4 Ways to Overcome Freshman Year Fear
Congratulations on this next new beautiful season of being a college woman!
Freshman year is a really valuable, yet sometimes tricky time. Most likely, it’s one of the biggest life transitions you’ve ever been through, and if there are some bumps along the way with that it’s understandable! No matter how excited you are to arrive on campus, it’s so normal to be brimming with fears and a few uncertainties. When your decisions are completely yours to make for the first time ever, fear has a way of swooping in to steal the show in moments when you still may be trying to find your footing.
Sweet sister in Christ, I pray for you to embrace your joys over your fears in this precious new season for you, and here are a few ways I think you can do just that!
1. Find your faith community.
I know it can be scary seeking out churches and small groups in a new place, but the risk is so worth the reward. While the process can be overwhelming at times, take solace in knowing that you have all the time in the world. Did you find your dream school on your first campus visit? Most likely not. Look around, try out different services, and join friends at the churches they’ve found. Go on a Delight date and get Sunday morning coffee before or after a service you’ve been wanting to go to! There’s strength in numbers, and there’s strength in finding the congregation and message that’s right for you. Once you go to one service for the first time, you’ve already made so much progress in getting over the hurdle of trying something new. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time,” so take the time to find the faith community that’s right for you!
2. Invite others to walk with you.
Jesus himself was at his best when he urged his future best friends to leave things behind and walk with him. You can be that person too, just by being the first one to reach out. Everybody likes to be invited. Everybody likes to feel known. Take the initiative to plant the seeds of friendship. Stop fighting the fear of rejection and ask someone to spend time with you.
At my first Delight small group meeting freshman year, I was a nervous and excited wreck. Sweet girls with pink books who could be my future best friends? Yes please! My most vivid memory of that meeting is a girl named Jana (a sophomore I had seen around before and was sure she was too cool for me) being the one inviting to share her time and space with others. Within minutes of us meeting her, she made it clear she was the type of girl to drop everything for a coffee date, cafeteria lunch, or to open up her home to someone feeling homesick. Her kindness immediately drew me to her, our friendship grew over time, and by my sophomore year we had a standing Tuesday lunch scheduled. Inviting others to join you and be a part of your life can be scary, but putting yourself out there is so worthwhile.
3. Lean on loved ones.
No matter how far away from home you are, the role models and support system you had from home never disappear. I know it can be scary to open up to your loved ones at home if your first few collegiate weeks (or months) aren’t going the way you want them to, but they want to do life with you no matter where you are. The people that know you best are great resources of perspective. Think to the wedding at Cana. Jesus was hesitant to step forward and perform any sort of miracle, he himself says “My time has not come.” Who encourages him, who tells him to take a step out of his comfort zone? Mary, his mother and one of the people that has known and loved him for his entire life.
On the flipside, is this new chapter of your life is everything you’ve ever dreamed of and more? Give your loved ones a call and praise the great community and opportunity you’ve found for these four years! Even if you haven’t reached out to someone for awhile (your favorite cousin, your high school homeroom teacher, youth minister, etc.), don’t let the amount of time that has gone by deter you from reconnecting and sharing this new season with them. The people in your life that love you want to celebrate with you even if they’re not close by.
4. Find a verse.
The best way that I’ve been able to find a consistent way to fight fear is by having a small piece of solid ground to spiritually stand on. Each semester I’ve chosen a verse to depend on through my good times and bad. Having a few words of spiritual fuel to sustain myself with when I need a quick moment of courage has made all the difference. Everything is always a little less scary when you have someone telling you that everything is gonna be okay.
This first came about during my first month of college on an afternoon when I was in my room alone, my heart aching for home and the familiar blessings that had existed there. I pulled out my phone, scrolled a second, and there it was. Isaiah 43:2 popped up in my feed, and I had finally found the words of consolation that would make all the difference. I grabbed a piece of paper and a few markers, wrote it out in my neatest handwriting, and stuck it on my wall.
Each semester since, within the first month I find a verse that accurately depicts how I’m feeling about my place in the world and I add it to the wall. I like to think of it as my spiritual version of Dear Evan Hansen’s “Today is going to be a good day, and here’s why” statement, another quote that always hangs close by on my wall. It’s impossible to avoid fear and uncertainty in a whole new season of life, but the little things can make the biggest difference in putting you on the path that lets you embrace the beautiful things God has planned for your college life.
Sweet freshmen, I believe in you! And I’m sure He does too.
My semester verses:
Meet the Author
Lucy Walsh / @lucillewalsh17
Hi, I’m Lucy! I’m a junior at Belmont University studying public relations and publishing, and I’m originally from Evansville, Indiana (a place that makes my Hoosier heart so happy). If you can’t tell, I have a passion for writing, reading, and the communities I call home! More than anything, I love helping people put their best foot forward and sending snail mail to keep in touch with loved ones. You can typically find me with a blue pen in my hand, a rom com on my screen, and a sunshine emoji at the end of every text I send. I can’t wait to see how God works through me this semester as a blog contributor!