Your College Experience: When Will Trouble Start? Oaks Christian High School February 4, 2008 Don Thompson Associate Vice President Pepperdine University.
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Your College Experience: When Will Trouble Start? Oaks Christian High School February 4, 2008 Don Thompson Associate Vice President Pepperdine University
Research Summary Hypothesis: The college years are a critical time for the development of faith, identity, and one’s sense of life purpose Research Method: College students measured at 5 milestones by surveys and interviews: Baseline (summer after high school) Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, & Senior Years
Research Findings Sense of Life Purpose stems from Faith Maturity Identity Development One Year Stands Out as the most Critical Turning Point for YOUR Identity Development Which Year???
Ego-Identity Status Four types of Identity – We are a mixture of: Diffusion: no exploration or commitment “I haven’t really considered politics. It just doesn’t excite me much.” Foreclosure: no exploration, but commitment “My parents decided a long time ago what I should go into for employment and I’m following through with their plans.” Moratorium: exploration without commitment “Religion is confusing to me right now. I keep changing my views on what is right and wrong for me.” Achievement: exploration and commitment “It took me a while to figure it out, but now I really know what I want for a career.”
So, when WILL Trouble Occur? The Sophomore year is THE pivotal year in your movement toward becoming an adult Questions you might ask yourself: Is this the wrong school? Is this the wrong major? Can I do this? Who ARE my friends? What do I believe? Who am I, really? What am I supposed to do with my life?
Four Years and their Stories First Year – Honeymoon Casey Sophomore Year – Confusion Is this REALLY happening to ME? Junior Year – Confidence Jacob Senior Year – Anxiety and Excitement Catherine
What Causes the Trouble? This has been the hardest but also the best year of my life. Living away from home forced me to either embrace or reject what I have believed all my life. It removed my safety nets. I have grown through having to lean on God in almost every situation: from traveling to school to just living in a different culture, in a different location. My being away from home challenged my sense of self. Being alone, away from my family and friends showed me how to depend on the grace of God for support. A person I met in a field trip helped me realize my selfishness, making me want to be more generous. My parents taught me well, but now I have to really figure things out for myself. It scares me sometimes. I’m not always sure where to turn.
What Now? Follow your Bliss Do what you love Do what you do well Reach Out Work Hard Trust the Process
Reach Out – Connect with a Mentor One of the other students in my major made me challenge myself and helped me grow spiritually and intellectually. The dorm counselors impacted me the most because we live with them and they are the leaders that we look up to the most. When I felt lost, my faculty advisor knew and was someone that would come up to me and ask what was wrong. She would help me understand what I was going t through. My teacher made me feel better. He always made time to check on me and how I was doing. The program assistant had a great impact on me spiritually this semester through her incredible yet humble display of faith. She is such an inspirational woman of God.
So What? A Universal Process Honeymoon Reality Sets In Grow and Change Connect to a mentor It will probably happen to you – and it is a good thing!