So, it’s time for you (or your child) to choose a college. I’ve never been there as a parent, but I’ve been there as a student. Since I taught high school for 3 years and my husband is a student pastor, I’ve seen many students and their parents navigate this exciting but also a little scary time.
I mean… there’s SO many options and SO many opinions. Some will tell you a Christian school is the best choice. Others will have strong opinions about a small school versus a larger school. Some will think that staying home is the right thing to do, while others will say that you’ll get the best experience while living on campus. And then there’s the money issue. There’s a lot of “noise” out there about where you should go to school. And don’t even get me started on the ridiculous amount of pamphlets that start flooding your mailbox from the moment you hit high school…
The college decision is a big deal, so let me just make the decision for you. Okay, not really, but in all seriousness, where you should go to go college is… drumroll please… wherever the Lord wants you to go. I know this isn’t an earth shattering revelation, but I really do think it’s easy to forget seeking the Lord on this decision when there’s so much pressure and so many opinions out there. Making the college decision was a big benchmark for me spiritually. It was the first big decision that I ever truly had to make. My parents were awesome to take me on college tours and talk through the decision with me, but ultimately, that was the first time that I really wrestled through something with the Lord. After many college visits and much prayer, the Lord finally made it clear that He wanted me to attend North Greenville University. Some praised my decision, while some didn’t, but I knew that didn’t matter. I had chosen what the Lord wanted.
Students who are on the brink of college, I urge you to really and truly seek the Lord in your decision. Yes, please, seek advice from wise adults who are also seeking the Lord, but ultimately, it’s time for you to seek the Lord on your own. Take each college visit prayerfully. Read God’s Word. Wait for His timing. He will show you where He wants you. As you grow into adulthood and the time comes for even bigger decisions like marriage, babies, jobs, and houses, you’ll be so thankful that you sought the Lord with your college decision. That experience will allow you to know how to seek Him over and over again and will help you as you wait for His provision and timing in whatever He has for you in life. Your college life won’t be perfect, but the Lord will be faithful to lead and guide you. He might call you to a large school and your friend to a small school, but that’s okay. This is a beautiful time in your life to see where the Lord takes you and your friends and to see how He uniquely uses each of you for His kingdom. You might have always had a “dream school” in mind, but that doesn’t pan out, and that’s okay. The Lord has an even better “dream school” for you.
Parents of students who are on the brink of college, let your students wrestle it out with the Lord. Take them on the visits (my mom could’ve written an entire book with all of the notes that she took on the schools I visited!) and share with them your wise council. Seek the Lord on behalf of your student and encourage them in their seeking. I really think that my parents knew NGU was the place for me before I did (I tell our students in our youth group all the time that parents know best!), but I’m so thankful that my parents let me wrestle out this decision with the Lord. It’s so important that your students learn how to seek the Lord and His plan for their lives while they’re under your roof because you can still be there ready to give warning or encouragement if needed. They’ll need this experience so that they can be better equipped to seek the Lord in decision making when the time comes for them to do so and you aren’t right there waiting with warning or encouragement.
I really believe that the Lord will give everyone involved a peace about whatever college decision is made. I’m so thankful for the Lord leading me to NGU. I met my husband there and made some sweet friends. I was also blessed with professors that cared and understood when Mom was diagnosed with cancer. I got to spend 4 years doing what I love- cheering. I also spent way too much time at Waffle House and hanging out at the sand volleyball courts (and let’s be honest, I had no interest in volleyball. I had interest in Jack, who was playing volleyball).
Parents and students who are on this college decision journey, I’m praying for sweet moments for you. I’m praying that you make sweet memories as you travel to tours. I’m praying that you have meaningful conversations. I’m praying that you see the Lord at work and that you experience His guidance, His provision, and His peace. Happy National College Decision Day!