Café writer, Jennifer Hall recommends getting in touch with a faith community on campus, joining different groups, and taking a leap of faith when meeting others. These new circles may or may not become part of your story—but even if not, they might lead you to the ones who will be.

by Elizabeth McBride

Loving God, we thank you for accompanying us in all our paths from our homes. We acknowledge this blessing and give thanks for all the people in our communities who have helped us to arrive at this place.

God of love and mercy, hear our prayer.

Faithful God, we ask that you bless us and help us as we adjust to our new surroundings. Do not forget us as we venture bravely into a new community. We understand that taking risks to meet others is not easy and we ask that you guide us through this transition.

God of love and mercy, hear our prayer.

Caring God, help us honor our pasts and the homes that we have come from. Protect our loved ones in our absence. We recognize that these places of home will change as we will be changed by our new experiences. Please give us grace to accept these changes and know that eventually they will be good for those we left behind and for ourselves as we grow.

God of love and mercy, hear our prayer.

Strengthening God, give us patience to endure this time of transition with open hearts. Help us to listen to ways that you are calling us as your beloved children. Guide us on our paths as we discern the ways that we can be blessings to all whom we meet.

God of love and mercy, hear our prayer.

Comforting God, please be with us when we are lonely and not comfortable in our new surroundings. Help us to remember our baptism and that we are beloved and perfect as we are—as you created us to be. Help us to remember that even if this period of adjustment takes time, you are always with us. Help us not lose faith in ourselves and in you.

God of endless love, hear our prayer.

In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Elizabeth McBride remembers what leaving home for college felt like and the many months it seemed to take to feel comfortable. She is the editor of Café.