I agonized over where to go to college. I waffled. I wondered. I worried. Should I go to a private Christian college or a state school? What in the world would I major in? What could our family afford?
And lurking behind those baffling questions were deeper—unspoken—concerns: What new friends would I make? Would I be lonely? Would I meet my future husband there? Would I find my niche? Would I pick the right field of study and future career? Ultimately, would I mess up my entire life by picking the wrong school?
My parents and I had a lot of conversations in those days. I remember spending several evenings with my dad charting out a list of pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses, of the six different schools I was looking at. We huddled around his yellow legal pad, comparing student-to-teacher ratios, course offerings, distance from home, spiritual climate, and finances.
Now, as a parent myself, I can imagine some of the unspoken questions in my dad's heart as we took notes together on that yellow pad. Behind the notes about costs, scholarship options, liberal arts versus state schools, and so on, deep concerns must have also formed the background of the college-choice process. Would his "little girl" be able to handle the inevitable temptations young adults face in college? Would I choose my major wisely? Would I meet a good guy? And, especially, would I hold onto my faith?1