I went to college prepared. I had spent several weeks on campus in high school for various camps and conferences and I knew my way around. Heck, I had even stayed in the same dorm, on the same floor before. I wasn’t going to be one of those freshman that walked around with a map looking clueless, I was going to blend in and be cool.

It took approximately 14 hours for the coolness to wear off.

I was humbled by my roommate, a cosmopolitan New Yorker who referred to me on the phone as “the crazy Christian roommate — one of those evangelical types.” I was humbled by my sophomore suitemates, kicking off the first day back with a thumpin’ party. I was humbled by food, trying to figure out how I was going to survive on an average of 1 all-you-can-eat meal a day.

I decided that in the interest of finding likeminded friends and getting some free food to augment my pitiful meal plan, I’d attend every single kick-off and freshman welcome for every single Christian group on campus. Finally, an intelligent decision.

I made an older friend in InterVarsity, a junior, a small group leader that lived on my floor in the mostly freshman dorm. I learned that someone older and wiser and better acquainted with how everything works can be pretty helpful to have around.