There is no doubt that college is one of the most pivotal times in the life of a young person. Many of their major life decisions will be made in the short time frame of being a college student. This is almost doubly true for the Christian young person. I mean, if you graduate without finding a wife and/or an assistant pastorate somewhere, there just must be something wrong with you. (Forgive me as I write from the male’s perspective.) Because it is such a pivotal point in life there should be much thought, prayer, and preparation that goes into it. Now if you will give me one second for a disclaimer, I would like to share with you some ways to prepare for college in high school.
*DISCLAIMER! – We pause this article to let you know that it is not imperative to go to college. There is absolutely nothing wrong with training under your pastor, doing correspondence work, training in a vocation, etc. There really are endless possibilities, and we need to train ourselves to not be so narrow minded to think that everyone has to go through life the same way. Anyway, this really could be another topic for another day. I am glad that God led me to attend college, but you do as the Lord leads you. Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.
1. Get close to God now. I know what you are thinking, “Here is the obligatory, cliche spiritual thought.” You are right in that it may be a cliche, but don’t write it off so quickly. Probably one of the biggest problems in Bible college is that it is full of people who just really don’t seek after God. People have the errant philosophy that they will go to Bible college and become spiritual, and that is not the case. I cannot count the number of pastors who have told me, “The easiest place to backslide is at Bible college.” This is crazy, I know, but it is just a fact.
The Bible famously says in Ecclesiastes 12:1 “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh , when thou shalt say , I have no pleasure in them.”
The best time to seek a personal relationship with God is before you come to college. Start reading your Bible daily now; start praying now; start witnessing now; start getting involved in your church now. You think it is hard to find time to do these things in high school? Try taking 20 credit hours and working about 40 hours a week. I am told that it doesn’t get much easier after you graduate either.
2. Save money now. One of the biggest downers about college is that you have to pay for it. It actually cost some pretty good money to go to college. You may say, “I got this: student loan, baby!” Well, as radical as student loans are, they will put you in bondage for years to come. The Bible says that the borrower is servant to the lender (Proverbs 22:7). This may be just my opinion, but I really don’t want to spend my first few (some times not-so-few) years out of college in bondage.
You must realize that only way you are going to pay your school bill is because God provides the money. He just may provide that through a job. The thing is that it takes a lot of hours of work to pay a school bill (trust me on this one, I speak from experience.) One of the best ways to help yourself is to save like crazy in high school. Think about it this way, it is one of the only times in life when you will have little to no expenses. Your food is for the most part taken care of, you probably don’t have rent, and you don’t have utilities. It may feel like bondage at times to live with your parents, but it really is quite liberating. You can put back a lot of money for college while you are at home.
Do the math with me. Lets say that you can save just $125 a month for the four years you are in high school. That is $6,000 by the time you graduate. That means if your college job pays 10 dollars an hour you have saved yourself 600 hours of work. That is pretty nice if you ask me. I know it cramps your style, but really, you need to save in high school!
3. Take some (transferable) correspondence courses. The last nugget of knowledge I have for you wonderful people today is to take some college courses while you are in school. Just make sure that the credits will transfer so you don’t have to do the work twice (not that that would kill you anyway). This will help lighten your load in college, you may even be able to take your undergrad, and master in 4 years. Or take some extra classes in another area of interest. It basically just gives you options and flexibility.
*Tip – Find out what the earliest classes are and take those correspondence, then you can sleep in :). You’re welcome.
The best place to look for correspondence will be from the college you plan on attending (if you know which college you plan on attending.) For instance, Crown College (<– not a paid advertisement) has its early advantage program for students in high school to take some classes on line. You can also find some Bible institutes that will transfer well. Me and my sisters did correspondence through Commonground Baptist Institute (<– also not a paid advertisement). You also may be able to do some early college through a community college. This is a really nice idea just because when you are at Bible college, it is nice to be able to focus on the Bible classes, and not have to worry about grammar, math, history, etc. That is how I feel about it anyway. The best part of all of this is that you can count these college credits for both college and high school. It is definitely well worth it.
I could go on with my little pool of thoughts for you. But my fingers are now weary from the typing. These are really just the three most basic ways to prepare, but they really are the most important. I hope it is a blessing to you.4