By Kaitlyn Hill, Freshman at Boise Bible College in the Christian Teaching program

Dating. Character. Grades. Skills. All these things are part of your freshman year of high school. Your freshman year college is basically the same thing but on a different scale. You’re starting to make decisions that will impact the rest of your life. You begin choosing who you want to become, what you want to do, and who will influence these big choices.

4 things I learned my freshman year of college at BBC are:

COMMUNITY

Dating. Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. You went straight to boy-girl relationships, didn’t you? What if your mentality went straight to dating Jesus? I learned this at BBC. As a community we learn how to grow in our relationship with Christ together. Because of this my friendship with Jesus has grown immensely.

When I entered my freshman year I wanted to be an introverted person who just did her studies and took naps. Don’t get me wrong, I still do those things (all the time, my roommate thinks I nap everyday) but I was drawn in by the community here.

Finals Taco Night 2019

I started off-campus living at home. Within two months I moved on-campus with three roommates, played volleyball both seasons, played co-ed football, and even got involved in student leadership. Through all this involvement, I had many ups and downs. I was supported through them all, whether by my roommates, different prayer groups, or staff mentors.

Talking about the staff, WOW!

I have never seen a group of people working together for a common goal like the staff at BBC

Each one of them brings a unique element to the team; introverted, honest, goofy, kind, observant, the list goes on. Receiving mentorship from several professors I realized what can be accomplished when a community is working towards the same goal of glorifying God’s kingdom. 

HUMILITY

Character. Going to BBC I was baffled by the staff, student leaders, and class body. Immediately, people welcomed me with open, understanding arms. Going to classes I was nervous. I thought all these people would have so much more knowledge about the Bible, about themselves, and about the school. How could they stoop to my level? Boy, was I wrong.

Let’s talk about the staff first. Walking into my first class was mortifying. I didn’t know anyone except my brother. Then I saw Professor Harrod. He had a massive smile on his face and as he gave us the syllabus. We sat through an hour of class and talked to each other about hobbies and Mr. Harrod told us about his life. Little did I know I was in the wrong class the entire time! He, along with Dr. Christensen (the class I was supposed to be in), understood. My thoughts of intimidation disappeared by their humility.

Now for the students. As I went into student orientation I was a little overwhelmed. Everyone seemed to be finding the people they connected with and I wasn’t.

Then before I knew it people were reaching out to me left and right. They wanted to know about my life, my passions, and my goals. The feeling of being overwhelmed soon turned into a sense of belonging.

It’s safe to say that the staff and students were no longer intimidating to me. Over the year, they grew to be some of my closest advice-givers, friends, and prayer warriors. I am beyond grateful for their advice, invested time, and lifelong impact on my life.   

SCHOLARSHIP

Grades. Coming out of high school my grades were good and I really didn’t have to work hard for them. Going into  college I had to learn how to prioritize my time, so my grades didn’t suffer. Mr. McCoy, one of the professors here at BBC, tells us that our education is tied to our relationship with God.

I really learned over the course of this year that my grades don’t just reflect my character, but the depth of my relationship with Christ. 

Of course, I wanted to spend my time napping and hanging out with people. So, first semester my grades suffered. In order to bring them back up to acceptable grades I had to work my butt off and receive a lot of help from upper classmen who gave me constructive criticism on papers, projects, and the like.

Second semester I definitely had a better handle on my studies. I figured out my schedule ahead of time and knew which classes I would struggle with more than others. I expected more of myself and in return the professors held me to a higher standard. Through this I noticed my prayer life grew and I leaned into God for energy, comfort, and satisfaction. This made me want to exceed even more in my education.  

INNOVATION

Skills. What are your strengths and weaknesses? I thought I had a handle on myself and that I was a strong individual before coming to BBC. I knew what I wanted out of life and my goals were set fairly high. I had no clue the kind of growth God had planned for me.

First, we’ll talk about strengths.

I came in freshman year feeling like I was a good communicator, a patient person, and a hard worker. Good communication is key in any aspect of life. This strength in particular has grown in massive ways since attending BBC. Dr. Williams, preaching department head and professor, has mentored me through my many ups and downs. He has not only pushed me to communicate with others on another level but also communicating with myself, making sure I don’t just push myself to the side lines through the busyness.

There’s also Mrs. Voorhees who helped me deal with past life experiences to help me grow in my present life. She helped me to process each day and how I can learn from my bad habits and from other people’s successes.

Who could forget Mr. and Mrs. Grove? Mr. Grove trained me in several work environments and pushed me out of my comfort-zone. Mrs. Grove has shown me how to use different learning styles in the classroom and has shown me how to be gracious as a teacher and woman of God.

Now my weaknesses.

I have always been a bit of a people-pleaser. I want everyone to be happy and content with their circumstances in life. Dr. Voorhees says that innovation is, “Doing things the Bible way, but in a relevant and creative way.” I wanted to learn how to please people while keeping myself and my relationship with God a priority.

So, I sought advice from one of my favorite people, Kaylee. In all these new experiences of freshman year I really wanted to make myself happy. Kaylee pushed me to pursue another level of intimacy in mine and God’s relationship. In other words, she encouraged me to be uncomfortable in my spiritual life.

Through taking her advice, many doors opened for me. I started working in the admissions office, this summer I will be a camp representative for BBC, and sophomore year I will be looking for new ways to be available to the Lord. God doesn’t call you to be comfortable in your life, He wants you to be challenged and pushed so that you lean into Him. I’m a baby in this, but because of the people that God intentionally placed in my life here at BBC I’m growing more than I expected.

These are just a few ways I have grown in my freshman year at BBC. I look forward to the three years I have left here and all I have yet to learn..A very wise person once told me,

“You are going to thrive because you choose to.”

So, as I continue my journey at BBC, I will choose to thrive. I challenge you to do the same in your journey of life.        

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