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Leaving Home

Kate, Deana, Ian, Evan, Javed, Emily & Jasmine

What is it like to leave home? What advice would you give to people who are breaking away?

All of Life Prepares You for What’s Ahead

The day I received my first college acceptance letter, I was ready to pack my bags and leave home. I was excited about having no curfew, coming and going as I pleased, and not having Mom and Dad constantly asking me questions. College meant freedom.

on phone in train station2 TSP 480423694 copyAs I began my first week of college classes, I realized that I had taken my parents’ love and support for granted. Three weeks into the school year, I called my family, sobbing. I missed my life at home, I was overwhelmed by work, and I was battling shyness. Everything and everyone was new. I had the freedom I had been craving, but I missed talking to my parents and depending on their wisdom.

“Can I just come home?” I begged.

Mom answered, “No. You’re grown up. We know you can do this.”

“How?” I asked.

Dad responded this time. “From the time you were little, we’ve been teaching you life lessons and asking God to help us lead you.”

Mom spoke again, “You think tests are just in the classroom, but they’re not. You’ve been studying life for eighteen years.”

My parents were right. I prayerfully made my way through the school year and loved it. The tests haven’t always been easy; but with God’s grace and my family’s help, I am continuing to pass.

 —Kate Schmelzer, 21

Keep In Touch with Your Parents

I attend a college that is 14 hours from home, and I enjoy my independence. Yet, my parents and I have maintained our relationship through email and phone calls. My dad emails me every day, and it is great to know he is thinking about me. I also call my parents every Sunday evening. We catch up on the past week and share our plans for the next one. Find ways to keep in touch and to keep your relationship strong.

 —Deana Hadley, 22

Keep the Faith

Help Philippines imageWhen I went to college, I expected to find a million people who were completely different from meand I did! But once I got involved with the campus youth group, I realized that Jesus binds us all together, no matter how diverse we are. My advice to a rising college freshman is this: Don’t be afraid to let people see your faithgo to church, participate in charitable activities, and do everything because of Jesus.

—Ian Kraft, 19

Get Involved

My first year of college, I was so caught up in studies that I neglected to take advantage of opportunities to volunteer. So this year, I have tutored, worked in a soup kitchen, and traveled to New Orleans to help with rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. Helping others can be as fulfilling as making good grades. Just don’t take on more than you can handle.

 —Evan Hall, 21

guys running FTR TSP 122406505Keep Some Things the Same

Maintaining part of your past life can make the transition easier. When I went to college, I continued to work the same job and merely transferred to a new location. Attending the same church, keeping the same exercise routine, or hanging out with the same group of friends might provide stability for you when the rest of your life is changing.

—Javed Sommers, 21

Prepare Yourself to Leave For Good

A few months ago, I got married. I knew it was the right thing to do, as if God had told me face to face. However, living on your own is not easy. My advice? Set limits for yourself: Follow a schedule. Get enough sleep. Eat a healthy diet so you won’t get run down. Be sure to find a job that will cover the bills. Talk to friends and family, and pray before you make big decisions. Most importantly, don’t rush to leave home until you are ready.

—Emily Reed, 19

 

DIG DEEPER

devozine Lectio Divina TS 97648012Jasmine Meggison, 22, says: “To deal with the stress of going to college, I set aside ten minutes every day to reflect on how God has affected my life. I do this during class, in my room when I first wake up, in my campus Bible studywhenever I want to feel the presence of God. I have made it through my first few years of college by inviting God into my heart each day.”

As you break away from your family and begin a new life in college or in the workplace, set aside a few minutes each day to reflect on the presence of God in your life. Invite God to be a part of all that you do and to help you stay connected to the people and places that give your life meaning, no matter how far away they may be.

—from devozine (July/August 2007). Copyright © 2007 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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