Being a freshman is a rite of passage. It is not by any means an easy transition to come through. The bad thing is that it is irresistible, unless college is not the path you take.
Freshman Josh Maio, who is a pre-business major, has transitioned from his graduating class of 50 to Auburn University exceptionally well. Josh is from small town Skipperville, Alabama, where there is a school that has rebel pride roaming the halls and a single gas station for those kids to get cheese sticks to munch on and gas to fill up their vehicles to ride the roads.
Coming to Auburn was a huge life decision for Josh to make. He almost did not even come to Auburn. Josh received a scholarship from Troy University, but there was something about the Plains that was pulling Josh to come.
“I can’t even make sense of the feeling Auburn gave me, but it is great and I love Auburn,” says Josh, I remember thinking to myself, “I want to be here and make a difference here.” Josh wanted to bring his passion and faith to Auburn University and that he did.
Josh was anxious to move from everything familiar and comfortable to come into this new big world of the uncomfortable and unknown. He was not going to let feelings of fear creep in and take over, though. Josh had decided that he was going to make the most of this season in his life whether it went well or went terrible.
He has been a freshman who would not back down. Most people step into freshman year confused and unsure of who they even are, but for Josh that’s not the case. He came to Auburn solid in who he is and who he wants to be here. Josh doesn’t let people or situations waver his opinions on things. He stands up and firm for what he thinks and believes.
His first week here, he decided that he was going to dive right in and find his people, which he did. Josh attended the ONE College Ministry service on that first Thursday here, where he met three of his best friends and got connected in the church.
“This place has become my home-away-from-home. I would never tell my mama this, but every time I have to go back home I get down in the dumps. I hate leaving my family here that is made up of friends who are irreplaceable,” says Josh.
Fresh meat, Josh, is now involved in two small groups with Church of the Highlands, Emerge Auburn, Church of the Highlands Outreach Team and Infuse Teams. Not only is Josh involved, but he has kept his life balanced, which can feel and be impossible freshmen year. He has been diligent in setting a time for friends, a time for school, a time for quiet time in the morning, a time for working out, and time for all his extracurricular activities.
Josh has been so intentional about working hard to make good grades and connecting with people that everything for him as fallen perfectly into place. He says, “I have worked hard and had to discipline myself, but honestly I owe it all to the big man upstairs. Without Him, I would be nothing.”
Josh’s freshmen year has been one of the best seasons of his life. What he thought would have been a transition that would have and could have been unbearable has been something so great that he will remember forever.
The one thing that Josh says has helped in his Freshman year is, “God and the great community I have surrounded myself with at Highlands. If I could give any advice to freshmen, it would be to get connected with a good group of friends. Mine have done wonders for me so I know yours will do wonders too!”