I bet that you think that I am going to jump on the band wagon with everyone else and tell you “Get off the Social Networks”, “Go ACTUALLY interact with people”! While those are great ideas, that is not where we are going today.
This is the time of year when students, especially those in college, are starting to buckle down preparing for finals, there is a lot of time spent in the library, and countless hours spent with a pot of coffee crammed at the little dorm room desks with books that could easily weigh down the Hindenburg! It is not until the day of the final that these student finally see the light of day, emerging from the the dorm like vampires seeing the the first morning rays of sun.
I am a huge proponent of studying, and making the best possible grades you can while you are in college, because it really does matter when you get out of school and are in the workplace, but there has to be time for study breaks, and just time to allow your brain to rest, you can only take in so much information at one sitting, you also need to have time for your own spiritual development that can sometimes be lacking during finals prep.
1. You need time to allow your brain to rest! Believe it or not, there is actually studies out there that are supporting this idea of allowing the brain to have a time of rest. If you try to cram all the information that you can into one big study binge, your recall come test time is actually diminished. The word that my college President would share with us almost on a daily basis was “balance”. Balance in everything! That includes balance in your studies. Only you know you! You know how long you can study before you zone out and all the word on the page begin to blur together in a sea of gray on a page. Take a break and go see a friend, visit the student union In Real Life!, just be diligent in returning to your school work after an appropriate break!
2. College Education is also about learning to interact with others on a professional level! There will come a day when you are going to be called on to collaborate on a project with colleague that you may not know or, worse, you simply do not like! Part of the college experience is learning to create teams, learning to interact on a professional level, outside of personal feelings or bias’ and getting a project done. Don’t feel like you have to tackle the study time alone! Get together In Real Life with other students to share ideas on the subject, get a different perspective, more importantly to have some genuine human contact!
3. Schedule time for your own Spiritual Development! I have seen over and over again in churches that I have work at, when the end of the semester starts to come into focus, students begin to be seen less and less at church, they are trying to cram in an entire semester of studying into a couple of weeks. The problem with that is, most people only attend church on average, once a week. If you skip that time, then you have not had adequate time to regain your focus and recharge your spiritual battery. You need that time In Real Life to hear what God is saying, through your pastor! Give opportunity for your church family to encourage you, or, if you are luckily to have a church like I did when I was in college, invite you to lunch with their family because you were just a “poor college student”.
I know that these are not mind blowing ideas, but they are worth repeating just because we all allow ourselves to get stuck in a rut sometimes and need a simple reminder that we are able to adjust if we just put our minds to it.