I felt led by God to write this blog post as somebody who has been in education for many years and knowing that there are students who have started or returned back to school, college and university.
I wanted to share some tips on how to keep going, stand strong, have peace of mind and please God throughout your academic journey and beyond. Being a student can be stressful and tiring at times. You may face temptation and societal pressures that can cloud your mind – but with God by your side you can rise above them.
I pray you find the following tips helpful and that it encourages you to stand strong and finish strong.
Find YOU time – a time where you can be alone with God
It’s so easy to get caught up with the hustle and bustle of life as a student. I mean if it’s not thinking about deadlines, it’s about preparing for class the next day, if not that – then revising for an exam, maybe meal prepping?…if not that – then maybe trying to be social and hang out with family & friends. We can get so caught with life that we forget to give ourselves ‘me time’ and fellowship with God. This was me…and thinking back, now I know why I was always anxious, stressed and unsettled during my former years in education!
It’s so important that you make time for God, pray and read His word – you will feel refreshed and revived. God is the source of everything – He is our peace, our healer, our comfort, our strength, our joy, our companion, our lover, our teacher. EVERYTHING. He gives us wisdom, guides us and instructs us for our good.
If you seek God, whatever you are hoping – whether that be for better grades, or peace of mind, or strength. It will surely come to pass in Jesus name. (If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you – John 15:7)
Connect with Christ-like people
You know where the scripture says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend” – Proverbs 27.17. This is so true! Before I started University, I never really had friends who had my best interest. I was always around ladies who always wanted to go out, be noticed by men, involve me in sticky situations and didn’t take education seriously. I would always find myself in some sort of trouble or mixup. So when I started University, I was expecting the same thing to happen – which did in my first year! (I wasn’t born again yet). My grades were failing, I was missing lectures and I was so close to being kicked out (and then God stepped in). I was connected to some Christians who evangelised to me and told me about their campus fellowship – I went to one of their services and my life changed. God moved and I gave my life to Christ. I also became very good friends with some people from the fellowship who encouraged me, prayed for me and helped me to focus on my studies. They saw the best in me! They really sharpened me and almost 11years later I am still close friends with them. I encourage you all to connect with Christ-like people and fellowship with them. Also find out if your school/college/university has a Christian society or fellowship that you can join. If not, why don’t you start one? (ask God first!).
Find a trusted mentor (if led by God)
We know that God counsels and guides us but He also places men and women of God in our lives to provide us godly counsel too. I am so thankful that I have a mentor now who is just super amazing. She corrects me in love, gives me godly advice and encourages me to know God more and more. I didn’t have a mentor during my time in college or university and although in University I found God and had a relationship with Him. I believe my university experience (in fact my whole education experience) would have been better if I had someone I was accountable too. It would have saved me from a lot of mishaps and mayhem.
This scripture comes to mind when writing this (Where there is no guidance, people fall, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety – Proverbs 11:14)
Think about what Jesus would do
No seriously. I’ve had so many moments when I thought about what Jesus would do in a particular situation. You are not immuned to conflicts or societal pressures as a student – they will come. But you just have to ponder on what Jesus would do, ask Him for directions and He will guide you. This will save you from being succumbed to temptations, maintaining peace with your peers and also a way of glorifying God in the way you conduct yourself in action and speech.
Be organised, be disciplined and work hard..
I have this mindset that whatever I do, it should be done to glorify God (Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God – 1 Corinthians 10:31). How can I glorify God if I’m half-hearted with my assignments or I am lazy and can’t be bothered with education? I believe as Christians, we have the spirit of excellence because the God of excellence lives inside of us. Being organised, disciplined and working hard are some of the keys to succeeding in your studies all for the glory of God. This will require you to put God in the centre of all your activities! (It will also prevent you from stressing about deadlines and exams!)
This is similar to my first point, but I wanted to reinforce the importance of prayer and having a good prayer life as a student and even beyond. The bible tells us in Ephesians 6:18 to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions (not sometimes…) with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people”. Prayer is the key to success in all areas of your lives. Things don’t happen or change until we pray. Pray your way through success as students!!
Know who you are in Christ
Knowing what God says about you and who you are in Him is key, especially when you’re in an environment where it’s easy to conform to worldly patterns and accept what people say about you. I would often listen to what my peers and teachers said about me and used that to form my identity. I was like a yo-yo. If someone said something nice about me I’ll be happy, if they said something that wasn’t so nice, I’ll be upset. Or I would act in a way that was displeasing to God by partaking in sin – due to lack of identity! When you understand your identity in Christ you alter the way you live, behave and arise above any conflicts, temptations, negative emotions and mindsets that may come your way as a student and beyond .
There are some scriptures that come to mind pertaining to identity:
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. – Galatians 2:20
The Holy Spirit lives in us, so we bear the fruits…
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. – Galatians 5:22-23
We are of God and not of the world…
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. – Romans 12:2
I pray that you find my tips helpful!! I pray for good success in your studies and that you are not anxious or grow weary in Jesus Name, amen. I pray that you will always seek God and be strong to withstand any societal pressures and temptations in school, college or university. God is your strength and hope! You got this.
Written by Tai (Freewoman)