At 18, the world is your omelet—you can top it however you like. It’s the golden age when you leave high school and land in a place of never-ending freedom.
Did you know that, in college, you don’t have to ask to go to the bathroom? You just get up and go. You can grab a “fourth meal” at your leisure and decide exactly how and where to spend your time.
While the rush of independence is exciting, it can also be a bit overwhelming.
Take a deep breath, relax, and realize you’re not alone. It’s okay to be intimidated as long as you do something about it. Being proactive is extremely rewarding.
As you walk across the graduation stage, consider three actions you can take to make the most of your next big phase in life.
Walking into your first college class or moving into the dorm is a little scary. You’re surrounded by unfamiliar faces who are all thinking the same thing: I hope they like me. Take comfort in the fact that a warm smile and a welcoming attitude go a long way in making new friends.
With a sea of freshmen to choose from, making the right friends is the real concern. After all, you are who you hang with. It helps to focus more on who you hope to be when you graduate than who you are now. Build relationships with people who encourage you to grow, and don’t be afraid to encourage others to grow as well.
It’s easy to avoid finding a new church in college when you’re alone, so grab a friend and walk through the search process together. Look for a church with an active college group where you feel comfortable and are challenged in your walk. Getting plugged into a local church early will keep you grounded in your faith as you become more independent.
Join a ministry on campus to participate in service opportunities in your new community. Be sure to also keep in touch with your youth pastor and visit your church when you go home.
Freedom as a young adult means you are in control. You decide how much money comes in and how much money goes out.
Thankfully, you’ve still got the chance to manage your money before it starts managing you. Get ahead by budgeting for college in the following areas.
Use our basic budget form to get started today. By the time August arrives, you’ll be ready to teach your finance professor a thing or two.
Be smart with life decisions now and you’ll actually be able to enjoy the results of your hard work later.
Youth Pastors and Church Leaders: It’s the time of year to congratulate your graduating seniors and send them off with your best last-minute advice. Read the article to your students to help them prepare for the season ahead. Use the question and activity that follow to get them thinking and talking about college and money.
Be sure to include younger students in the discussion; addressing money issues early and often is always a wise choice!
Ask: What are some of your fears when it comes to college? What about money?
Read: 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
How can we use what God has given us (power, love and a sound mind) to overcome fear relating to college and money?
Cost of Living Activity: Separate your students into groups of two or three and give a pen and paper to each group. Ask the following questions and have each group write down their best guess. Reveal the answers at the end.
What is the average monthly cost to rent a one-bedroom apartment?
Answer - $750
What is the average monthly cost to rent a three-bedroom home and share with roommates?
Answer - $460 per person
What is the average monthly cost of food for one person?
Answer - $250
What is the average monthly cost of utilities for one person (including electricity, gas, water, garbage and cable)?
Answer - $245
What is the average monthly student loan payment?
Answer - $250
What is the average individual student loan debt at graduation?
Answer - $25,000
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