Surviving Freshman Year

By Amanda Cartwright, age 18 and Marjorie Foerster Eddington


The college environment presents lots of social challenges. What ideas can help me find my way and survive freshman year?


I've found some really helpful advice myself from 2 Timothy 2:22-3:1-5. I've re-written it in present day language. Hopefully it makes sense and is helpful!

Here is my advice for the incoming freshman class:

  • Stay away from the temptation to "sow your wild oats."
  • Actively strive to express fairness, faith, love, and the qualities of a peacemaker in everything you do.
  • Follow the example of people who pray to God with pure motives.
  • Don't get involved in petty arguments or gossip; all that does is create trouble and distract you from your relationship with God.
  • Try to help others who have lost their way, in the hope that God will help them see the light of the truth. Eventually, they will realize that they are being manipulated by the devil and awake from their state of hypnosis.
  • Know that there are dangerous things that we must be alert to in the future.
  • People will be self-centered, selfish, obsessed with money, big-headed, consumed with their pride, use foul language, be disrespectful to their parents, lack self-control, be ungrateful, get distracted by things that do not glorify God, be unkind, break their promises, look down on people who place God first, betray those who trust them, act rashly, and love material pleasures and possessions more than they love God.
  • Be constantly vigilant that you do not engage in these activities, and do not hang out with people who have chosen to follow down this path.
  • Such people will have some knowledge of godliness, but they will deny its power.

Amanda Cartwright, age 18

Editor's Note:
It's so important to choose friends wisely. Choosing friends doesn't just mean choosing people; it also means choosing the qualities or characteristics that we want to have in our lives on a daily basis. Do we want to be friends with self-centeredness, disrespect, corruption, moral looseness, egotism, etc? Of course not! If we live the qualities we want to see in our lives, we'll bring into our lives friends who are going in the same loving, helpful, pure direction we are going. As we live the qualities God has given us, we can help bring out the best (not the worst) in others and ourselves.

But we have to keep our eyes open. We have to be alert to temptations so we don't get caught up in doing something with "friends" that sounds fun, but is actually destructive. As we are aware of ourselves, aware of others, and aware (most significantly) of God, we can make it through college (or high school or any other of life's schools) triumphantly and joyously.