College life is full of decisions.
Which school to attend?
Which classes to take?
Which brand of ramen to stock up on?!
How to pay for it all?
And whether they’re big or small, we believe decisions are always better made as part of a team.
The Bible puts it this way:
“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22, NIV).
That’s why we want every college student to have someone (or a few someones) on their team to provide wisdom and encouragement.
A college student’s team member is:
- A friend
- An advisor
- A mentor
- A caring adult
- A cheerleader
A team member is not:
- A parent (they already have those)
- A chaperone
- An authority figure
- A drinking buddy
- A babysitter
The goal is simply to be present in their life. Be available to chat. Let them know that you’re there by checking in from time to time.
We want to help you do that. Simply add your information below and you’ll get monthly ideas, reminders, and resources to help you be the best team for the young adult who has chosen you.
We recommend doing this through:
- A weekly text. Not sure what to say? Try one of these:
- Hey, I’m praying for you today.
- How’s it going?
- Just checking in. What’s one thing you’re learning right now?
- I know orientation/move-in/exams/projects/due dates are this week. How’s that going?
- Or, use one of the conversation starters we will email you over the next few months.
- A monthly call or video chat. This is a great time to follow up on your weekly texts, get to know their world, and see how they’re doing. If you’re on a video call with a student who has moved away, ask for a tour of their dorm or campus. If you’re checking in with someone nearby, ask what’s different about life now. Don’t feel like it has to be a super-long or in-depth discussion. Simply connect for 10 to 15 minutes as a reminder that you’re there for them. Before you end the conversation, ask, “Hey, how can I pray for you?” and then follow up with texts letting them know you did.
- One meetup. If the student lives nearby, this is easy. Ask for a time and place to meet for coffee and see how they’re doing. (If the student you’re mentoring is of the opposite sex, take your spouse or someone else with you.) If the student has moved away, chances are he or she will come home for a holiday, and that’s a great time to catch up and reconnect.
- 1 to 2 pieces of actual mail. Everyone loves getting mail. And in a culture where most communication is digital, pieces of physical mail in an actual mailbox can be a really fun surprise. Try to send one or two pieces of physical mail this semester (even if the student still lives at home). A few options to consider:
- A postcard. For a student who has moved away, a reminder of home can say “we miss you” in a tangible way.
- A hand-written note.
- A “proud of you” or “miss you” card signed by a few people from your church.
- A care box filled with snacks or goodies during high-stress times like mid-terms or final exams.