumstances created by the Covid-19 pandemic have derailed the spring semester of your final year in high school. The thought of finishing your high school education online was not the plan for any of you. Proms, spring sports, music and drama, and all the memorable activities leading to graduation have been cancelled or postponed.
However, for those of us in Christ we can take joy even in these moments. For we know that our joy comes not from within or the circumstances around us, but from the knowledge and faith that our God is in control. Our God is not surprised by our pandemic! Trust in Him and His Word. This will not last forever. And many of you will be leaving home and heading to a college campus in August. These extra days at home may even provide you a chance to better discern where you will go, what you will study, and who you will be.
Here are some things to remember as you prepare for college and connect during those first few weeks on campus:
1. Appreciate Home
Despite all its imperfections, God has blessed you with a family. In your excitement to enter the next phase of your life, be thankful and appreciative of your family that has supported you the previous 18 years. This transition is often difficult for them, so be intentional to love, show affection, and make your weeks leading up to being on campus full of harmony in your home.
2. Be Purposeful to Grow
In selecting a major pray this prayer, “God, show me how you have gifted me to make a difference in your kingdom.” Whatever field of study, trust that God will take your willing heart and equip you to grow His kingdom. In addition, be purposeful to chart a plan to grow spiritually – begin now establishing a daily routine of Bible study, prayer, reflection, and learning. If you struggle to be faithful to be in the Word at home, busy life on campus will be an even greater struggle. Set this pattern now.
3. Choose Friends Wisely
An incoming freshman will often establish their college friends during their first 6 weeks on campus. These friends in many cases will become life-long friends that support you through your adult life. Instead of connecting with those closest in your dorm or nearest in your classes, make intentional efforts to connect with those that walk with the Lord and have a character that gives evidence of their faith. Your life will be much richer if you establish the right friends.
4. Connect to the BCM
One of the greatest helps in choosing friends wisely, is to connect with your Baptist Campus Ministry. These groups will give you an opportunity to gather with other students for worship, discipleship groups, mission trips, and much more. These groups can become your closest friends to walk alongside you on campus and give you a team to impact your campus with the gospel.
5. Connect to a Local Church
Though your membership may remain in your home church, connect to a local church to become a faithful part during your college years. Remember that faith groups on campus are not a church, and God has reminded us in Hebrews 10:24-25 to not neglect the gathering together. Ask your student pastor and your new campus minister (at your BCM) to help suggest churches to attend.
Matt Flanagan - Children's & Student Ministry Consultant - Kentucky Baptist Convention