Tuesday, December 30, 2014

10 Things to Expect at College


 1. Expect to be nervous

     You are in a new situation with new people, a new stage of life, and maybe you are far away from home and family. But don't worry, because every other freshman will be just as nervous as you.

2. Expect to be clueless 

     Every freshman that enters a college campus for the first time has to learn the ropes. But use this to your advantage. Ask questions. Ask for help. Learn about all of your possibilities now while all of your fellow freshman are also clueless. You won't be alone.

3. Expect to make lifelong friends

    Over the next four years you will make wonderful friends. Friends that are completely different from you, friends that compliment you, friends that could be your long lost twin. You will love them all and will weep at your graduation when you all go separate ways.

4. Expect to lose friends

    College is a transitional time of life. Students leave school. Students transfer. Schedules change. One semester you will see certain people every day. The next semester you won't see them at all. It is only natural that some friendships sadly fade.

5. Expect to have fun

   This is the one time in your life you will be treated like an adult but you can still act like a kid. Marco Polo in the hallway. Dorm pranks. Sledding on whatever you can find to sit on in whatever clothes you don't mind getting ruined. Take full advantage of this.

6. Expect to work hard

  Though you will play hard, you will also work hard. Actually read those textbooks. Start those papers at least two weeks before they're due. Make the library your second home. College is a lot of money and an amazing opportunity that shouldn't be wasted. Though it gets hard and you will want to quit (especially during finals week) don't give up. Someday you will miss the luxury of academic studying, so don't miss this opportunity.

8. Expect to succeed

   College may be scary and weird at first, but you can make it and there are so many people to help you succeed. Your parents, your friends, and even your professors all want to see you succeed and are on your side as long as you do your best.

9. Expect to fail

   You may not fail a class. You may not drop out of school. But you may get a lower grade than you wanted. You may not get a second job interview, You may forget a lunch date. You may get sick and fail an exam. There will be times when you can't do it and fail. But you will get back up.

10. Expect to be nervous, clueless, make lifelong friends, lose friends, have fun, work hard, succeed, and fail over and over again throughout your college years. 

    Because college is like life. We are always learning, making mistakes, and trying again. As soon as you are a college graduate, (aka completely knowledgeable in all things of the college world), you may have to navigate the work force, become a freshman again at graduate school, or enter the foreign world of marriage. And you can expect to be nervous, clueless, make lifelong friends, lose friends, have fun, work hard, succeed, and fail over and over again for the rest of your life.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Making Christmas


  Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. For as long as I can remember, my mom has made the whole month of December special, from advent calenders, cookie baking, trips to our local Christmas store, thoughtful presents under the tree, and delicious Christmas foods that have become tradition in our household.

   But this year is different. Mom is too busy to make Christmas happen. So my sister and I are baking all of the cookies, putting the lights on the tree, planning the Christmas menu. Making Christmas happen. And part of me just wants to be a little kid again where my only struggle was waiting for Christmas morning.

  So I can do two things; I can wish to be a little girl again full of the wonder of Christmas, or I can take my mom's advice and see this undesirable situation as an opportunity. I think I will take the opportunity.

 Already I see a change in my attitude. Christmas is about giving. It is about Jesus humbling Himself to the point that he was born as baby in a manger and would later die for our sins on the cross. As a believer, I want to share that gospel message, and right now that means making Christmas.

  Another opportunity I am taking is to broaden my cooking and baking skills. As a person that has never been one to volunteer in the kitchen unless absolutely necessary, I admit that I really don't know what I am doing in the kitchen. But this Christmas, that will change.

   Making Christmas is only a small difficulty in my life right now. Not that I think that all of those years my mom has made Christmas happen is easy, but in the big picture of all of our lives it is not a big hardship. So if I can get through this by seeing it as an opportunity, focusing on the blessings, how much closer will I be to doing the same for every struggle in my life?

 How can I find an opportunity and blessing while living with roommates chosen for me?

 How can God use me during this time of unwanted singleness?

 What opportunity awaits me during my hardest semester academically?