Navigating College

Introduction – What’s my purpose?How to find a purpose

The reason I am writing about navigating college is to get real with you guys about your life as a college student. Actually the entire purpose behind why I created this site is because I am here to get real with you about your specific stage of life, walk you through my journey to make a connection, and then invite you in to engage and share back if you feel comfortable. Furthermore, I plan to share what has changed my life, how my life has changed, and offer up advice to you guys based on my experiences and what I have learned through them. I also have some mentors in my life that have played a huge role in helping me along the path so a lot of credit goes to those people as well and I would like to pass on what I have learned from them also.

James Madison UniversitySo now what?

So if you are reading this, you have probably already read my post about Navigating High School and the next step is college…so now what? Well, I have some bad news…one of two things has taken place since your high school journey ended and your college journey began:

  1. You still have insecurities
  2. You still desire acceptance
  3. You still struggle with finding your identity (probably more so now)

Hang on, it’s not all bad news I promise!…there is always redemption. You also have one new amazing change in your life:

  • You have complete freedom from your parents! – you are no longer living under their house and playing by their rules, you finally have a chance to explore, learn about yourself, and find out who you are. (However, you should still respect them because they are your parents and believe it or not, you will look to them for advice more and more as you get older)

Why don’t my character flaws go away? Michael Jordan

The reason the bad stuff doesn’t go away is because we simply DO NOT admit or DO NOT acknowledge a problem. If we can’t acknowledge something in our lives and admit that we are broken, imperfect people, then we will never truly change or grow. Think about it, take Michael Jordan for example-the best basketball player of all time, aka the best player EVER (now, some will argue with me on this, but all will agree he is undoubtedly in an elite class, one of the best of all time).

Do you think Michael Jordan got to be the best because he simply thought he was? Right? Like Michael Jordan didn’t just wake up one day and become the best because he overlooked all of his flaws. In fact, he did quite the opposite, check out what he said, “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

That is coming from the best basketball player in history…WOW. He was extremely successful because he was able to look at his failures, come to terms with them, own them/take responsibility, and then take actions to improve them. Michael Jordan was the best basketball player because he was better than everyone else at admitting his mistakes and honestly evaluating himself. His motivation and passion within drove him to work hard to improve his weaknesses, which allowed him to excel beyond every single one of his peers. Obviously, these are not the ONLY reasons he succeeded, but they were at the core of everything.

JMU Duke Dog

And so the story continues…

So after I graduated high school, I went to my dream college at James Madison University (JMU). So why was it my dream school? Very simple actually:

  1. There was a 2:1 girl to guy ratio (student population: 20,000)
  2. Ranked among Top 20 Party schools in the nation
  3. Ranked among Top 15 business schools in the nation

Those rankings probably change year over year, that’s just what it was for me when I was there. Now remember, this was appealing to the old me before I became a Christ Follower. Thank goodness number 3 actually has some real-life purpose and application behind it or I may still be unemployed!

I had a girlfriend my entire freshman year and part of sophomore year at JMU. Remember how I mentioned in my high school post that I did not have a girlfriend all 4 years of high school? Well, once you hear the story of my girlfriend you will probably think I’m stupid.

So I worked at a golf course/country club in high school and continued to work there during the summer before college. During that time, I met a girl who went to a different high school and was actually a grade behind me. Towards the latter half of summer, we went out on 2 or 3 dates. I had to leave for college about a week after our last date, so being the insecure and shy person that I was, I just kind of left everything where it was at and went off to college.

Now, when I got to JMU, I was still texting this girl and she actually ended up telling me that she liked me and asked about dating and that’s when I told her I liked her and actually said yes to dating her. This was about 4 days into college…some of you are probably reading this and thinking to yourselves, what an idiot! Who goes to a college filled with women and then ties himself down with a girlfriend back home that he just met in the summer?! Well, I did…because I never had a girlfriend before and that made me so insecure about myself and I felt like a loser. As you can see, I was off to a terrible start at navigating college. Not because I tied myself down, but because I was lost in my insecurities. You see, when we react based on feelings and emotions we set ourselves up for failure.

