Stomping the Yard

How to Pray Your Way to Success in College

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Calling all college students! Our weekly column, Stomping the Yard, aims to help undergrads excel in their studies and social lives.’s team of experts will show you how to get it done, from the day you move into the dorms to the minute you step off campus for that first job. Submit questions and feedback for Stomping the Yard via

This summer, “The Freshman Memoirs” featured current college students who wanted to share their experiences and advice with incoming freshmen.  Although the school year has started, there’s one more memoir that I thought would be helpful for freshmen as they encounter their first real changes on campus. This final memoir comes from Tara Crawford, a sophomore at Alabama A&M University –who shares how prayer made a way for her success during her first year of college.

Booker T. Washington once stated “success is to be measured not so much by the position one has reached in life rather by the obstacles overcome while trying to succeed.”

After graduating, I had difficulty transitioning from high school to college. But all of the adversities I endured have been overcome by my spirituality and the following steps: 1) Praying, 2) Planning and 3) Participating.

Your first year of college can be very successful when you embrace the importance of a prayer life. As a young woman planning to attend an out-of-state school, I found prayer was necessary. Being able to navigate on my own on the campus of Alabama A&M seemed scary and down-right unattainable. Therefore, I found myself praying constantly for strength and guidance. Along with that, I prayed to find a place of worship were I would receive biblical truth practical to the daily life of a college student.

My prayer time helped to reassure me that I made the right decision to attend Alabama A&M, and also helped me mature mentally. With a clear state of mind, I could clearly set and achieve my academic, career and social aspirations as a college student through effective planning. For example, I had the goal of obtaining a 3.5 GPA. I accomplished this goal by creating an agenda of assignments and tasks for each course. As I completed an assignment or task, I removed it from my agenda. Also, throughout both Fall and Spring semesters I attended classes regularly. This afforded the opportunity to become a more committed, organized and mature college scholar. But, it can’t be all academics! Although, academic plans are very important, lack of social and career plans will prevent an individual from experiencing the full college experience.

So, after praying and planning, it was time to participate. And, I got fully involved in student life at Alabama A&M. I highly recommend that new students join organizations and attend a variety of campus events. I have been involved in several extracurricular activities that have added value to my experience such as, The Communications Arts Club, The Poetry Club, and University Echoes. These clubs helped me gain experience, professional skills, and respect on campus. Within two months of being an enrolled student, I had already established a positive reputation and repertoire. Specifically, I won the freshman talent show and I did journalistic work for homecoming festivities.

All in all, despite the obstacle of feeling homesick, and a little isolated, I was able to unlock the key to successful college living by praying, planning, and participating.

About Kelly Fair

Kelly Fair

Kelly Fair is the founder of the highly successful Polished Pebbles Girls Mentoring Program that  has served more than 700 girls, aged seven to 17 years old, to be effective communicators, and career and community conscious leaders! This work has been supported by a network of 300+ volunteers from the Chicagoland community and area businesses such as Bloomingdale’s, Microsoft, ThoughtWorks and many more. You can follow Kelly on her blogand on Twitter at @KFairtheMentor.