4 Goals For A Final Year

4 Goals For A Final Year

The Past Is Behind Me And My Future Is Bright
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Today is the beginning of the end. I walked onto this campus as a scared freshman, unsure of where God would lead me in the years ahead. And I step outside onto the sidewalk today with the realization that I have one year left. One year left to make an impact, to explore, to adventure, and to learn about where God will continue to guide me as I leave this campus and this community come May. It's a terrifying thing to think about, the future is so unknown and uncertain. But, I am excited and ready to venture onward, sharing my passions, gifts, and love for Christ with the world.

But, I still have one year left and He isn't finished with me yet. So, I want to share 4 Goals I have as I enter into the final stretch.

1. Have confidence, no matter the circumstance.

I hope to go into this year with confidence. Confidence in who I am and where I am going once I leave this place. I know I won't be able to do it on my own. So, I'll lean on Christ. I'll go into this year confident in who God is and because I am confident in God's love, I will lean on Him as I may lose sight of my confidence throughout the year. I will be confident in who I am in Christ because His love covers me, no matter the circumstance.

2. Be bold and daring.

This year is the time to be bold and daring; to adventure into the unknown with joy and ambition. I've been known to hold back, because of fear or uncertainty, but this year I wish to experience moments of insane courage. I hope to experience a year where I am bold and daring in all circumstances.

3. Dream big and with an open mind.

I am going to be brutally honest. I've spent a good part of my time here at Judson afraid to dream big. I came in with certain goals, hopes, and dreams. But somewhere along the way I lost sight of them. I lost confidence in my dreams and I closed my mind off to opportunities and chances. I go into this year with a new understanding. An understanding with myself and with God that I will dream big, because through Him, all things are possible. So, I'll dream big. I'll live this year with an open mind and heart, ready for God to take my big dreams and use them to further His Kingdom.

4. Lead with hands and heart wide-open.

This year I have the pleasure to be apart of University Ministries here on campus and I am so excited, but in all honesty, I am also extremely nervous. But, I've come to the decision to lead with open hands this year. I lay my hands out, with palms up and I say, "Lord, take it all. Use me this year to make an impact and to share your Grace with others." I also come ready to lead with an open heart. I know it will be difficult, but I want to be vulnerable this year. I want to be authentic. I want to share with others my passion and my heart, with the hopes that maybe just one heart will be impacted, not by me, but by God speaking through me.

So, today marks the beginning of the end. But, I have one year. One year left to make an impact, to grow in confidence, and to be amazed by what God does through me as I go into my Senior year.

Cover Image Credit: Stocksnap

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I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.
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I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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5 Ways To Tackle Credit Overload In College As A Sleep-Deprived Senior

So you think you can take 19 credits. Well, you can!

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So you were ambitious and went into credit overload this semester. Cheers to you! You're hopefully right on track to graduate, if not ahead. Regardless of the reason you chose to bog yourself down with more work than others, here are some tips I've come up with along the way for a successful semester.

1. Make a daily to-do list for each class.

Every day I make a list of all of my classes and what is upcoming for each class. That includes assigned reading, homework and upcoming quizzes and tests. This allows me to visually plan what is on my plate for each day. I am also far less likely to forget an assignment if I continuously write it down until I complete it.

2. Prioritize these items!

Rank the items you just listed to your highest priority (due today or tomorrow) to least priority (due a few weeks from now). This allows you to manage your time and get what you need to get done on time.

3. Try to do your homework on the day it is assigned.

I understand that this is obviously easier said than done. But, one of my professors gave my class this advice in my very first semester of college, and I have remembered it and cherished that advice ever since.

If you are assigned homework on Monday in a class that meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday, it is much better to get it out of the way on Monday afternoon rather than wait until Tuesday night (or Wednesday morning, if you're good at procrastinating). This also lessens your workload on weekends.

4. Etch out time every day to spend in the library.

I never used to believe it when people said you do better work in the library because at home you have more freedom and are distracted. Now that I am in my senior year of college, I have finally found that to be true. I wish I realized that sooner. Now I spend at least three hours a day in the campus library three days a week. If you want to spread it out to one hour a day, that's fine, too. Find a schedule that works for you.

5. Keep your eye on the prize.

My university has a web page with a countdown to graduation. I keep it bookmarked on my laptop. When I am feeling unmotivated, I click the link and remind myself of how many days there are until graduation. If your university doesn't have this feature, you can make your own graduation countdown on a variety of countdown websites. Find something tangible to focus on achieving. You can do this!

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