You Are Not Alone

Large brick buildings, massive trees, and what seemed like hundreds of sidewalks met my eyes as I took my first steps onto the campus of Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU). It was December 2009 when I first visited IWU, and it did not take me long to fall in love with the campus and the people.

Through the summer of 2010, I was filled to the brim with excitement about this new college experience to come. But the feeling that greeted me when I returned to campus during that fall was a little different. My parents helped me unload my belongings into my dorm room and supported me as I went through freshman orientation. But when the time came for my parents to leave, an overwhelming sense of fear hit me. I was now on my own for the first time in 18 years. I had to learn how to manage my time, relationships, career, finances, etc. without the safety of my parents’ roofs. I tried to be tough, living life on my own, but it was hard! Thankfully, my parents raised me to be responsible and independent, but even so, I was still scared to death.

One area I was particularly nervous about was paying for college. As soon as I arrived on campus, I anxiously began searching for a job. I knew that if I wanted to stay at IWU, I would have work hard to make money so that I could afford my tuition each semester. This experience was seven years ago, but I still remember the challenges and stress. At the time, I felt all alone and like it was all up to me. There was nobody there to help me think though my financial situation, so I bore through it with much fear. Fortunately, I was able to figure things out, but not without a lot of fear and worry.

During the fall of 2016, the Ron Blue Institute began a program designed to help college students like me navigate the financial stress and challenges of college: the NEXUS Financial Discipleship Center. This program, located on the campus of IWU, seeks to alleviate the fear and uncertainty of a college student’s finances by providing individual coaching and accountability. Students are not only equipped with necessary financial information and tools but are also provided ongoing accountability through meetings with one of the NEXUS coaches. During the 2016/2017 school year, the NEXUS coaches helped counsel more than 50 students. IWU students no longer have to walk through their finances alone. While I wish NEXUS was around when I was at IWU, I am grateful that I now get to play a part in helping students walk with confidence through the financial challenges of college.

Check out the video below highlighting the NEXUS program: