What I Learned From My Freshman Year

JoAnna Garrett Arts, Faith

Walking into my freshman year of college at the University of Mobile, I had no idea how it was going to turn out. I had certain expectations for how some of it would be, but for the most part, I was completely clueless. But, I knew God had a plan for me, and that was all that I needed.

People always told me college would be different, but I could’ve never guessed exactly how. They told me my friends, my view of the world, my faith, and my life would change, and now I understand what they were talking about. I’ve grown so much this past year, and I have had the absolute best friends I could ask for by my side the entire time. They have taken me as I am, bad puns and all, and have shown me what it feels like to be truly loved and cherished as a friend and sister in Christ. They’ve stuck with me through the best and the worst of times, and I am so, so grateful for them.

This year has confirmed that I am where I am supposed to be, doing what I’m supposed to do. God has opened so many doors and opportunities for me here at UM, and has answered so many of my prayers. I have seen Him move in such a big way in my life here. One week in particular I was very distressed, praying desperately for an answer or comfort in my financial trouble. And the very next week an anonymous letter with financial help arrived in my hands, so amazingly beyond a coincidence, forever reminding me of His faithfulness even in times of fear.

His love is so powerful, and I am so excited to see how God works in my life through the rest of my years at UM so that I can continue to pursue this passion for Worship Leadership that He has given me!

I wish that all of you could understand how big the presence of God was in my life throughout my first year of college. I wish I could tell you every moment, and every story where I saw Him move and work in me, but I will leave it at this:

Most of my life I doubted God’s plans for me. There was a very long period of time where I didn’t understand why He was letting me go through so many things that tried my faith, and I was upset with Him. I stopped trusting Him. I questioned Him constantly. I built up walls around my heart and wouldn’t let anyone in because I didn’t know how to trust, and I was afraid of being hurt again. But my experiences and relationships that I have built here at the University of Mobile have helped me to let down my walls and surrender my life to Christ fully, giving Him full trust. He has rekindled the fire in my heart and has helped me to open up in ways that I didn’t think I ever would again. He has been so good, and I could never be more thankful for the ways He has been working in my life.

The advice I would give to any upcoming college freshman, would be to let God’s presence be real in your life. Even when it felt like my world was turned upside down and falling apart, God was always there.

And also, that it’s ok not to have it all together. It’s ok to step back and realize that you aren’t perfect. No one is. And it’s impossible to keep up that persona. Always do the best that you can, and listen for God’s will for your life, and you will go exactly where He wants you to, no matter how long it takes. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 says: “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

Wait on His time. Our hearts cannot fathom all of the plans He has for us, so trust in Him. Our plans and hopes and dreams may fail, but He never will.

About the Author
JoAnna Garrett

JoAnna Garrett

JoAnna Garrett is a sophomore at the University of Mobile majoring in Worship Leadership with a concentration in Music Business. With her degree, she hopes to publish and record her original songs for churches to use in their worship services. She is also passionate about youth ministry. Along with writing songs, she also loves to write blogs that challenge a person’s everyday perspective. She enjoys spending time with friends, baking and watching her favorite movies.