Want to know how that relationship ended?….I was cheated on twice. As I mentioned she was a grade behind, and she actually was already accepted and planned on attending JMU. The summer before her freshman year at JMU she went on her high school beach week with a large group of friends and they all rented a house together. She gave oral sex to one guy the first night and had sex with another guy on the last night. That’s just what I know…there’s probably more that went on that I didn’t know about (and I’d rather not). Remember how I was already an insecure loser? Wow. all this did was take it to another level beyond my imagination.

This was THE WORST feeling I’ve ever felt and experienced in my life. There really is no greater pain than the pain of your heart. I have never felt so worthless, pathetic, inadequate, emasculated, and fooled in my life. To make matters worse, I was on vacation with my best friend and his family at the time of beach week. My best friend’s dad agreed to drive me out to pick up my girlfriend and meet them at a gas station somewhere along their way back so that she could spend the last day or two at the lake house with us (they were in South Carolina and we were in North Carolina). I didn’t find out about all this until several months later by the way.

Wrapping Up

So, since this has been a pretty lengthy post-I am going to wrap up for now. The purpose of this post was to bridge the gap between high school and college and serve as an introduction to college as well as give you a taste of what else you can expect to hear from me (more sharing, and more of me getting real with you about life!).

In my next post, I will be sharing my college experience with you in more depth broken down on a yearly basis (freshman, sophomore, etc.).

If you enjoyed reading this post, have questions, or simply want to share your thoughts and feelings, then please drop a comment below! I really would like to hear from you and get connected to help in any way I can!

Stay tuned for my next post – thanks for dropping by!

Questions? Something on your mind? Email me at:

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12 thoughts on “Navigating College

  1. Elliedan

    Hey Matt, nice site. Good work so far. I like how you started this particular page, with subheadings and pics between, but closer to the end you needed some subheadings, looks too wordy and novel-like. Keep on building, there is quite a way to go. See me at and leave a comment on any post you like

    1. admin

      Hey Elliedan, thanks for the feedback I appreciate your constructive criticism and will try to make the tweaks you mentioned. Check it out tomorrow afternoon once I have made the changes and let me know what you think! Also, I will be sure to check out your site and leave a comment with some feedback and my opinion.

  2. Johan

    Hello Matthew,
    I really enjoy reading your post. Very insightful and enlightening. Here is something you could think about, why not add share buttons and an email and print button?

    Overall look and feel of this page is good. I commend you.

    Remember: When you are busy heading towards a goal and all of a sudden you see problem after problem, do you know why you are seeing these problems? It’s because you have taken your eyes of the goal. Just a little lesson I learned.

    Continue doing the great work you are doing so passionately.

    Best regards,

    1. admin

      Thanks J,

      Your advice is spot on and I agree with your input. I am still learning how to create add-ons and tweak the design/layout of my site. Very helpful feedback though and I will look into this and keep you posted. I believe I have share buttons but they are at the top? Not sure if I could/should move those elsewhere. Your thoughts?


    Don’t freak out. No, really, stop it. If you didn’t find a spouse in college or you don’t land a dream job just days after graduation, so what? Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Enjoy the journey. And live well today.

    1. Matt Post author

      Hey there, thanks for the advice! However, I am not freaking out at all about not finding a spouse in college and worrying about landing a dream job days after graduation.

      I am happy to report that I am living life abundantly through Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit living and reigning within me! 😀 In fact, I have not been on this site in a while to post new updates but I currently am engaged to my beautiful and wonderful fiancé while enjoying every day of my life with God as He has also blessed me with a great job!

      Thanks for commenting and I hope you have a blessed day! 🙂

  4. Scottjem

    I am no longer certain the place you’re getting your info, but good topic. I must spend some time studying more or figuring out more. Thank you for wonderful info I used to be searching for this info for my mission.

    1. Matt Post author

      Hello Scott,

      Thanks for sharing! As for my information, I am pulling straight from the Bible in all of my blog posts and aim to teach as best I can based on His Word and Biblical principles.

      I completely agree,I tend to study and research further whenever I am unsure when listening to someone give a sermon, reading an online article, etc. I encourage you to look to God’s Word as your guide and your source and make sure anything I say or anyone else says aligns with that. If it is contrary or out of alignment with the Bible, then you can toss it out. I also encourage you to couple those efforts with prayer asking God for wisdom, clarity, and discernment…and He WILL give it to you.

      Remember – “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:13 ESV

      P.S. – what do you mean “your mission?”


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