I get the privilege to work with college students all day, urryday. When I tell this to people, they are often surprised and ask the impending “why” question. Here are a few of the reasons I’m passionate about getting to do collegiate ministry!
Transition is Hard
I can only remember bits and pieces my first few days of college (yes, I’m old). Yet I remember the significant impact that people had on me, especially those first few weeks. Before you go to college, people give you all kinds of advice and tell you things to do—or not to do. But you really can’t adequately prepare for what it will actually look like. Getting to work with college students means that I get to walk alongside them in their difficult transition.
When I look back on my time in college, I can see so clearly God’s fingerprints of leading. From getting placed in the dorm I did, with the roommate I had, to the relationships I had from high school—he was working in all of it. As far as the dorm, my pre-college self had little idea of which dorm I wanted to move into at K-State. So, I really wasn’t disappointed when I ended up getting placed in my third choice, West Hall. Looking back, I am so abundantly thankful that I was placed in West Hall, on the third floor (room 303, I think), with the RA and roommate I had.
On one of the first days I was in West, my RA, Elizabeth, stopped by to meet me and ask what I wanted to get involved with on campus. I remember telling her of my interest in something psychology-related (my major at the time) and that I wanted info about the religious organizations on campus. You see, I was at a point where I wanted to truly define what I believed in, beyond what I knew about Catholicism and Christianity in general. Elizabeth was eager to help.
God had given me an RA who was a Christian, involved in a Christian organization, AND a Bible study leader for freshmen women. I mean, really. God had been preparing my heart to learn more about Him and then directly and obviously (obvious enough that I couldn’t miss it) provided a way to do that. In addition to that, He provided a Christian roommate to encourage me, attend Bible studies with, and learn from. Of all the potluck (aka randomly assigned) roommates I could have received, he blessed me with Chrystiana.
Plus, there’s more.
Going into college, I knew a few people from my high school who would also be freshmen at K-State. One of them was Michelle, who I had actually known since Kindergarten. Few things will bond people together like being familiar with each other in a new place. In the first few weeks, Michelle and I clung together, not knowing a ton about each other but knowing that we were familiar. This led to a friendship that I treasure and reminds me how impactful Michelle’s faith was for me.
I work with college students because college was such an influential time for me personally—a time when I came to make my faith personal. Looking back, I can see clearly the trajectory of God providing throughout my life and bringing me to this place as a freshmen at K-State. I was continually blessed throughout those years with friends who showed me abundant patience, pointed me to truth, encouraged me, and made college fun. My desire is to do the same for college students and help them know who Christ is, develop their faith, and make Christ known in the working world.
This one speaks for itself, but it’s true. College students are some of the most passionate and enthusiastic people you will ever meet. They are learning independence, deciding on what to do for the rest of their life, and have big dreams. It’s inspiring to be around and a great reminder to pray for people in the working world.
I Felt Called
The RA of my dorm, Elizabeth, was a HUGE encouragement to me, especially in my early college years. Thankfully, I got to spend four whole years with her at K-State because she ended up joining Navigators staff for two years after she graduated. As I saw how much she continually helped me, I realized I really enjoyed college students and that crazy season of life. During my senior year, I became an RA as well, and this really cemented the idea of working with college students. I LOVED being an RA to freshmen women!
It was as if God had placed a desire into my heart (helping college students) and then supplied a way for me to do that full-time (as Navigators staff).
Looking back on my personal experience, it is clear that He was leading me to work with college students. This may not be my job forever, but I enjoy the constant challenges and encouragements that come with it. Working with college students makes “adult life” a bit more fun. 🙂