First Year Jitters

Last week, I started on a journey that had me crawling in the mud, losing my voice, driving at 120 KMS in a "a lot lower than 120 KMS" zone and lose at what would seem to be the easiest game in the world. That journey was Orientation Week at Master's College and Seminary, where I helped led our FIRST YEAR students get adjusted to life on campus.

I'm not a nervous guy, but for this week I was very nervous. A couple of reasons:

  1. I get nervous around new people: I either talk too much or get really sheepish. 
  2. I worry about details I can't control: The week is one where I take the lead but because I was new to it, I had no real answers.  
  3. I didn't feel prepared: Prior to orientation, we had just said goodbye to our previous job, which was a blissfully exhausting (for all the good reasons), I had a school assignment to do, two teachings to prepare, a school trip to organize, two other trips to help with and what felt like dozens of meetings. 
  4. I felt alone: When you miss people like I miss my church family and when everyone at your new job is genuinely busy, it is easy to hide away even when fully present. And when you feel alone, life sucks. 
  5. I STILL wasn't sure: What if I made the wrong call? Should I have stayed at my church? What if I am not good at this? What if I mess up? Why are people telling me "You're so good for this ______!"? What do they know? 

So that's what I was thinking. A lot. But then a few cool things settled me. For example: 

  •  Students started showing up: It is cool when the reason you're there ends up being there in your office, making you laugh, keeping you together and constantly letting you know they're around to help you. It makes life so much easier when that happens. Then at least in a room of 40, you know two or three.
  • My boss took me out for lunch: Nothing like laughing over a meal with my boss and his wife while talking about how I'm doing, my family is doing and what is to come.  
  • People came ready to work: MCS has the greatest student leaders; accessible, helpful, vision casting and more. Having them around made life that much easier. The staff was the same way. They came ready to work and made me look a lot better than what I do. 
  • I was able to find my way: Yeah, there were moments where I had to be the guy, but for the most part I was able to do what I feel I do well - meet people one on one, encourage people in their gifts and set a good tone for future relationships. 

No matter what age you are or how much experience you have in relationship building, the nervousness of meeting new people (and remember 70+ names) is daunting. Thankfully God places community around us to help us and pull us out from uncertainty.