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Picking the Perfect College, Presbyterian Edition

Go Figure:
College, the School of Life—Learning Worth and Purpose

By Joelle Kapacz, Research Associate for the Presbyterian Mission Agency

Go Figure MarApr 16Moving out and moving on to adulthood means new people, new opportunities, new challenges, and lots of ramen noodles. Transitioning from high school to college catapults young adults into an alien universe of dorm rooms, cafeterias, and study cubes. Navigating this new world is stressful, exhilarating, scary—and life-changing.

Practical factors like cost, academic offerings, and a school’s reputation most strongly influence which college a young adult chooses to attend. And while the college that a student attends ultimately influences the student’s career choice, it also impacts how the young adult personally grows and develops. College students learn how to make their own decisions, manage their own mistakes, and identify their place in a larger community.

Perhaps most importantly, college also provides an opportunity for young adults to consider life’s “big questions”:

• Why are we here?

• What’s my purpose?

• Is what I learned as a child about God/the world/life actually true?

As people with hope-filled answers to these questions, Presbyterians are ministering to these young adults in churches and collegiate ministries across the country. Because of these Presbyterians’ open doors and open hearts, young adults are learning much more than how to find a job after graduation. They are learning about their worth and purpose as children of God.

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