It is that time of year!!! Target is picked over, Bed Bath and Beyond has crazy lines, parking and restaurants are less busy, and I don’t feel like I am watching a high-collegefashion runway of early 20-something models when I go to downtown Walnut Creek. This is a wonderful season of life for many new freshman who are going to college for the very first time!

1. Have all of my close friends and family email, phone numbers, birthday and mailing address posted on my bulletin board, along with cards and stamps ready to be sent

2. Be sure I had a few articles of clothing that rep-ed my college

3. Take half of the things that I packed out of the suitcase and leave them home

4. Have encouraging pictures and verses ready to be posted in my room

5. Find a cute and comfy bed set

6. Have candy or something inviting ready to go in my dorm room to make it hospitable and welcoming

7. Go to lunch with each member of my family one-on-one before I left and let them know how much I appreciate them.

8. Take my parents to dinner (as in PAY) and ask them what their expectations and advice are for college

9. Spend time at home before I leave

10. Go visit each professor’s office within the first 2 weeks of school See this post for more ideas on that

11. Find a good church and other accountability

12. Be kind.

13. Give it time. The first people you meet don’t have to meet life long friends. The first guy you meet isn’t your husband. Just go about it with your eyes open, head up and be discerning, kind, friendly and helpful.

14. Look at the university events calendar and plan to go to a few of them.

15. Explore your new city! Find your FAVORITES. Best cookie. Best dinner for less than 10 bucks. Best Coffee. Find places that make it home and familiar and go regularly.

16. Don’t come home until Thanksgiving. Just be in college. All in. Feel every twinge of loneliness, homesickness, and emotion that creeps in. They will strengthen your heart and refine your character, don’t run from those feelings. Think through them in a biblical way.

17. Read your Bible, journal and pray. Read your Bible, journal and pray. Read your Bible, journal and pray. Read your Bible, journal and pray. Read your Bible, journal and pray. Read your Bible, journal and pray. Read your Bible, journal and pray. Read your Bible, journal and pray.Read your Bible, journal and pray.Read your Bible, journal and pray.

18. Call your parents at least once a week. Text them pictures that you didn’t post on FB. Ask them their advice.

19. Call your friends to check in to see how their transition has been.

20. Go to class. Do your work. Take EVERY opportunity to learn.

21. Find a club or organization that interests you and visit it.

22. Do your laundry. Go to the Gym. Sleep. Enjoy lazy Saturdays. GO TO CHURCH your FIRST week in town. Don’t get out of that habit.

23. Know where you will go to church BEFORE you leave for school, or at least have an idea of some to try.

24. Go out of your way to pursue relationship with the people in your dorm and classes. Even saying hi, how are you, where are you from, are you enjoying school, etc. make a big difference for little to no effort.

25. Don’t bash your whole life, hometown, church, etc when you come home at Thanksgiving. 🙂 Your college town is great but your life at home is what got you there. Yes they do things differently, but neither is necessarily bad.

26. HAVE SO MUCH FUN! Stay out late having good clean legal fun, order pizza at 2 am. drink coffee, take a risk and just soak it in.