I’ve never been good at juggling. It always looks so easy and I thought it would be a cool thing to learn to impress my kids. But I’ve tried…and failed. Being a college student can feel a lot like a juggling act. There are classes to attend, mounds of homework to complete, friendships to foster, church to attend, and a campus ministry in which to invest (just to name a few). After a while, while trying to juggle all of these balls, it can be difficult not to drop one or maybe more. Furthermore, it can be tricky just deciding on what balls to pick up and juggle in the first place. Here are a few helpful guidelines that I came across in a recent article that can help you focus your attention as you seek to live life for Jesus on campus and live out the juggling act that is college.
- There is no greater way you can spend your time, energy, and effort than pursuing Christ with all your heart. Education matters. That’s why you’re going to college. But pursuing Christ matters more. Remember, you can make only one thing your central aim in life. Make it the right thing. Ask God for much grace to keep him at the center.
- Join a church. Find one that preaches the Word, loves worshiping God as a body, and seeks to make Christ known. Once you find it, jump in and start building relationships.
- Make a plan your first semester for how you are going to be in the Word. If you use a Bible reading plan, make it a part of your daily schedule now. If you don’t currently have a plan for reading the Word, make one before you leave.
- Don’t spend your college career talking about how you will follow Christ in the future. Follow him now the way you want to follow him then.
- Take advantage of the unique opportunity to get to know a wide variety of people from different backgrounds who have all been sovereignly put in the same dorm. Ask people to tell you their story. Sit, listen, and ask follow-up questions. Tell them you like to pray for people you’ve met and ask how you can pray for them.
- Seek to radically love others as Christ did. Avoid gossips and gossiping. It’s gross. Loving like Christ isn’t.
- Remember, following passionately after Christ is not going to be the norm (yes, sadly even at Christian colleges this can be true). Look to God’s Word for the standard of what an authentic follower of Christ looks like and seek others who seek him in the same way.
- Look for opportunities to serve. Serve broadly, serve lovingly, serve faithfully, and serve diligently. Look for where there is a need and dive in.
- Remember that others are going through the same changes and new experiences. Look for opportunities to speak truth about the gospel to people who want a fresh start in college. Show them the hope offered in the gospel and that forgiveness is available to them.
- Attend every opportunity for biblical teaching that you can. Go to a campus ministry’s weekly meeting and invite someone from your dorm to go with you.
- Work hard. Remember the privilege that you are afforded and respond appropriately. Fight against laziness by remembering you are seeking to please Christ, not your professor (or mom or dad).
- When you find someone you are interested in dating, make sure that their one aim in life is the same as yours (see #1 above).
- Take advantage of the variety of classes and opportunities that will only be available to you in college. Look for at least one class to take for the sheer love of learning about a subject you have never studied before (or may never have the time to study again).
- Make a prayer list and pray for the people on it. Start with your roommate and the guys down the hall who don’t give a rip about Christ.
- Pursue God joyfully. Is there anything greater than knowing Christ? Make the joy of pursuing Christ a hallmark of your life.
I want to add one more.
- Start thinking about your summer…now. I know that sounds crazy, but your summers in college can be one of the most strategic times of your college career and one of the most catalytic times for your walk with Jesus. Mercy Hill has several different summer projects available to help you learn about the mission of God and grow in your relationship with Jesus. Applications are available, so go ahead…start planning your summer now.