Why Does Finding Community Matter?

Coming to college is full of excitement and a long list of to-do’s: buy books, learn how to get around campus, get along with your roommate, and so much more… Finding a church community to get involved with might be the last thing on your mind when you’re just thinking about making it through the first week at Tech, but we want to share some of the reasons why we think it can be one of the best investments you make!

Here are some perspectives from some rising sophomores and recent graduates…

anna gibbsAnna Gibbs, Rising Senior, Hospitality and Tourism Management

When you look back on your 1st year at VT, what surprised you the most? Looking back on my first year, I think I was most surprised at how long it took to make real friends. Not that you won’t make friends the first several weeks, but you might not necessarily meet your new bff.  Deep friendships develop over time and they are pretty great when they do.

What piece of advice would you give to the incoming freshman class? My advice would be to try new things.  If something looks interesting, grab a friend (or the kid down the hall) and try it out.  You might discover a new passion.  Also get involved in a church or a Bible study.  The friends you will make and things you will learn are just so important (and can be super fun too).

How did getting connected to NLCF impact your first year? Being involved in NLCF really shaped my first year at Tech.  My closest friends came from my engage group and the staff are so caring and supportive with everything.  I have grown so much in my relationship with the Lord and have been given so many opportunities through NLCF to further that, my relationships with other people, and my leadership skills.  I am so blessed to be a part of their family.

 

josh jamesJosh James, Rising Senior, Chemical Engineering

When you look back on your 1st year at VT, what surprised you the most? I never expected Virginia Tech to feel as big as it did.

What piece of advice would you give to the incoming freshman class? Don’t get cocky. Don’t be like me and think you’re the guy who can ace any class no sweat. You aren’t that guy.

How did getting connected to NLCF impact your first year? Getting connected with NLCF gave me some of my first college friends when I didn’t know anyone. It also helped me get involved in other Virginia Tech activities like intramural sports, the big event, and more.

 

amanda armstrongAmanda Armstrong, Graduate Student, Finance

When you look back on your 1st year at VT, what surprised you the most? How quickly I was able to make friends and find a church group that I really enjoyed hanging out with.

What piece of advice would you give to the incoming freshman class? Try a bit of everything, find the things you enjoy, and stick with it!

How did getting involved in NLCF impact your first year? My mom signed me up for every Christian club on campus, and NLCF emailed me offering to help me move in.  With my mom’s foot injured and my dad not being able to help due to work, I eventually called to get some help and a staff member named Jenna came and helped me move in and invited me to dinner with some other girls interested in NLCF and I accepted. The rest happened naturally as I got to know those girls more and more!

 

christian hearlChristian Hearl, NLCF Staff, VT Graduate in Business Management

When you look back on your 1st year at VT, what surprised you the most? It really surprised me how much effort I had to make in order to make new friends.  I grew up in a small town and I’d never had to make any effort to get to know people.  It definitely took some time to adjust.

What piece of advice would you give to the incoming freshman class? Get plugged into a community on campus quickly.  Try new things and put yourself out there in order to form new relationships.  It might be a little uncomfortable at first, but being a part of a group of people who care about you and with whom you can be yourself is well worth it.

 

brie baxleyBrianna Baxley, Recent Graduate, Chemical Engineering

When you look back on your 1st year at VT, what surprised you the most? How difficult college was!  I assumed I’d be the top of my class like I was in high school, but I truly had to work incredibly hard.

What piece of advice would you give to the incoming freshman class? Get involved in your ministry!  Do not be complacent in your faith.  Give Jesus the opportunity to help you grow through going out of your comfort zone!

How did you get connected to NLCF your first year? Through mission move-in (Hokie Helpers now) I’ve been connected with NLCF since they moved me into my dorm.

 

david mccannDavid McCann, NLCF Staff, VT Graduate in Biological Systems Engineering

When you look back on your 1st year at VT, what surprised you the most? The amount of freedom and free time.  I could plan my own schedule.  I could come and go as I pleased.  I finally got to make decisions and feel like some sort of responsible adult.  Also, I was surprised that college classes were not as hard as I was expecting!

What piece of advice would you give to the incoming freshman class? Get involved….early!  But, with that, I also say don’t spread yourself too thin.  Take some time first semester of freshman year to feel out several different ministries, clubs, etc., but then choose one to get really involved in.  You get so much more out of an organization when you dive deep into it.  Don’t sit in your room all day studying, but don’t stay out and about all day either.  College life is about balance!

How did getting involved in NLCF impact your first year? It gave me a college family.  Some of the people I met freshman year in NLCF have been there through my time in college and I’m still in contact with even when we’ve both graduated!  It got me started in the organization and church that I hope to stay involved with for many years to come.