I came into college as a young and naïve 18-year-old, eager and ready to take on the world. Unfortunately, I had no idea how hard reality was going to slap me in the face. Homework, heartbreak, loneliness, and confusion just about summed up my first year of college.

I didn’t know exactly who I was and where I fit into my new world. I was no longer a high school student bound by my parent’s rules and expectations, I was an adult who had to make her own decisions. And from time to time, I royally screwed up. I have known Christ since my senior year of high school, but college was the first time I wasn’t surrounded by God-fearing family and friends. I struggled to find Christian fellowship and nearly all of my peers wanted to live for the world.

It wasn’t until I was invited to CRU that I really felt a sense of peace and belonging. Being in CRU not only helped me to grow in my faith and knowledge about God, but it challenged me. During my second year of college I was invited to become a CRU leader and I readily accepted. Nothing, however, could prepare me for what I was getting myself into.

The problem with having a club in a junior college is that you have to recruit new members every year. The first meeting included three confused CRU leaders, a youth pastor, and a plate of rice crispy treats. Needless to say, the next two months of meetings followed in suit. Of course, we tried to recruit new members but that often ended in rejection or an awkward encounter. I began to run out of motivation to come to the weekly meetings because the empty room felt like complete and utter failure. It wasn’t until my peers and I stopped trying to do things our way and gave it all up to God that he provided us with the members we so desperately longed for. I was blessed in not only having that fellowship, but I was able to serve my brothers and sisters in Christ and watch them grow.

My time in CRU was not just another random college memory, soon to be in a pile of forgotten photographs. My time here helped me to find myself and who I wanted to be. It taught me how to be content in the happy times and in the lonely. I learned how to have thick skin and even though serving God may not be the popular thing to do, it is the right thing to do. Even though this is my last semester with CRU, I doubt that I could ever forget the things I learned, the friends I have made, and the heart change that came from being a part of this organization.