It’s the first Monday of most of your college careers, luckily here at Mississippi College day classes do not start till Wednesday. So hopefully the Monday blues haven’t invaded your life quite yet. Welcome Week kicked off Saturday night with an amazing Ben Rector concert and events are still happening all this week!
Moving to college is a big step in everyone’s lives, whether you moved from a town 30 minutes away or a state 15 hours away. Relocating can be really tough, and I recently read an article in Relevant Magazine that shed some light on how to build community in a new place, and I would love to share what I found out. Community is word that is being thrown around more and more as of recently and it is all about finding a niche of people to grow with you. Finding friends and mentors to help encourage you in faith and live life with you is important, but it is not always that easy to take the first step.
One thing you can do is to get introduced. Chances are you may not know many people in this area yet, but talk to upperclassmen or even faculty members to learn the ins and outs of this new place. You can share your interests and maybe find people that share the same, or be guided to a group that does share the same interests. Upperclassmen who have been here in this town long enough know where a lot of the churches are, and they can sort through them with you to find a place to get involved.
Once you find a church or a community group to get involved with, commit. After you try it out for a month, decide whether you want to stay or not. It can be frightening to join a new church, but pray for courage. It’s hard to build community if you church hop throughout your whole college life.
Some people naturally like meeting others and enjoy talking to strangers, but if you are like me (an introvert), find the other introverts. Every one else is most likely just as nervous as you are. The basic, ‘Where are you from?’, ‘What’s your major?’, ‘What are your hobbies?’ can be enough to get a conversation going.
I’m not suggesting to go meet every single student on campus and exhaust yourself (if that interests you, though, then do you) but find a group of friends or a church family to grow with. Humans need each other. Find some other freshmen or upperclassmen to carpool with to visit different churches. Seek the place you find peace at.
I hope the first week of college is fantastic for all of you.