“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7, NIV)
The first few days or weeks or month of university life may leave you feeling overwhelmed. So much is new and different that you may think that this is hard and wonder when things will feel normal again. 2 things in particular that can help you to cope with this new environment and to restore a sense of familiarity: more practice and more knowledge.
The first time you rode your bike, you did not do it as well as you do it now. The first time you wrote an essay during final exam, you did not write as well as you does now. Even if it just a small improvement, you do it much better than before. There is a saying: “Practice make perfect” – I don’t agree. But even though practice may not make you perfect, it goes a long way toward improving your skills and your comfort with any given task. The same is true of going to university or college. Your first semester will be very different from your previous school semesters because you are doing and entering a new study environment for the first time. There will be your first university test, your first university roommate, and your first time registering for classes. With practice, each of those “firsts” will become easier – or even second nature to you.
Apart from time and practice, there is another way to ease the challenges that attend the first year of university. The more you know about the new experience, the less threatening it will be to you. Gain more knowledge about higher education. Ask or read about it. Know the purpose of higher education which is to prepare you to choose a career that would both provide a comfortable income and allow you to make a real difference in the world, to introduce you to practical knowledge that you need to begin your professional lives, and most importantly – to equipped you with experience that is critical to the growth of our society*. With these in mind, even if the university doesn’t tell you of the real purpose of higher education – you should know and understand it this way. Why? For you are here in the university for these purposes! Why? It is a higher calling and privilege for you to be in the university to glorify God and to make a difference in your life and the lives of others… Don’t waste it. Be motivated and inspired.
As a Christian student, your first priority is to gain this knowledge above all: “fear the LORD”. It is a loving reverence for God that includes submission to His lordship and to the commands of His word. In context of student’s life, it means every information and knowledge you gain from the university should first pass through the filter of God’s Word. The Bible is your chief textbook among others such as economy, health, business, engineering and psychology textbooks. To “fear the LORD” is to respect reverently to what He says; only then you can develop the godly application of your knowledge into every life.
First year student, do not fear. Come higher education! We welcome you.
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.
*Light on the Path: A Christian Perspective on College Success, 3rd Edition by John A. Beck and Marmy A. Clason.