Nathan Swedberg graduated in 2012 with a B.A. and an M.A. from UVa’s Batten School of Leadership School and Policy. He then was part of the World Race, a discipleship and missionary program by Adventures in Missions. For one year he and his team travelled to 11 countries and four continents, serving a number of different ministries—and serving the physical and spiritual needs of the people they meet. (Read Nathan’s blog!)We emailed Nathan to ask him share advice to you incoming college students. Here’s what he sent us:
Sorry about the delay!!! Just got out of Swaziland with no internet access...
Hmmm a few thoughts as I get internet quickly:
College is an amazing time to approach "identity." What are you going to identify yourself with? Who are you going to identify yourself with? What hard choices are you going to make? It's not something that's supposed to feel condemning, and you don't want to live under excessive pressure, but the decisions you make during your college years (and then on during your twenties) will have huge ramifications for your life. But that should come as no surprise-- habits you form today will determine what you're doing tomorrow, the character you form, and the destiny you walk into.
Having said that, college is a great time to make mistakes-- don't avoid them. I did too much of that. Take classes you wouldn't normally think to take. Hang out with many diverse groups. Become friends with people you wouldn't gravitate to first. Live adventurously. Do enough preparation to allow yourself sweet spontaneity.
Know that you will have an amazing time at this great institution, but life doesn't end there, and in fact there is much more "living the dream" to be had afterwards. Let UVa be a launching pad. Let God god-size your dreams.