Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dear High School Senior,

{Things I would tell my pre-college self if I could do it all over again}

1. Get exercise. If you don't like running, then participate in sports. Don't use the excuse, "I don't have time," because you'll never get around to it. If you don't get enough exercise you'll feel disgusting. Guaranteed.

2. Go to bed. Set a bed time, and do your best to stick with it. If you haven't finished tomorrow's homework by a certain time and you can get up early to work on it, do so. Don't throw away precious hours of'll never get them back.

3. Get a job. Yes, you are at college to study and learn a certain set of skills, but you'll learn in a different way if you get a job. Don't kill yourself by working more shifts than you can handle, but make sure you do work on a regular basis.

4. Get involved. Find a few orgs/ministries that you like and join them. Pray about joining a ministry before you do, but don't just sit around and only do homework. Believe me, that's really, really boring. It's the same as getting a job - don't get involved in too many ministries so that you have no time for academics, but make sure you find at least one or two groups that fit you. It's a great way to meet people and make friends.

5. Eat healthily. This might seem obvious, especially in light of #1, but it's still worth mentioning. Find the healthy foods in your cafeteria and eat them. If it seems like you're eating the same exact foods day in and day out, test your creativity. Try combining two or three foods or ask your friends what their favorite foods are. You might be able to find recipes simple enough to make in the cafeteria on Pinterest if you look around a bit. =)

6. Seek out help if you need it! You're in college to get an education and you're paying a lot to be there, so if you're struggling to learn the material, make sure you get tutoring or help from an adviser.

7. Do it NOW. Interested in applying for a specific position for student government/mission trip/other endeavor? Apply right away. Don't wait until the homework load lightens, because it likely won't and you'll never get that application in. Just take the time to fill out the application now - you'll be glad you did!

8. Clean your room. You've got limited time and you want to make the most of it so take time to clean your dorm room. Every student I've talked to has said that they work better in a cleaner environment and I have yet to hear of a person who likes to work in a dirty, crowded place. Make sure you take out the trash, do the dishes, make the bed, and clear the floor. I promise you'll be happier and less distracted.

9. Don't become boy-crazy (or girl-crazy if you're a guy). It might look like everyone's getting a girlfriend or boyfriend, and it could be possible that all of your friends are. Take a deep breath and slow down...the right person will come into your life at the right time. I'm speaking from experience when I say, "Don't become so obsessed with guys (or girls) that you put that special someone above other important tasks, like homework and involvement in orgs." This isn't an attempt to discourage you from having a boyfriend or girlfriend. I simply want to encourage you to form healthy relationships with many different people and get your work done in a timely manner.

10. Take breaks. Especially if you've got piles and piles of homework, make sure you schedule frequent breaks to get up, stretch, drink a glass of water, and take a moment to pray. You'll appreciate the little spaces of time to stop thinking about that massive paper that's due tomorrow and focus your thoughts on God instead.

11. Be money wise. Set up a financial plan for how to manage your money and stick with it! A Frozen Minty Kiss from the college coffee shop every morning might seem almost too good to pass up, but in the long run you'll be running out of precious dollars and when another fun activity comes up, you might not be able to participate because you can't afford it. Think about where your money is going and be sure to tithe 10% to God. Having an emergency fund for medical problems or weekend excursions when the bank is closed is another good idea. Here's an awesome financial organizer you might want to check out! It may be too complicated for the average college student, but I'm throwing it out there anyways because you'll most likely appreciate it someday.

12. Listen to advice. Proverbs 19:20 says, "Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future." {ESV} Ask your parents, professors, and friends for advice on various things and prayerfully consider what they say. If you want to grow wiser, listen to wise people. It's that simple and it really works!

Cry out for insight,
and ask for understanding.
Search for them as you would for silver;
seek them like hidden treasures.
Then you will understand what it means to fear the LORD,
and you will gain knowledge of God.
-Proverbs 2:3-5 {NLT}

{pre-college me during my senior year 2 years ago on vacation in Madang, Papua New Guinea}


kimberly said...

Thanks for the list! Those were some great reminders for me before I take the plunge into the big wide world of college in a few months. :)

Sara said...

This is a great list & post! A lot of these things I should really, really work on. Thank you for posting this! ♥

Jessica said...

So entertaining!

Courtney said...

Loved this!