What I’ve Learned in College

What I’ve Learned in College

I just finished up my undergrad life. Wow, what a ride. To be completely real, I hated my undergrad the majority of the time. I felt that the college I chose was a poor fit for me. I felt constricted by the small, private university’s strict rules and conservative, close-minded education. But now that I am done, I have realized that it is vital to look back at the life lessons I’ve learned and pluck out the positives as I move forward.

  1. I have met some good people and great friends. Sometimes it felt like all of the people around me sucked. But now, I’m at a place where I realize that friendships have its ups and downs– but at the end of the day, if your friendship is intact, it’s absolutely something to be grateful for. Appreciate the people in your life while they are there.
  2. Keep pursuing passions, even when no one else is spurring you on. In high school, teachers often would pay you extra attention and daily motivate you to pursue the specific interests and skills that you possess. In college, it’s definitely not like that a lot of the time. Instead, you have to push yourself and discover independently. When the opportunities seem slim– you need to create them yourself.
  3. Your choices now are deeply impactful upon your future. It’s easy to get caught up in the short-term perspective instead of thinking long-term, especially as a college student. But it’s what you need to do. Just because a major is difficult now, it doesn’t mean that you need to immediately switch to something easier. At graduation, you want to be that person who feels accomplished and has a great job lined up. Keep making choices for the future.
  4. Don’t stop being involved. I made the mistake of hiding away in my room for my senior year of college. I was just so over it. That was such a lousy decision. Stay involved, keep making friends, and be intentional. College is all about what you put into it.
  5. Don’t let a significant other distract you from who you are and what you want. College is a pivotal time. Don’t forget what you want just because a guy/girl steps in and asks you to change your plans for them. Know what you want and don’t want and don’t easily change your values for others. You’ll regret it.
  6. Don’t forget to have fun along the way. This year, my life was schoolwork. My friends would suggest having fun instead of hanging out to do homework. I forgot what fun even looked like because I was a whole bundle of stress. Don’t forget this is your life, these are the people in your life, and you need some fun.
  7. Don’t get in a doom loop of overthinking. Sometimes you just need to try things, explore, and keep doing. Sitting around, thinking about your life or plans is not the most productive all of the time. Don’t look back at past decisions with regret. Keep hustling. You can do it. Move on forward, pal.
  8. Learn to love where you are, no matter where it is. I was full of self pity and bitterness about where I was. But now I realize, if you’re not able to leave– you might as well learn to love where you are and find joy in it!

This is my last night in my dorm room. As much disdain I’ve felt about this university, I sit here typing and feeling sad about leaving this undergrad season. But, I need to push forward and see what’s next and apply these lessons in my new season!

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Easter Reflection

Easter Reflection

When Easter rolls around, most people begin to think about Christ’s actions of defeating death and saving humans from their sins. But lately, my mind has taken a slightly different Biblical approach to this holiday.

I’m currently reading the book of Exodus. We are all familiar with the part of the narrative where God miraculously releases the Israelites from the Egyptians and God speaks to Moses at Mount Sinai. However in the later chapters of Exodus, the tabernacle culture begins to develop more strongly.

The tabernacle structure consisted of the Holy of Holies, Holy Place, Levites, and the twelve tribes. The Holy of Holies was the center of the tabernacle, where the Ark of the Covenant resided, and where God’s presence was the strongest. The Holy Place was outside of this area. The Levites were on the outside of this with the purpose of protection. Lastly, the twelve tribes were on the outskirts.

So you might be asking why I’m choosing to write all of these details. Instead of God only speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, God made it possible for His presence to be with this tabernacle. Wherever this structure moved, God chose to continue to dwell there. He chose not to merely be restricted to a mountain, but to physically be with His people in the wilderness. This shows his character, full of grace.

What does this have to do with Easter? When Christ died on the cross, yes, he did it for our sins. But more importantly, he did it to be even closer to His people. Because Jesus sacrificed His life, the need for traditional sacrifices and burnt offerings were removed.  Because of this, not only priests can experience Him; the hurting, the broken, the sick, the outcasts can all draw near and have real relationships with their Creator.

And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. (Matthew 27:51)

He made a way to be with His people in the wilderness. But later, He made the ultimate sacrifice to be in the day by day moments of all of His people. The veil separated the Holy of Holies, the place where God’s presence resided. He broke the divisions to be with his people. His presence is not merely limited to a structure, but can be accessed by all.

Therefore, this Easter we should acknowledge that Christ desires to be with us, so much so, that he made this decision to die on the cross. However, because of his resurrection, we can choose to have a lifestyle like the Israelites— physically centered around God. He defeated death and his presence is still available to dwell with us.