Big decisions deemed big part of life in college

Vicar Amy Martinell

Vicar Amy MartinellGuest Columnist

From Animal House to Old School, if you are watching movies about college it might seem that the hardest decision you will have to make in your college career is whether to get the Busch Light or spring for the more expensive Bud Light. In actuality you will be making big decisions that will impact the rest of your life and spending your time searching for much more than where the best party will be this weekend. Instead (or maybe in addition) you have been searching through the construction looking for all of your classes, looking for something fun to do, looking for a major. Perhaps you’re looking for new friends, looking for a job, looking for a new major, looking for a person to spend the rest of your life with or looking for the person you will be. Just listing all of these options makes me feel exhausted and a little frightened. From the outside college may look like a big party, but from the inside it can be a time of conflict, uncertainty, and stress as you wrestle with major life decisions.

The worst part may be that things are always changing. If you are like me, change is not something you necessarily welcome and embrace, but unfortunately it is unavoidable. Once you locate all your classes they change for the next semester, once you pick a major you realize it’s not what you want to do, and once you finally get your dorm room perfectly arranged it will be time to move out. Along with the inevitable changes there are also those changes you won’t expect, such as growing apart from a close friend, the end of a long-term relationship or losing the job you thought was going to turn into a career.

In your college journey you will continue to change dorms, roommates, jobs, majors and a million other things, but you may find that what changes the most is you. There are many opportunities in college to have life changing experiences. Whether you become a hospice volunteer, travel abroad, work on a challenging internship, play D-I sports or join a new club or group, chances are “the you” at the end of college may not resemble the scared, cocky or confused person who started here.

In times like these it is more important than ever to have something to believe in, something that will stay constant in your fast-paced, ever-changing world, especially when you are a fast-paced ever -changing person. I hope faith can be that for you; the thing that grounds you and what you cling to when everything else is changing. No matter how much your world is changing, Jesus’ promises stay the same. In fact, there is no change you can make that will separate you from God’s love. In those times of confusion and transition you will find that God’s love never wavers.

Yet, faith does not guarantee answers and it will not save you from all the changes and agonizing decisions. Actually, it may give you even more to wonder and change your mind about. A faithful relationship with God may lead to you changing how you spend your time, who you hang out with and perhaps, the career you choose. However, faith can provide you with a community to wonder with, scripture to be grounded in, and the basis for your hope even in the deepest moment of conflict. Most importantly, no matter how many changes you make you cannot wander so far away that you are outside of the love of God.

Vicar Amy Martinell can be reached at [email protected]