The university quad teems with laughing, fist-pumping, name-yelling students who all seem to have known each other for years. Navigating the cafeteria line for the first few times proves to be embarrassingly difficult. Your classes take a while to find because they’re located in obscure, far apart places. The first homework assignments are even harder than you thought they would be.

Everyone on campus seems to be handling college life easily, but what if you aren’t?

Feeling anxious when so much change is thrust upon you is normal. And pretty stressful. Uncomfortable. Hard work. College years are a mix of excitement and disappointment, growth and adaptation.

I understand how you feel. My freshman year had its share of difficulties (a bad sorority rush). Homesickness came and went. Sometimes, I loved college—and sometimes, not. During this time of adjustment, I really needed to be encouraged. And so does every college student, whether they show it outwardly or not.

Consider the changes college freshmen have to make all at once:

A different bed. A different schedule. Harder schoolwork.

No more home cooking. Too much pizza. Chocolate chip ice cream at midnight.

New friends. A new hair salon. Maybe even a new doctor. Hopefully, a new church group.

While college (or any change) can be overwhelming, we can find strength in the Lord. He has a lot to say about our needs. Cling to His words when you are feeling:


“But those who trust in the Lord will receive new strength. They will fly as high as eagles. They will run and not get tired. They will walk and not grow weak.” Isaiah 40:31 NIRV


“Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” John 10: 9-10 NLT


“Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matt. 6:32-34 NLT


“He [God] doesn’t punish us for our sins as much as we should be punished. He doesn’t pay us back in keeping with the evil things we’ve done. He loves those who have respect for him. His love is as high as the heavens are above the earth. He has removed our sins from us. He has removed them as far as the east is from the west.” Psalm 103:10-12 NIRV


“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deut. 31:6 NLT

In Need of Love

“And may you be able to feel and understand, as all God’s children should, how long, how wide, how deep, and how high his love really is; and to experience this love for yourselves, though it is so great that you will never see the end of it or fully know or understand it. And so at last you will be filled up with God himself.” Eph. 3:18-19 TLB


“Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows; but cheer up, for I have overcome the world.” John 16:31 TLB

These are words college students (and really, all of us) need to hear. They can give us strength and hope as we face change. They can produce peace and patience, direction and perspective. God’s words can change our lives every day.

This week, I’m offering Seven Verses for College as free downloadable bookmarks to help you remember God’s love and care.

Print out as many as you want. Place a bookmark in a card and send it to a student (or to anyone) who is facing change right now. Pin one to a bulletin board. Place a bookmark in your Bible or tuck it into a journal pocket. Use it for outreach. These verses will encourage and strengthen you in time of need.


I’m excited to offer Seven Verses for College as a FREE printable! Click here to request a free download of the “7 Verses for College” bookmarks.