BCM Stories: Freshman Family Groups

Jennifer Peckmore, junior communications and journalism major from Pollock, Louisiana shares this month’s Student Story. Peckmore participated in a Freshman Family Group as a freshman, and since then has served faithfully as a group leader for the BCM.

 Jennifer Peckmore and co-leader Brock Toth

Jennifer Peckmore and co-leader Brock Toth

A few years ago, the BCM started holding weekly meetings with freshmen called Freshmen Family Groups. These groups, held in the fall semester each year, help the incoming freshmen transition into college life, get plugged into a local church, and realize they are not alone in this new chapter. Coming into college can be scary and the goal of Freshmen Family Groups is to make the new students’ transition as comfortable as possible.

The groups helped me personally as a freshman by easing my nerves about not knowing anyone on campus. My leaders always checked on me and made me feel welcome. The small studies we did weekly helped me realize how important it was to get plugged into the BCM and a church in the area.

After participating in a family group as a freshman, I felt the need to lead one going into my sophomore year. My partner that year, Brock Toth, also believes the groups help freshmen in a variety of ways.

He said, “The most important part of family groups to me is the immediate community it gives freshmen once they join. My favorite part would have to be getting to know each and every freshman and watching them come out of their shell.”

Freshmen come in already worried about majors and finding the right friend group. Family groups help ease their worries. Being able to step back from the stress of their first semester and focus on the Gospel is what many love about the weekly meetings.

Many freshmen find themselves leading or helping with a group their sophomore year. Madison Williams, a freshman in Brock’s and my family group, felt the need to lead a group her sophomore year. Williams said she met tons of people coming in her freshmen year through the BCM, which helped calm her nerves.

She explained, “Before I knew it, I had all of these friends who I knew were there to encourage me, to check up on me, get me out of my comfort zone, and ultimately to help me grow in my walk with Christ. What more could I ask for?”

Family Groups have only been around for three years, but it’s hard to imagine not having them every fall semester now. They serve many purposes, and the leaders as well as freshmen learn many different things from being a part of a family group. Getting to help freshmen transition into the next stage of life and step out of their shell is very rewarding. Family groups are so beneficial to those involved, and I'm glad they’ll be around to impact more lives in years to come. 

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