College-bound seniors have heard this a lot: the college years will be “the best four years of your life.”
But what if talking like this isn’t helpful? And what if the college years are something different—something more?
“It sets up really false expectations for our students, who we know are going to be slammed with all sorts of conflicts and hardship and confusing times,” says Hanna Seymour. “And so my hope is to prepare them to expect that so that they’re not sideswiped by it.”
Seymour is the author of the new book The College Girl’s Survival Guide, a product of her decade of work on college campuses.
“I see college as the bridge from adolescence to adulthood. And students know it,” she says. “They feel the burden of, ‘Okay, I’m going from a dependent child of my parents and I’m supposed to grow into an independent adult. And by the end of this, be responsible for myself, for my actions, decisions, get a job, be financially independent.’”
College can be one of the most formative periods of life. These years include new relationships, experiences, and knowledge. But they also include managing roommate conflicts, class schedules, and the task of choosing a major. Seymour addresses many of these challenges in her book by listing–and answering–the 52 most common questions she’s fielded from college women over the years. Questions about dating and the party scene, about finding a church, sexual assault, and more.
Students will be more prepared for the challenges if they arrive on campus anticipating setbacks, Seymour says, and if they’re willing to look for God to use the hardships to shape their lives.
“Can we step back and trust that God is sovereign over your situation, that He cares about whatever challenge you’re facing, and most importantly, that He’s going to use it for your good?”
Listen in on our 13-minute conversation by choosing the LISTEN or DOWNLOAD icon above. We talk about how to prepare for the college years and good ways for parents and children to relate to each other through all the changes.
Learn more about Hanna Seymour and The College Girl’s Survival Guide.