Friday, October 11, 2013

More Tips for College Students

More goodies I have found along the way:

  • ·         Don’t have a lot of (or any) unhealthy snacks in your room…you will it eat it all. Really quickly, at least, if you’re anything like me. J And don’t eat if you’re not hungry. I think I developed this thing in my mind where I tell myself I’m hungry so I eat and then I find out that I actually wasn’t that hungry so I just basically wasted good food and made myself feel disgusting. Also, set aside one day a week where you have that amazing dessert they serve at the cafeteria that you are tempted to eat at every meal. My love is vanilla ice cream with orange juice and sprite… it sounds weird BUT IT’S DELICIOUS OK. That is my treat every Sunday, and I won’t let myself have it any other time except then. Keeps the whole “discipline” thing going J

  • ·        It’s OK to be homesick. Don’t be ashamed of it. Before last weekend when I went home, I was really missing my family and especially my school friends/teachers for the past couple of weeks, and I think it welled up so much to the point that I finally had to just cry to someone about it. That someone ended up being my RA, one of the coolest chicks ever (if you have an RA, one that you trust, take advantage of that. Get to know them – they might have some nuggets of wisdom for you). Sometimes you just need a good cry, and don’t be ashamed of it. I’m really bad at being vulnerable…really bad. Well, at least with new people I don’t really know yet. I constantly have a smile on my face; don’t get me wrong, most of the time the smile is genuine just because I’m a happy person. But sometimes the smile is a lie. I’m not saying you should be transparent to every single person you talk to…that could lead to a very violent conversation J But when you’re with someone who you can be transparent with, take off the mask. Don’t be afraid to be who you are.

  • ·         James 1: be doers of the Word. My psych professor has brought up James on more than one occasion, and I figured that since James 1:22 is one of my theme verses for the year, I should take the time to go through it again. It’s full of really practical things to do in your Christian walk, and practical is what I really need right now. This passage has spoken to me now than it ever has before:

“But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.” –James 1:22-25

I may be wrong, but this is what I believe God is teaching me from this passage: when we walk away from the Word and don’t do what it says, we forget our identity. We walk away from the Holy Spirit intervening in our lives, teaching us how to be more like Christ. Our minds are limited and forgetful, so unless we put the words into action, we forget who we are in Christ. When we read or hear a passage of Scripture, think “Hmm…that’s nice” and walk away, we have potential to forget it all together, dodging yet another opportunity for sanctification. Because of this, James is telling us to be intentional with the Word of God, not just passive receivers of it. When we walk in the freedom of the Word (“law of liberty”) and are intentional with the Word (effectual doer), then we will be blessed because we are walking in obedience. This is so easy to say…but are we actually going to do it?

  • ·         Be a friend to others. A couple of weeks ago, I heard a sermon on David and Johnathan and what it means to be a good friend…it was a great sermon. Nothing Earth-shattering, just a beautiful story of the Bible’s greatest friendship and how we can apply it to our lives. In a time when a lot of college kids are starting from scratch and forming brand new friendships, these tips are great to know. According to this pastor, a good friend is:

o   Someone you go to after Jesus (you should always go to Jesus first J)
o   Someone you don’t lie to
o   Someone you would do anything for
o   Someone to cover for you
o   Someone you can think out loud with (and not be judged)
o   Someone who will tell you the truth
o   Someone who believes in you and will tell you so
o   Someone who will defend you
o   Someone who knows they’re appreciated
o   Someone who keeps the right stuff between you two (aka Jesus)

If you’re a college freshmen, relationships are still relatively shallow, so there’s still a lot you don’t know about your new best friends. They might be crying for help on the inside and they’re just waiting for someone to come and just listen to what they have to say. Keep confidentiality; keep their stories safe (on top of all the stress of college, the last thing anyone needs is gossip and drama. Can I get an “amen”?!). And when you do you help a friend out, don’t say “Check! I’m a good friend!” Your love for your friends should be an overflow out of your love for Jesus, not a task that you check off your to-do list. Don’t counsel someone for the sake of making yourself feel good but for the same reason Jesus sought you out – because He selflessly loves you.

  • ·         Put away your stupid phone. During chapel last Monday, our Chaplain talked about how our addiction to our technology has made us dehumanize each other. It sounds harsh, but it’s so true, and I’ve never really thought about it that way. When I’m eating lunch with a friend, and in the middle of their story I check Twitter on my phone, that is an act of disrespect, is unloving, and it dehumanizes them…that’s a big deal. Most people would say “ok, ok, yeah I agree that it’s disrespectful”, but I think most of us would get defensive if someone called us out on dehumanizing someone else…it just seems to go too far. But it doesn’t. It’s the truth. When I choose to look at my phone rather than talking to someone during the awkward elevator ride, or look at it in the middle of sermon/discussion/class lecture, I am not only disrespecting the opposite party but I am also degrading their value. So put the stupid phone away, look up and out, and really see the world. Sorry to pull the Jesus-card, but Jesus didn’t have devices to distract Him from seeking to serve others. I pray Jesus would give us His eyes to see the world and for Him to fix our eyes that have been tired and glazed over from looking at too many social media updates.

  • ·         Have fun. This is really easy for most college kids…sometimes a little too easy. But this is mainly for those like me who are obsessed with getting good grades and “doing their best” to the point of spending hours in their room or in the library with their nose in books. Don’t get me wrong: WORK HARD. Don’t waste the money you or your parents have spent on goofing off all the time. But reward yourself after a hard week. Take the time for rest. Go have fun with some friends. Take a chill pill. The ultimate end that you are trying to achieve is not walking across the stage getting your degree – it’s heaven. Act like it.

  • ·         This is a given, but spend time with the Lord. Make time for it. The whole “I’m so busy” excuse doesn’t work…we are going to be busy for the rest of our lives. I know it’s hard to take the time, but with a lot of prayer, an earnest heart, and God’s grace, you will eventually get to a place where you want to have a quiet time. You want to pray and you want to get into the Word because life simply isn’t fulfilling without those things. When I take the time to pray for an extended period of time, to just sit and be still, I find that it has an impact on the rest of my day and how I treat others. Try it…you might be surprised what God does with you.

Hang in there college freshies! Keep going!