12 Bible Verses for the Struggling College Student

12 Bible Verses for the Struggling College Student

"The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." Psalm 18:2
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In college, you are suppose to find all the answers, have the most friends, ace all your classes, and find your future husband. Life is suddenly suppose to make sense. Unfortunately, that is so wrong. College is hard, in more ways than just classes. Like the rest of the human population, as college students we experience loneliness, heartbreak, and stress just as much as adults, sometimes even more. Sure, we have supportive parents who always know what to do, and encouraging friends who love to share their advice, but sometimes it is not enough.

The Bible shows us how, as people of God, we are given the opportunity to be challenged, grow, and overcome all to spread and glorify the name of God. Although we experience setback and loss, God has given us his powerful words for everyday encouragement and advice. If he, ultimately, has all the answers why don't we use them? By reflecting on God’s Word, letting these principles become the foundation for your future, and reading what He has to say on these different difficult topics, although these verses will not solve every problem, they will bring you encouragement. You will see how God is working in and through your life. 

When you need strength

“I can do all things through God, who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13.

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7.

When you are nervous 

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your path straight." Proverbs 3:6-7.

When you are feeling overwhelmed 

“When spirits grow faint within me, it is you who knows my way.” Psalm 142:3.

When you experience heartbreak 

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3.

When you experience grief:

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4.

When you fear the future

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6.

When you seek answers to difficult questions

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7.

When you are tired

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29.

When you are overcome by temptation

“So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:12-13. 

When you are looking for peace

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7.

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27.

Reflect on God’s Word and let these principles become the foundation for your future. It is important to know that God is always with us no matter where we go in life, guiding our footsteps along the way. 

Cover Image Credit: Christian College Guide

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4 reasons how Drake's New Album May Help Us Fight Mental Illness

Increasing Evidence Points to Music as a Potential Solution to the Mental Health Problem.

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Okay, You caught me!

I am NOT just talking about everybody's favorite actor-turned-rapper— or second, if you've seen Childish Gambino's "This is America" music video. Unfortunately, current research hasn't explored specific genres and artists. However, studies HAVE provided significant evidence in possibilities for music to treat mental health disorders. Now, before you say something that your parents would not be proud of, ask yourself if you can really blame me for wanting to get your attention. This is an urgent matter concerning each one of us. If we all face the truth, we could very well reach one step closer to solving one of society's biggest problems: Mental Health.

The Problem:

As our nation continues to bleed from tragedies like the horrific shooting that shattered the lives of 70 families whose loved ones just wanted to watch the "Dark Knight Rises" during its first hours of release, as well as the traumatic loss of seventeen misfortunate innocents to the complications of mental health disorders in the dear city of Parkland— a city mere hours from our very own community— it's impossible to deny the existence of mental illness. As many of us can already vouch, mental illness is much more common than what most would think: over 19 million adults in America suffer from a mental health disorder. Picture that: a population slightly less than that of Florida is plagued by hopelessness, isolation, and utter despair.

Disease in the form of depression holds millions of people prisoner, as anxieties instill crippling desperation and too many struggles with finding peace. This can be you. It could be your brother, your sister, your mother, your father, your cousin, your aunt, your uncle, your friend, your roommate, your fraternity brother, your sorority sister, your lab partner, or just your classmate that sits in the corner of the lecture hall with a head buried into a notebook that camouflages all emotion.

I hope we— the UCF community— understand the gravity of the problem, but it's clear that some still see mental illness as a disease that affects only a handful of "misfits" who "terrorize" our streets, while the numbers reveal more to the issue. In fact, 1 in 5 Americans suffers from a mental health disorder. The problem is so serious that suicide has risen to become the second-leading cause of death among 20 to 24-year-olds. While many continue to ask for more antidepressants and even the occasional "proper spanking," recent studies indicate increases in occurrence, such as one in depression from 5.9% in 2012 to 8.2% in 2015. So, clearly, none of that is working.

The Evidence:

If we really want to create a world where our children are free from the chains of mental illness, we need to think outside the box. Doctors and scientists won't really talk about this since it's still a growing field of research, but music has strong potential. We don't have any options at the moment, which means we need to change our mindset about music and to continue to explore its medicinal benefits. If you're still skeptical because of the title, then please consider these 4 pieces of solid evidence backed by scientific research:

1. Music has been proven to improve disorders like Parkinson's Disease.

Researchers sponsored by the National Institute of Health— the country's largest research agency— saw an improvement in the daily function of patients with Parkinson's Disease. This makes patients shake uncontrollably, which often prevents them from complete functionality. The disease is caused by a shortage of dopamine— a chemical your neurons, or brain cells, release; since music treats this shortage, there's an obvious ability to increase dopamine levels. As numerous studies connect dopamine shortages to mental illnesses like depression, addiction, and ADHD, someone could possibly use music's proven ability to increase dopamine levels to treat said problems.

