Have you ever been able to look back on an experience in your life and thought, I have absolutely no regrets? When I look back at my time in college that is exactly what I think. Now there were a lot of mistakes I made, even now I sometimes wonder, “what in the world was I thinking?!” But it was through those mistakes and hard times that I experienced a lot of growth. This is why I have no regrets – going into college I was determined to not let fear be a factor in any decision I made. In high school I was timid, quiet, and worst of all, a people pleaser. I cared a great deal about what others thought of me, which means I was afraid of people getting to know the real me. I knew I had cheated myself out of some experiences in high school, and I was not about to do the same in college.
At the beginning of my freshman year, despite my fear, I jumped. I joined a ministry that ministered to people around the Phoenix area on Saturday afternoons, got involved with a Bible study on my hall, attended any and every event my school put on, went to a Tuesday night worship gathering, and found an older female student who became a mentor. Deanne was her name, and it was the first time in my life I felt like I could tell someone anything and everything, and she would not judge me. She came alongside me, encouraged me, loved me, and shared scripture and her life experiences with me. It was so wonderful to just be accepted for who I was. Freshman year was good but the next three years in school after that only got better. I still struggled with caring about what people thought of me, but it was in college the Lord began to show me that ultimately the only opinion of me I should be concerned with was His. He created me, He knows me completely, and He loves me in a way that no human’s love could compare to. I began to know the Lord in a deeper way through living in community and in being mentored.
If you’re a college student reading this be encouraged to be a part of a community of believers who you can have fun with, but will also be there to encourage you, and keep you accountable. And find a mentor because you need someone who is older, who has experienced more, and who will build you up in your walk with the Lord. College is a challenging, difficult, awesome, fun, and crazy adventure, make the most of it.