Kara Powell and Krista Kubiak have an interesting article (link fixed) about a survey they did with college students who had graduated from their youth group. Their comments with my emphasis in bold.

When students were asked to list the most difficult elements of their transition, the most common responses related to friendships—such as not having friends, not having a community, and not knowing how to make new friends. The second most common answer related to the experience of being alone for the first time and the responsibilities that come with living away from home. The third most frequent responses related to the desire to find a faith community or church. Many students felt they weren’t prepared to seek out such a community and didn’t know how to find a church or ministry where they felt welcome and fed spiritually.

Students’ struggles in finding a new church were also evident in their advice for youth workers. Overwhelmingly, respondents’ greatest advice was to prepare future college-bound students by warning them about the difficulties in finding a new church and encouraging them to do so anyway. Secondly, the college students surveyed encouraged youth workers to teach differently about sex, alcohol, and drugs. Instead of just an education about what is “right” and what is “wrong,” students were eager for training in how to handle temptations that emerged in college and how to be confident in making decisions that went against common peer pressures.

If you are a parent equipping a student for college:

  1. Let’s make sure our students know clear teaching on how to make friends.
  2. Lets make sure our students know how and why to find a good church and Christian fellowship.
  3. Let’s make sure our students know how to be confident in standing against peer pressure.