If you’re me, then you’re excited about going back to school because it’s your Senior Year and there’s so much you’re looking forward to.
However, I think it’s necessary to set some goals for ourselves because before we know it, the year will be over.
- God First.
Yes, I know this is a cliche, “Instagram bio” statement but it reigns true and must actually be lived out instead of saying it because it sounds like the right thing to do. Once you get in the rhythm of class work, actual work, and community/campus involvement it can be easy to lose sight of where all your time is going. Last year, this was such a struggle for me, so guess what I did? I made sure to leave most of my mornings clear of anything so that I can spend quality time with God in lieu of rushing out of my house at 7:00 or 8:00 a.m. to get to a work meeting. I’m already seeing results, as I leave my house so refreshed, ready to walk in purpose, and energized for the day’s tasks.God truly fills you in His presence! It may not be possible for you to have a generally free morning so find out what works for you. You may have to get up earlier or stay up later. You may even have to change some things in your schedule around but as believers, it’s so important that we make room for God. Jackie Hill-Perry, a Christian poet/teacher, once said, “Our schedules aren’t keeping us from God, our hearts are.” Think about that.
2. Focus on what God wants you to do.
We live in such a busy, fast-paced world. As a result, there are so many things that we can be doing as students. On my campus alone, there are hundreds of student organizations to choose from. This is why I am making it my goal and encouraging you to focus on what God wants you to do. As you’re putting God first, He will order your steps and give you peace, or the lack thereof, about where you’re spending your time. Matter of fact, I notice that as I focus my attention on the things that God wills for me to do, I don’t have to get burned out or feel bored/unfulfilled. I actually feel like I have time to be productive & not just busy. Don’t feel pressured by people or society in feeling like you have to be doing every. single. thing. in order to be successful. That can lead to burnout and business but not fruitfulness. Remember, you’re looking for fruit and not just ways to scatter your precious seeds everywhere. Get planted with intentionality in mind.
3. Grow, Develop, Learn.
I remember my mama would always tell me, “I sent you to school to learn, not make friends” Now that I think about it, it wasn’t the healthiest thing to tell me but I understand why she would say that. She wanted me to focus on learning and not be distracted. We’re in school for a purpose and at the end of the day, its up to you to take advantage of all the wonderful opportunities you have to grow, develop, & learn. Get involved in an organization that lines up with God’s will for you and become a student-leader. Attend workshops/conferences that are focused on areas where you want to grow in. Get out of your comfort zone and take those calculated risks because at this age you don’t really have that much to lose. Don’t waste these precious months, truly take this time to dig deeper in those areas that will matter now and even 10 years down the road.
4. Take care of yourself.
Please take care of yourself! Your education is important but its not worth your health, energy, self-esteem, or your overall well-being. Exercise even if its once a week. Take walks. Eat healthy. Drink plenty of water. Get a hobby! Take days off. I highly suggest having a Sabbath day. Its so tough sometimes to have one day dedicated to no work but if God Himself rested one day, then why can’t we? Rest is important and it gives your body, mind, and soul that reset that keeps you going!
5. Invest in Godly friendships & community.
We can’t talk about self care without coming after our relationships. Toxic relationships drain you! One of the biggest supports in my college years have been and are my Godly friends and community. They push me outside of my comfort zone and pour into me. I have confidants and prayer partners in my friendships. I have shoulders I can lean on when times get hard, and boy they will. We work and play hard. We have clean and wholesome fun. You are not who you are and you will not be who you will be without people, so choose “your” people wisely! At this age, you have more of a choice of who you allow in your life and you’re maturing in how you choose friends. Don’t forsake that part of your life. Be bold in setting boundaries and don’t be afraid to say “Bye-Bye!” Find a church home that preaches/teaches the word of God and place yourself in positions to make friendships. If you’re having trouble making friends, ask God to give you friends or to reveal who your friends are/aren’t. Remember that relationships take time to develop, so don’t get sad if you don’t have a new bestie at the end of the first week of school.
With that being said, I’m wishing you nothing but the best semester yet! Remember that as you seek first the Kingdom of God, ALL these things will be added unto you. God’s yoke is easy and His burdens are light. He desires that you have a future and a hope in Him.
I also pray that God pours into you like never before and He uses you to be a light and a city upon a hill on your campus.