College Edition: Purpose and Prepare

devo4We recently discussed how to choose a school, as well as offered wisdom from women who’ve been there, so please read that article if you haven’t already.

Purpose and Prepare

Beginning a new chapter in life is always exciting, but we don’t rush into big decisions without taking time to prepare for the changes, do we? Being away from the adults and other influential people in our lives, we will soon realize that if we’re going to do something, it’s on our shoulders and we must make time for it; we need to decide ahead of time what kind of person we’ll be in college. I like the phrase, “purposed in [his] heart,” because it shows the maturity and responsibility of a person to make the best decision and stick to it. Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not take part in the king’s delicacies (Daniel 1:8). Will we be responsible and purpose in our hearts to use our time wisely in college? Whether you attend a state school or a Christian school, there are a few things for which we must be prepared to set aside time:

Studying. Let’s take two looks at studying. One, studying for our classes. While it may not always be enjoyable, it’s profitable and needed. If you are going to pay the money for college and work toward a degree of some sort, it is only logical to study and learn the material well. Studying doesn’t have to be exhaustive and boring, though! Spice up studying at times by having study nights with the girls in your dorm. Make snacks and play memory or flashcard games. Be creative! Secondly, studying God’s Word. Even if you attend a Christian school, you still need personal Bible study and prayer. Don’t count on getting all you need spiritually from Bible classes and weekly worship services. Taking time alone to let God speak to you through His Word, and to pray to Him, is vital in a Christian girl’s spiritual growth.

devo5Extra Activities. It might take a while to get adjusted, but once you are comfortable in college, seek out different activities in which you can help others, grow in Christ, and also relax and have fun! Look for church student centers where you can meet other Christians and take part in activities of fellowship and worship. Become part of community service groups or other clubs that assist people or causes. If you like athletics, try out for a sports team if you will have the time to dedicate to that. However, while it is good to be involved, never overload yourself. In college, the extra-activity possibilities are nearly endless; just make sure to take part in the ones that glorify God.

Family and Friends. The hardest part about college for so many is leaving behind family and friends. That’s perfectly natural! We have attachments to these people, and we find security and love in being around them. In college, you will likely meet more of these people, but it will take time. Carrie Underwood has a song called “Don’t Forget To Remember Me” that captures the feeling of leaving home for college. In it, the responsibility of being on our own is illustrated, and we feel that longing to still be part of “home.” Take advantage of the free moments you’ll have to send a heartfelt e-mail, write a friendly letter, or give a kind call to a loved one. “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). Your close ones will appreciate the remembrance from you!

God. Most importantly overall, it is of the greatest urgency that we prepare our hearts and use our time wisely for God. He, after all, is the One who allows us to attend college, and we owe our lives to Him. Just like mentioned earlier in the latter part of “Studying,” time with God is vital to our growth as Christians. Also, recall our key Scripture this month: “…fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all” (Ecc. 12:13). In college, we may be tempted to rearrange our priorities. We as young Christian ladies have got to place in the front of our minds that our whole purpose here is to glorify, respect, and honor God and keep His Word in all we do. Doesn’t that slow everything down and put life in simple perspective? Make special time for God everyday, so that He can help you continue steadfast in your life for Him.

Oh, The Places You’ll Go

devo3Several of my close brothers and sisters in Him are graduating this year. I am saddened by their departure, but I have faith that they will make great impacts for Christ on the people they meet. They may stay near to home or they may go far, but they will always be able to be close to God. Here is an excerpt from Dr. Seuss’s Oh, The Places You’ll Go!: “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the [girl] who’ll decide where to go.” Now, as you depart on a bright new road, where will you go? What will you do for Christ? Make the most of this wonderful time in your life–for Him!

By Hannah Smith

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