by: Colin Mukri
I was 19 years old when I left home for college. I said goodbye to my parents in our small town airport in Malaysia and I was eager to be the next Chris Tomlin. I was ready to change the world and thought that if I just networked my way to the top and build myself a platform I would be doing ‘ministry’ the way I wanted to. Thank God college didn’t pan out the way I wanted it to.
Instead, the Lord gave me a treasure I would have never expected and that is the friendships I made in college. My friendships gave me the richest college experience I could’ve had. My friends laughed with me till the early morning hours, cried with me when I was broken, and fought with me when I confronted my sins.
I made many acquaintances; people I had class with, people that tagged me in photos, and people that acknowledged me when I walked down the hallways. My handful of friends however, did life with me.
It’s hard to make friends, but here are a few things I learned that helped me out.
Wonders happen when people share meals together. Jesus did this really well. My acquaintance Phil and I decided to eat lunch together one day and it turned into lunch every Tuesday and eventually we lived across from each other in a neighborhood near campus. We were in each other’s weddings and he remains one of my best friends even though he lives across the country. When we ate together, we talked, joked, and asked each other honest questions. Give it a try with someone you wish to be friends with.
College is your time to travel. It was my first fall break and I didn’t know what a fall break even was. My friend Clay invited me to his home in Pennsylvania and it was there I got to learn how I wanted my family to be one day. Clay had a mom who stayed up every night for us to come home so she could listen to how our day was. We would stand around the kitchen island, as she was thrilled to hear every single detail of our day. Clay’s dad was firm, kind, and could make his whole family cry laughing. Clay had 4 other siblings and they adored their parents. I traveled to many other places on those breaks, and still to this day I hold those memories dear because they showed me Christ’s hand in so many different family settings. These breaks allow you to experience holidays differently, see families differently, and be friends outside of class and homework.
My wife Meghan and I had 13 people each in our wedding party when we got married. I would’ve rounded it up to 20 if I could, and I probably should have. These were people that helped navigate us through life and we couldn’t imagine not having them stand with us as we entered into a new chapter of life. At our wedding, they vowed to stand together with us through the highs and lows of life.
Do you have friends in your life right now that you can envision standing with you? Are you a friend to a person that they would want you to stand with them?
About the Author: Colin Mukri hails from the beautiful country of Malaysia. He first connected with CKM as a college student at Liberty University. After working on our summer staff and serving in CDH program, Colin now serves the ministry as Creative Developer. With a diverse range of skills in photography, design and media, Colin makes things beautiful and engaging. His heart is music though - well music and our Missions Director, wife Meghan Mukri and their puppy Milo.