There’s no shortage of college tips and advice being dished out around the world. We know this. But we also know that we have SingleRoots readers who are in college. Some of them have even written guest posts for us. The beauty of this community is that we can actually put into practice some of the things we often talk about, like mentoring. Even if it’s only virtual, there’s much we can learn from each other.
So we asked several of our SingleRoots writers what college tips and advice they would’ve given themselves if they could travel back in time. Hopefully, our college friends will be encouraged by their joys and their struggles and be challenged to continue walking worthy of the calling they have received. (Ephesians 4:1)
Dear College Brooke,
I beg you to dig deep into Jesus. Search the Scriptures. Find a Bible study. Meet some godly people somewhere a long the way and take the path of wisdom. The way you went eventually led to Him, but dear goodness, Brookie, there are faster and less stubborn ways. There are some amazing people at Lakeview Church, go and seek them out. And go ahead and read Proverbs, and again, and again. Read James. Seek wisdom and learn from wise people. Never ever think that your way is best. Pray hard. Continually ask God to direct your path. Also, memorizing Scripture won’t hurt you. Promise!
Good luck, Brookie. Here’s to an even wiser “us.”
Dear College Jeff,
Give dating a chance. Discernment in relationships is important, and so is getting to know others (and yourself). There are a lot of great people out there who want to get to know you and who will be great to get to know. Sure some risk is involved, but you never know how you might be changed for the better in the process.
Thirty Something Jeff
Dear College Sara Beth,
Invest more time in people and relationships. Take more spontaneous road trips. See the world with friends. Go “study” at all night diners with various groups of people. Don’t dwell on the “what ifs?” Life is not going to unfold in the time frame that you imagine. Trust the process. God is faithful, even when things don’t make sense or match up with your time frame. Don’t fret. Think outside of your best interest. Love strong. Cherish deep friendships – they are one of God’s greatest blessings. Don’t take your family for granted. Our lives are a vapor – so make the most of every day.
Dear Young-and-Carefree-College CB,
Don’t fall into the trap of trying to live up to the world’s expectations. You’ll meet many people who want you to be their version of the perfect you. Running after that ideal is often a tiresome, bitter battle. Focus on Him and His desire for you to be the YOU He created you to be.
Speaking from Experience,
Dear College Justin,
You’ve got a good heart and you are doing some really good ministry, but here are some thoughts: Be more intentional with your friendships. Treat your family better—especially your mom and sister. They care what you think. Speaking of women: Pay attention when someone keeps hanging around, even if they aren’t telling you they are interested or seem like they wouldn’t trade their lifestyle to come with you. They are just waiting for you to step up and invite them.
I’m counting on you,
Dear College Jimmi,
Go ahead and date the nerdy guy. Chances are, he will be the one to grow up handsome and rich! Also, try to travel as often as possible because when you get a full-time job, you can’t take off as often as you would like too.
Dear College Cynthia,
These four years are all about your Spiritual growth. God has placed you in an amazing community that will teach you about trust, vulnerability, and accountability. Use them, depend on them, love them. Don’t worry about the cute, pubescent boys who are running around. The right ones can serve as great friends and brothers in Christ. Let them teach you what it does and doesn’t mean to honor you as a woman. But really focus on the women God has placed beside you. Allow them to pour into you and to challenge you in your relationship with Christ. Most of all, be the woman God has created you to be. Don’t try to be someone else. You’ll just be miserable. It’s your uniqueness that makes you YOU.
Now let’s talk about your hair. That bump-it you got going on? It needs to go, sooner rather than later. I know curly hair can be unruly, but the bump-it is just not attractive, unless it’s worn by Brandi Howard.
To my college self,
Jesus is a lot better than parties and fitting in, but He’s far bigger than campus ministries. Don’t be surprised if you have to seek Him someplace else. Also, since that degree is expensive, make sure you leave college with a skill. You can buy the humanities and fine arts books, read them later, and you’ll be just as well off (and employed). Finally, cigarettes and beer may not cost much now, but you’ll kick yourself when you realize what those dollars would have turned into with compounded interest.
Dear College Jacque,
The worst part is the waiting. I know college feels like a holding pattern, and it can be difficult for people like yourself who went to college with a very clear idea of what you wanted to pursue in my career upon graduation. College is a necessary step towards that goal, so don’t dwell on how far away the dreams are. Be entrepreneurial; maximize your time through college clubs, study abroad opportunities, and part-time work that will give you a taste of your dreams now while preparing you for your future. Don’t waste time in the waiting. The future is beautiful, do the most to prepare for it!
Future Jacqueline Otto
Dear College Brandon,
Time management is everything. Your week is for working, learning, and growing. Physically, mentally and spiritually you should be growing during the day and sleeping more at night, when possible.
Take a chance and ask her out. Date. Be open and honest about your feelings.
Never will you have the opportunity to meet as many quality people in a short amount of time as you do now. Be choosy about your friendships. Find people that you not only have fun with, but who are serious about pursuing the Lord and their dreams.
Don’t sweat the small stuff either.
What college tips and advice would you give to your former college self? Share it in the comments below!
*Photo credit: Phil Roeder