As I sit in my room, the day before I leave for my freshman year of college, I’m thinking about what this next year will be like. Will I make any friends? Will I be able to excel in my classes? Will I pass my classes? What will my schedule be like? Am I going to be able to adjust? And sure, these are just the passing thoughts of any student moving on to college, but they are also small worries that I have, even if I know that in the end, everything is going to be fine.

During service last Sunday, I thought my pastor made a good point: It’s all about the perspective. Whether you have a religion or don’t, it is all about the perspective. In my pastor’s case, he was elaborating on the idea that we can either view the world through our own lens, or through the “Tri-focal Jesus Perspective.” In my case, this would mean having a gospel, glory, and growth perspective. So instead of all the worries I may have, I would think more on where the Gospel is advancing, where Christ’s glory is revealed, and where God is causing me to grow. (Disclaimer: these three points are from Pastor Philip and I’m only putting my own thoughts in.)

If I were to think of where the Gospel is advancing, I would attribute that to the field I want to go into. I aim to be an artist in either animation or game design and by doing so, further the gospel through my story telling. If I were to think of where Christ’s glory is revealed, I would attribute that to my parents and friends and all the grace and love they show me daily. If I were to think of where God is causing me to grow, I would attribute it to every uncomfortable situation I go through. In my life right now, this would be my transition into college. Overall, if I think of my situation through this perspective, it’s not as scary. Sure, it’s a new adventure, but it’s an exciting adventure where I get to grow as a child of God and be a part of God’s overall grand plan.

For those of you who do not consider yourself religious, you’re probably thinking I’m crazy. But these same concepts apply to you too. In every situation you go through, there is a different perspective. You may call it looking on the other side of the coin. For example: If you are going through a relationship crisis, there are at least two ways you could look at your situation even though the circumstance is overall painful. You could either mope and think the world hates you, or you could learn from it. And sure, it’s easy to complain and think, “woe is me,” or “why does this always happen,” but if you think of the situation as a way to grow and learn, then maybe it isn’t so bad. You’re growing as a person and as a couple. You’re learning more about each other. You’re learning how to communicate or what the lack thereof causes. Whenever you have a predicament, it’s not going to be some walk in a park, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t learn from it.

As I prepare to leave for college, I’m excited to meet new people and to try new things and I know that I don’t need to be anxious because it is overall contributing to the master plan of the Creator of the universe.

So, what’s your perspective?