How College Taught Me To Mature

What My Almost First Semester Of College Has Taught Me

College is full of up and downs, don't be afraid to take it on head first, but always hold your own.

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With Thanksgiving break over, the semester is officially coming to a close. So many things have happened this semester that have helped me grow. It went by faster than I thought it would, but I have learned quite a lot about myself.

I learned that you need to study WAY more in college than in high school. It is better to do assignments, and other homework like papers in advance so you don't get overwhelmed. Especially towards the end of the semester, there are a lot of papers, and projects due along with the finals themselves that can be quite intimidating if you don't start early.

If you're a girl, you do not need to worry about boys, or having a boyfriend. Stressing yourself out over a boy is not worth losing sleep, focus, or missing class. Your first year is for you to find yourself, and who you are. It's your chance to make new friends, and experience things for the first time. Take time to get to know people, and work on figuring out a steady routine.

It is so hard to get into a routine, especially because you do not get to pick your classes for the first semester. I had so much trouble getting into a routine. I would sleep at different times, eat at different times, and was constantly sick. My advice is to plan out your week so you can better prioritize what needs to get done, but also still have time for yourself.

Speaking of, always make time for yourself. Even if its one hour of the day. Take a break. Relax. Go outside. Write in a journal. Take a trip. Go out with friends. Watch a movie. It is so important to take care of yourself in college. You will spend most of your days doing school work, so it's a good thing to take an hour, or maybe even a day, where you can just do what you want to do.

I learned that being social and making friends will help you ease in college and be more comfortable. I picked my roomates my first year, which I do recommend, but sometimes you will be surprised when picking a random roomate. You have to live with your roomate(s) for a whole year, so my advice would be to make sure you get to know who you are rooming with.

You will find yourself in certain conflicts and situations that are negative. Be mature. You are an adult now, act like one.

I learned that you will get homesick no matter how badly you want to get out of your town and start a new life. You will miss them, so reach out to them, and talk to them at least once a week.

But I also learned to not be so hard on myself when it comes to all of these things. Friends will come, grades will come if you put in the effort, the most important thing is to find out who you are, who you want to be, and who you want to surround yourself with through your college career.

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40 Small Things That Make College Students Happy

It doesn't take much...
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1. When class is canceled.

2. When the coffee shop you stop at five minutes before your 8 a.m. has a short line.

3. Coffee, coffee, coffee.

4. Open note tests.

5. Or even better, take home tests.

6. The unofficial assigned seating process that that takes place after the first week or so of classes.

7. Thursday nights. (because in college, Thursday qualifies as the weekend.)

8. Sales.

9. Or once again, even better, free things.

10. Specifically free food.

11. Dogs.

12. Dogs on campus.

13. Tailgates and Saturday afternoon football games.

14. Finding an already completed Quizlet for your exam.

15. Having an extra 30 minutes for a nap, and if you're lucky, an hour.

16. Netflix.

17. When your roommate takes out the trash.

18. Weekends after test weeks.

19. The rare blessing of a curve on an exam.

20. Getting out of class early.

21. How in college, it is socially expectable to wear a t-shirt everyday.

22. Being able to walk from class to class or eat in the dining hall without having to see anyone you know. (and thank goodness too because you probably don't look too good.)

23. Crossing things off of your to-do list.

24. Your best-friends that you make in college.

25. A full tank of gas.

26. Seeing a new face everyday.

27. Crawling back into bed after your 8 or 9 a.m. (or after any class that ends with a.m.)

28. Care packages.

29. No cover charges.

30. When adults tell you that it is okay that you have no idea what you want to do with your life yet. (regardless of what parents or your advisor may say.)

31. Pizza.

32. Finding out you weren't the only one who did poorly on the exam.

33. Deciding not to buy the textbook, and never needing it.

34. Finding the perfect gif to express how you're feeling. (Michael Scott just get it.)

35. Weekends at home because...

36. Pets.

37. Mom's home cooked pie and Dad's steak dinners,

38. Spring Break.

39. Road trips.

40. When it finally starts to cool down outside so you can show up to class dry instead of dripping in sweat.

Cover Image Credit: Abigail Wideman

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Death Is Hard To Process, Even As A Christian

How should we respond to death and loss as followers of God?

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Everyone is aware of the cycle of life. We are born, we live and we die. Sometimes, however, that cycle is abruptly altered by the very powerfully sad event of the death of someone in your life. This obviously can affect anyone: my own sister was lost after she had what was supposed to be the last of the major surgeries she was supposed to undergo.

Death, however, will always raise questions. Why? Why did this have to happen? Why in this fashion? Why, if God exists, did He not step in to assist us? These are very real questions I grappled with when my sister passed away. How do we, as Christians, respond to death without resorting to clichés and empty platitudes?

First off, death, regardless, should never be responded to with the idea that "it was their time." It comes off as insensitive and rude. It is a response without emotional weight: death does not always have to happen.

Now, as Christians, responding to death could start with the idea that we have confidence in God's mercy and wisdom. If we have confidence in God's mercy, we shouldn't have anything to fret over. Christ died to destroy death so that death is not an end to who we are. That obviously isn't easy, though. This doesn't answer all of our questions when we ask why we're going through such a painful time.

The Bible features that same question. In the Book of Job, he laments the loss of his family and asks the same question of why suffering must occur to those who have not merited such a punishment. Job, of course, gets a response about how God's reign over the cosmos is a heavy and difficult task.

Sometimes, suffering like death remains unexplained. But God wants us to trust His wisdom, His omniscience, above all else.

Now, that might not satisfy us. But Jesus eloquently states that we are going to suffer: that the human condition is predicated, in part, on suffering. He spends a significant amount of time preparing his disciples for that reality. So many of the Epistles prepare us for suffering as well. Death is not treated as something that not only should be prayed over, but also

This still begs the question: what is the point to it all? Is there a point? Is it due to human sinfulness? The snares of the devil? That is a conclusion all of us must come to separately. I still haven't come to a conclusion yet either.

For now, we must remember that, as Christians, they are reunited with God. One with Him, as part of the church triumphant. No longer do they suffer: no, they rejoice in the heavens above us with those who preceded them in death.

Death remains a hard topic to master. The purpose of suffering caused by it, the pain we feel in loss, remains unknown and undetermined. However, as Christians, Christ's victory grants us solace: this loss is temporary, for death has been defeated. We will be reunited someday with those we love and lost.

That day where my sister and I will reunite will come. For now, we wait and do God's work on Earth.

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