Words of wisdom for my newest college student

Dr. David L. Chancey's picture

I had a moment of awakening the other Sunday. At the end of the service we reminded our youth parents about the student ministry lunch meeting, and it hit me that, for the first time in 14 years, I was no longer a youth parent.

We took our youngest, our 18-year-old-son, to college recently, moved him into his freshmen dorm, and came home without him. That was strange. Is this what they call the empty nest? It’s been pretty quiet around our house.

Jonathan, as you start your college career, here are some words of encouragement from my heart to help you on your way (with thanks to Wayne Roe for the column idea, who thanked Jim Henry for the same):

• Always remember who you are. You have a good name. Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches . . .” Make a good name for yourself there at college.

• Remember whose you are. You belong to Jesus. When you were a baby, we dedicated you to the Lord. We recognized that you were a blessing from the Lord, and we committed to raise you in a Christ-centered home that nurtured your spiritual life. Let Christ use you.

• Make time every day to spend with Jesus. You’ll have more reading requirements than you’ve ever had, but take time to read the Bible and pray. It will help get you through the day.

• Choose friends wisely. The people you run with can pull you down or build you up. Your grandmother used to work at the Youth Development Center, and met many a teenager who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people. Guilty by association, they said. Please be careful.

• Use your influence positively. You have influence that you don’t realize you have. Use it to point people to a relationship with Jesus.

• Get involved in your Baptist Collegiate Ministry. You’ll meet a lot of neat people there, have some leadership opportunities and add a lot to their ministry. That’s a good place to serve, and you’ll be enriched. Plus, you are so talented. Some of my best college memories revolve around my BCM involvement, including meeting your mother.

• Manage your time wisely. Stay ahead of your deadlines. Read every day. There is a time to play and a time to study. Play hard when you play, and enjoy, but remember, you’re there to study.

• If you stay weekends, then find a good church and get involved. Bedside Baptist won’t cut it. You need to be in church.

• Be selective when you date. It’s been said, “Don’t date anyone you wouldn’t be willing to marry, because you never know with whom you’ll fall in love.” You can be picky.

• Check on your grandmother now and then. You’re lucky to have her nearby. One day you’ll look back and remember fondly the time you spent with her while you were a student.

• Stay as far away from alcohol as possible. Nothing good can come out of even giving it a try. Unfortunately, it’s too available on college campuses. It’s ruined too many families, and contributed to killing too many kids.

• Know that we’ll always be here for you, and support you any way we can. We’re very proud of all of you kids. Do your very best. And please call home sometime. We really want to know how things are going.

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