2. Listening to the music has the potential to activate your brain's "reward center."

In 2013, Valorie Salimpoor and fellow researchers conducted a study that connected subjects' pleasure towards music to a specific part of the brain. This key structure, the nucleus accumbens, is the body's "reward center," which means all of you have experienced its magical powers. In fact, any time the brain detects a rewarding sensation— drinking ice-cold water after a five-mile run in sunny, humid Florida, eating that Taco Bell chalupa after a long happy hour at Knight's Library, and even consuming recreational drugs— this structure releases more of that fantastic dopamine. So, with further research into specifics, doctors may soon be prescribing your daily dose of tunes for your own health.

3. Listening to Music may be more effective than prescription anti-anxiety medication.

In 2013, Mona Lisa Chanda and Daniel J. Levitin— two accomplished doctors in psychology— reviewed a study wherein patients waiting to undergo surgery were given either anti-anxiety medications or music to listen to. The study took into account cortisol levels, which are used daily by healthcare professionals to gauge patient levels. This "stress hormone" was actually found to be lower in patients who listened to classical music rather those who took the recommended dose of prescription drugs. Sit there and think about that for a second: these patients actually felt more relaxed with something as simple as MUSIC than with chemicals that are made specifically to force patients into relaxation before surgery. Why pop a Xanax when you can just listen to Beethoven?

4. Music may release the chemicals that help you naturally relax and feel love.

Further studies continue to justify music's place in the medical world as results demonstrate increases in substances such as prolactin— a hormone that produces a relaxing sensation— as well as oxytocin— the substance that promotes warmth and happiness during a hug between mother and child. So this study basically showed us that music has the potential to actually make you feel the way you did when Mom or Dad would embrace you with the warmest hug you've ever felt.

The Future:

The evidence I present you with today is ultimately just a collection of individual situations where specific people found specific results. There are a lot of variables when it comes to any research study; therefore, data is never truly certain. We should take these findings as strong suggestions to a possible solution, but we must remember the possibility of failure in our search.

The neurochemistry behind the music and its medicinal properties is just beginning to unfold before the scientific community. In fact, extremely qualified scientists from the National Institute of Health— the organization that basically runs any important medical study in the United States— continue to remind us of the subject's youth with the constant use of "potential" behind any and all of their findings. Therefore, it's our responsibility as a community to look into this— not just that of the scientists at the National Institute of Health.

We're all surrounded by music. It's at the bars. It's in our ears during all-night sessions at the UCF library. It's keeping us awake through East Colonial traffic at 7:00 AM while hordes of students focus on their cell phone screens instead of the paved roads ahead. It's in the shoes we wear, the actions we take, and the words we say. IF YOU'RE READING THIS: it's accessible to you. So, don't be shy, and try to play with your Spotify account, or even just on YouTube, and gauge the power of music. As more and more of us see the light, we can promote the movement and carry on as more research comes out to support us.

Drop the bars, drop those addictive pills that destroy your body slowly, and pick up your headphones and press PLAY.

Just relax, close your eyes, smile, and live.

Cover Image Credit:

@champagnepapi

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4 simple Grammar mistakes that people need to stop making

Basic grammar is not that hard.

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Growing up, my grandpa would always correct my dad's grammar. He recognized the importance of speaking and writing clearly and correctly and wanted to pass that along to his son. As a result, my dad did the same thing to me. I constantly heard things like, "you mean 'Mom and me,'" or "you played well, not good." For better or for worse, I often pick up on small errors that people make in speech or writing, thanks to him. Here are some mistakes that keep me up at night that really shouldn't be that hard to fix:


1. Could vs. Couldn't Care Less

I'm convinced that more people say this phrase incorrectly than correctly. If you stop and think about it for a second, it's obvious which is the right way to say it. If you could care less about something, that means you care about it at least a little bit. If you couldn't care less, you literally do not care at all. I could definitely care less about people messing this up.


2. Breath vs. Breathe

I won't spend too much time on this one. Breathe is the verb, and breath is the noun. You can't take a breathe, and fish can't breath underwater. Easy fix.


3. Who's vs. Whose

This is probably the most common mistake I've seen people make, and it's also my least favorite. I've seen countless people on social media say, "who's mans is this?" That phrase in general sounds really dumb to me, but I'll focus on the first word. "Who's" is a contraction of "who is." Would you ever ask, "who is car is parked outside my house?" I hope not. "Whose" is possessive. If you're asking whom something belongs to, use that one.


4. General Words/Phrases That People Mess Up Or Don't Actually Exist

Finally, here are some words and phrases that people get wrong all the time or that have just been made up along the way: First, the word "nother." It looks odd written out like that—that's because it's not a real word. People use it in the phrase, "a whole nother," as in, "there's no way I can sit through a whole nother class today. I have to get to BTC." It's not a word. You probably mean, "another whole class." Another common mistake is when people substitute, "for all intents and purposes," (correct) with, "for all intensive purposes," (incorrect). No matter how intensive your purposes may be, that's not how the phrase goes. Finally, people tend to say they don't feel well when they're sick. In this context, "well" is an adverb. If you don't feel well, that means your nerves don't work properly, and you can't tell when you're touching something with your hands. If you're under the weather, you don't feel good, which is an adjective.

Most people don't care about grammar that much, which is fine. But if you're in an interview or writing a cover letter, it's probably best to proofread and avoid making dumb, preventable errors.

Cover Image Credit:

https://www.pexels.com/photo/bookcase-books-bookshop-bookstore-220326/

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