Transitioning To College

02.18.09 | Katie Bernier


Transitioning to College -For Parents and Teenagers

Students, are you off to college next fall? Excited to get out and explore the world on your own? College is a whole new fascinating place full of new people and ideas. You are there to learn but you'll make friends and have a good time too! The people and other students you meet and connect with in those first few days will greatly determine how your college experience goes. So how do you meet cool likeminded students on the campus of your choice?

Parents, (and yes, teens please read this part too) Parents, is your teenager heading out to experience the big world for the first time on their own? Are you nervous? You should be. Even at a Christian college your teenager will be bombarded with choices and their faith will be sorely tested. Drugs, alcohol, sex and many different philosophies will be thrust upon your teen.  Statistically 70% of students abandon or lose their faith during their college years. It is estimated that only 30% return to their faith after the age of 30 and after all of their major life decisions have been made, such as career and marriage choices.  Yes, this is also a time for your student to soar! To make their faith real, their own, not just something their parents believe or something they've always done. The people and other students your teen meets and connects with in those first few days will greatly determine how their college experience goes, and hence the rest of their lives! Even strongly grounded students still need encouragement and solid, sound accountability from Christian peers and mentors. We all like to believe that we are invincible-my student will never be one of those statistics! But sadly that is the lie that Satan wants us to believe... it will never happen in our family.....  For this very reason, 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 cautions us by saying, "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has over taken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with temptation will also make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it."

 So what do we do about this? How do we help our students in this next phase of life?

Four years ago a ministry was started for this very purpose in Phoenix AZ. YTN or Youth Transition Network has now spread across the US. YTN is a coalition of over 50 campus ministries they exist to connect high school students to college ministries. A few of the ministries include, Intervarsity, Campus Crusade for Christ, Baptist Campus Ministry, Youth for Christ and many, many more.  The purpose for YTN is to be the bridge between the campus ministries and the students. They have two amazing resources through their websites, with data bases of collages and what ministries are on those campuses. Are you looking into Cornell University? Search and find what Cornell has to offer for Christian fellowships. Meet other students and leaders even before your first day! Network and with other Christian students!  Are you interested in finding a Christian roommate? They can help you there too. The importance of accountability and friends you can trust is beyond measure! 

To learn more about YTN visit  to find ministries and roommates.  Check out the great videos.  Parents and pastors will find resources on   

 Please contact John Decker, the Northeast Regional Director to learn more or find out how to get tools to spread this message in your community.

 John Decker


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