Keeping Your Faith As A Christian In College

Here's What College Christians Do When Coffee Isn't Cutting It Anymore

You know what they say, "caffeine gets me started, Jesus keeps me going…"

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I will be the first to say that there are times when I feel young, motivated, and drawn to achieve and discover what God has in store for me. Heck, you probably feel that surge of motivation to get everything done, to boost your resume, to work ahead, to work hard to get to where He wants you to be. But I will not hesitate to say that there are also times in my life, seemingly more often than I would like to admit, that I am worried, anxious, nervous, and apprehensive about where I am headed. It's the times I realize I'm almost 20 years old, that I'm halfway done with college, that I may never live at home again. It's in the moments that I miss my mom and dad, that I feel like I'm walking with my hands out in front of me, and time is flying by at a hundred miles an hour that I feel like God is a light year away.

But at the same time, it is in these moments that we have to remember to lock our eyes on Him. Please don't look at your phone. Don't look at someone else's Instagram. Don't look at where you've been. Look to Jesus. Let Him hold you, wrap his arms around you. Jesus hugs are the best hugs.

Work toward your degree. Work on your earthly friendships but be sure to do that in His glory and by His word. Chase after the author of love and the one who painted the sunsets, thought up the rules to golf, breathed life into the world, and became man. How are you supposed to figure out your purpose in this temporary world if you don't first follow the one who created your purpose?

Do your best, sweetie. Study for the test. You can hit the gym, do your squats and pull all-nighters, but do so in His name. In our weariness, in our brokenness, and on our days that we are utterly overwhelmed, stressed, and feel defeated by whatever it may be, take a deep breath. Look at where your feet are planted, because they're there for a reason. He has brought you this far, so trust Him to bring you to your next step.

In the meantime, remember that waiting on Jesus doesn't mean waiting around. Spend your time, don't let time take a toll on you. God will, in His time, reveal things to you. But the spirit of God, the Holiest of Spirits, the smile that sparked the sun and the timekeeper of the days, is guiding you through today. Every day is a new opportunity to go bravely about your tasks, embracing each one as though it is your purpose in this place.

Do not approach these tasks with fear, questioning failure, or worth, but rather, ask the Lord how this will serve Him, how He can be put on display through this struggle, through this hard task, or through this moment. There is so much peace found in trusting His plans for your day. He will take care of you, He will show you so much more. There is so much more.

Embrace what He is already doing. Trust Him with your tomorrow. Give Him today.

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So, You Want To Be A Nurse?

You're going to find that nursing isn't really about the medicine or the assessments. Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can't teach you compassion and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a nurse.

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To the college freshman who just decided on nursing,

I know why you want to be a nurse.

Nurses are important. Nursing seems fun and exciting, and you don't think you'll ever be bored. The media glorifies navy blue scrubs and stethoscopes draped around your neck, and you can't go anywhere without hearing about the guaranteed job placement. You passed AP biology and can name every single bone in the human body. Blood, urine, feces, salvia -- you can handle all of it with a straight face. So, you think that's what being a nurse is all about, right? Wrong.

You can search but you won't find the true meaning of becoming a nurse until you are in the depths of nursing school and the only thing getting you through is knowing that in a few months, you'll be able to sign the letters "BSN" after your name...

You can know every nursing intervention, but you won't find the true meaning of nursing until you sit beside an elderly patient and know that nothing in this world can save her, and all there's left for you to do is hold her hand and keep her comfortable until she dies.

You'll hear that one of our biggest jobs is being an advocate for our patients, but you won't understand until one day, in the middle of your routine physical assessment, you find the hidden, multi-colored bruises on the 3-year-old that won't even look you in the eyes. Your heart will drop to your feet and you'll swear that you will not sleep until you know that he is safe.

You'll learn that we love people when they're vulnerable, but you won't learn that until you have to give a bed bath to the middle-aged man who just had a stroke and can't bathe himself. You'll try to hide how awkward you feel because you're young enough to be his child, but as you try to make him feel as comfortable as possible, you'll learn more about dignity at that moment than some people learn in an entire lifetime.

Every class will teach you about empathy, but you won't truly feel empathy until you have to care for your first prisoner in the hospital. The guards surrounding his room will scare the life out of you, and you'll spend your day knowing that he could've raped, murdered, or hurt people. But, you'll walk into that room, put your fears aside, and remind yourself that he is a human being still, and it's your job to care, regardless of what he did.

Each nurse you meet will beam with pride when they tell you that we've won "Most Trusted Profession" for seventeen years in a row, but you won't feel that trustworthy. In fact, you're going to feel like you know nothing sometimes. But when you have to hold the sobbing, single mother who just received a positive breast cancer diagnosis, you'll feel it. Amid her sobs of wondering what she will do with her kids and how she's ever going to pay for treatment, she will look at you like you have all of the answers that she needs, and you'll learn why we've won that award so many times.

You'll read on Facebook about the nurses who forget to eat and pee during their 12-hour shifts and swear that you won't forget about those things. But one day you'll leave the hospital after an entire shift of trying to get your dying patient to eat anything and you'll realize that you haven't had food since 6:30 A.M. and you, too, will be one of those nurses who put everything else above themselves.

Too often we think of nursing as the medicine and the procedures and the IV pumps. We think of the shots and the bedpans and the baths. We think all the lab values and the blood levels that we have to memorize. We think it's all about the organs and the diseases. We think of the hospitals and the weekends and the holidays that we have to miss.

But, you're going to find that nursing isn't really about the medicine or the assessments. Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can't teach you compassion, and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a nurse.

So, you think you want to be a nurse?

Go for it. Study. Cry. Learn everything. Stay up late. Miss out on things. Give it absolutely everything that you have.

Because I promise you that the decision to dedicate your life to saving others is worth every sleepless night, failed test, or bad day that you're going to encounter during these next four years. Just keep holding on.

Sincerely,

The nursing student with just one year left.

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I'm 20 Years Old And Still Love Dying Easter Eggs

Who doesn't love this historic tradition?

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Easter has always been an important holiday in my household. It holds both the religious and family aspects. However, there is one tradition that I still hold very close to my heart.

My favorite part about Easter is getting to paint the eggs. Not an Easter has passed that my family hasn't partaken in it. I look forward to it each year, and it wouldn't be Easter without them.

Every year the designs become more and more intricate. The weeks leading up to Easter, I look up different designs on Pinterest in preparation for the "big day". Nothing can make me more excited about this holiday.

Now, that I'm away at college, we have to plan when these traditions will take place. It becomes hard trying to fit in a week's worth of stuff over one weekend, but this will not be missed.

Fitting an entire Easter dinner the night before Easter and dying eggs all in the same day, but it will be done. I love getting to become creative on such a silly thing.

In all the years I've been dying the eggs, I don't think I've ever actually eaten the egg after I've been too afraid to crack into the beautifully decorated egg. Also, hard-boiled eggs are not exactly appetizing to me either.

As I'm getting older, it's even more important that I carry on these traditions. Something so small as dying eggs holds a lot of meaning, and I enjoy having time put aside each year to spend it with my parents.

Going from a little kid who loved to drop the eggs in multiple color dye and drawing crazy pictures, to being in college and still wanting to continue on the tradition.

So yes, I'm 20 and still enjoy partaking in a little kid activity. Through my eyes though, it's so much more. It's carrying on a tradition and getting to spend time with my parents. I couldn't ask for anything better this Easter season.

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