This may be a weird idea, even seeming like a dumb concession to the helicopter parenting and similar over-coddling that we hear so much about. But with contextual tweaking for your own situation, there might be a payoff here… and that’s the point of the Frideas anyway – to get you to ponder.

The mode in ministry to International Students seems to be connecting those incoming students with a mentor/”sponsor” student who can help them navigate their new school and new home. And in the Greek System, “big sisters” and “big brothers” accomplish the same thing, showing the ropes to new members.

But what if you offered something like that for any incoming freshmen?

I suppose I’m imagining Sophomores, Junior, and Seniors offering to help incoming freshmen find classes, navigate the random front-end “what-you-have-to-dos” for your school, helping them navigate their many involvement options, think with them about the study load ahead, etc. This can be in-person, via phone or email, or some of all of it.

I simply don’t know if the freshmen will take you up on it.

But you might be surprised – people experiencing a crazy new environment, who know they’re unfamiliar, are often willing to take good suggestions that longer-tenured members find hard or weird. (See also: new believers in your church.) It might also seem most natural if you pair freshmen (or transfers) with students in their majors, in their dorms, or with some other affinity.

And the upside could be enormous, obviously. You’re helping people in significant ways, plus it’s an awesome way to build relationship.