"Hey Steve, do you remember the first night we spent in this dorm, when we talked about how hard it was to say goodbye to our parents?"
"Honestly I don't man, that seems like so long ago..."
It really does seem like a very long time ago. At the same time, my first semester of college seemed to fly by. When my roommate Stephen and I moved in we were kind of unsure what to expect, and pretty much the only friends we had at first were each other. We have come a long ways these past four months and I can honestly say college is my favorite phase of life so far.
College classes aren't really that bad--my mom is still by far the toughest teacher I've ever had.;-) Admittedly I do have one of the easiest majors, but it is a fantastic program and I've made it through two HRTM courses, two general education courses, and one honors course with straight A's. I've also gotten a part-time job as a host at Jason's Deli where I have gained valuable experience working with customers.
Getting involved in the BSU Christian Challenge at NMSU has been by far the best decision I've made at college, and I have grown substantially in my faith and drawn closer to God these past few months. I've been discipled by my good friend Scott all semester, and I have learned a lot from him and through our study together. I've also been involved in Campus Evangelism every week, and my coach, Josh, is helping me to become more confident in sharing my faith. I've also met many of my best friends at the BSU and many of the older guys in the ministry have given me valuable advice and friendship.
I've met some of the coolest people on planet earth at college, and Steve and I are blessed to be a part of an awesome group of freshman at the BSU. We have been able to encourage each other, have movie nights, and even put together road trips to see Switchfoot and Tim Hawkins in concert. We've also made friends with several of the guys in our dorm and have made a couple of day trips to El Paso to shop at Guitar Center.
The most life-changing moment of the semester for me came a few weeks after classes started when the Traveling Team spoke at the BSU one Thursday during Crimson Worship. (http://www.thetravelingteam.org) They clearly explained God's heart for reaching the nations, and for the first time in my life I understood what God's purpose was for my life, and for Christians in general--it is our task to reach the nations with the gospel. While I am currently unsure how exactly God wants me to be involved in missions, I am excited to seek His will for my life and I know He can do more through me than I could ever imagine doing on my own.
College stretches you in almost every way possible. Without a strong work ethic and a desire to succeed, failure is inevitable. Without maturity, a desire to seek wisdom, and a willingness to face difficulties head on, problems can quickly become overwhelming. Without a constant effort to draw nearer to God, the trials and temptations of life will draw us away from him. College and living independently present a lot of challenges and require a lot of responsibility and initiative. Adulthood is difficult sometimes, but I know I am exactly where I'm supposed to be, I feel closer to God and my friends and family than ever, and I wouldn't change a thing about where I am. I'm living a great story, and although I can't help but be a bit nervous not knowing what's on the next page, I do know the author of my life personally, and I trust him completely.