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Don't Just Survive. Thrive!

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Nov. 03, 2014

College is a time of friends, new memories, and the beginning of the next chapter in your life - a lot of change.  I get it when people say change is not always easy. For me, I knew this was true when I was driving to college my freshman year with my parents. I had so many thoughts swirling in my head. How was I going to do this? There were so many opportunities before me, and I needed some type of roadmap on how to pick the best thing for me. Luckily, I had people and experiences in my life to teach me how to thrive instead of just barely survive.

1. Know Where You’re Going

Take some time to reflect on where you want to go and who you want to be, whether it is spiritually, mentally, or physically.  Maybe you want to grow in prayer, or workout more consistently, or even be a better friend. Whatever it is, know where you are and what steps you need to take to get better. My goal was to become a youth minister, so I took steps to aid me on my journey. Then, at the end of the year, see what has changed and what yet needs to be done. With an end in mind, I was better able to prioritize and become the youth minister I wanted to be. 


2. Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize

When you find yourself having a hard time saying no to an opportunity despite having a packed schedule, it’s time to prioritize.  It is important to explore and try new things once you get to college, and it also is the perfect time to work on things you are already interested in. By taking time to prioritize, you can make tough decisions without the stress of the moment… or peer pressure. By putting first things first, you leave more time for stress free fun.  

This is essential so that you don’t end up sacrificing your long term goals for short term fun.   


3. Step Out of your Comfort Zone

Each year of college brings something new.  The classes might get harder and the nights might get shorter, but it is how you handle it that matters. Do not let school take over the best four years of your life. Get out of your comfort zone and be spontaneous.

For me, it was very hard to do that. I was scared of failing and not getting my work done. I wanted to keep my head down and get my degree, but living is about more than just surviving and so is college. Letting go and de-stressing might be hard for some, but so worth it in the end. I was a total bookworm in college, but never once did I regret stepping out of my comfort zone and trying something new. Not only did stepping away from the comfort of my studies help me relax it helped me discover myself. Each of us is blessed with wonderful gifts and talents. Some are obvious, but others we have to search for. This is an opportunity to find those hidden gifts, and, in turn, find you.

There are a lot of decisions to make in college – some of which may affect the rest of your life. Keep everything in balance by making smart decisions. College can get better and better each year, but that is up to you. Take it one day at a time, step by step, and let The Lord work in this new phase of your life. Find something you love, but do not overburden yourself. College is about making memories, not miseries. Don’t sweat the small stuff, and enjoy the road ahead. It’s going to be an amazing ride.