Q: I’m a sophomore at a Christian college. I feel like I am not getting the full college experience because I don’t have a close group of friends. I am considering transferring because, if I am this unhappy, maybe it is not the right place for me. I have prayed about it, but I don’t know the clear answer of where He wants me to be. What do you think I should do?
When you were trying to decide which school to attend, there were some really good reasons why you chose to this one. I’m pretty sure being socially happy wasn’t at the top of the list. I’m not gonna lie–there can be some really lonely times at college! I definitely had my own seasons of loneliness during the four years I attended The Master’s College. The good news is that they were just seasons. It sometimes took a few weeks, or maybe even a semester, but sooner or later the social scene would change and I’d find myself in a new group of friends. The trick was being willing to look outside myself to get involved in things I might not have otherwise gotten involved in. At different times during those four years, I was a jock(-ette), a groupie, a rock climber, an academic, a poet, a world traveler, and even tried a very short stint at theater. And each had it’s own group of friends. More important than hobbies, though, is service. There’s nothing like getting our eyes off of ourselves and onto those in need to not only change our perspective, but to truly change our hearts! Whether through your college or on your own, make time to serve at a soup kitchen, volunteer at a youth group, or do whatever you are passionate about. A happy byproduct of doing what the Lord already asks you to do: you might just make some new friends in the process.
So while people coming and going is par for the course at any college, don’t let it get you down for good. I definitely wouldn’t transfer just for the social life. You never know whether the next college would be any different. Do keep praying! But instead of asking Him, “Can I please leave?” (which was my prayer at times!), ask God to show you ways to become more engaged where you are. Ask Him to show you people who could use some encouragement, or to open doors to serve in some way you haven’t thought of yet. I hope you’ll find you can be “all there” soon.