Worry Doesn't Work

Worry Doesn't Work

Why not live a worry free life?

In theology today, my professor began class with a question:

"If you went into high school knowing you would get into the college of your choice, what, if anything, would you have done differently?"

This question, and my response to it, has been on my mind since because I know exactly what I would have changed: I would have put less pressure on myself, not always gone the extra mile. Bigger than that, I would not have been anxious and stressed all the time about attaining a perfection that I set out for myself.

Recently, I have felt the urge to live a "worry free life," and I think, if high school had had this caveat of me getting to go to college wherever I wanted, this is the kind of life I would have lived.

Still, this reflection isn't meant to be one that dwells on what was, but meant to inspire a new way of thinking for the present and future, this idea of a worry-free life.

What does it mean to be worry-free?

I think not worrying is often so hard because it assumes a certain trust in the unknown. Often times, we may feel this need to worry, compelled to do so because "stress is good." Before tests, I've become anxious when I'm NOT feeling anxious about it, thinking that my confidence in the material must be some sign that everything will go terribly wrong. But where is the logic in that?

A lack of worrying assumes a trust in the unknown because when we make the conscious choice to stay calm and collected in troubling situations, we are surrendering ourselves to the course of life.

When we choose not to worry, we simultaneously allow whatever will be, to be.

I use the word choice here intentionally because not worrying is a choice we make for ourselves. Our lives are in our hands: we can choose to not trust ourselves, not trust God or whomever, nor let life take its course, and be anxious about the outcomes of situations, or we can choose to surrender ourselves, by trusting that we are doing the very best we can, and let whatever will happen, happen. Not worrying is a letting go of that need for perfection.

Surrendering and trusting do not mean that if we want something, we shouldn't take action to get it, just that the backdrop of anxiousness and stress about the outcome disappears.

I have a book by Max Lucado called Live Loved: Experiencing God's Presence in Everyday Life. In this daily devotional, there is a section called "Worry Doesn't Work." In it, Lucado reminds us how:

Fret won't fill a bird's belly with food or a flower's petal with color... you can dedicate a decade of anxious thoughts to the brevity of life and not extend it by one minute."

"Worry accomplishes nothing."

Think about it: Does worry bring anything to your life? Does it add joy and insight, love or learning? For me, I'd say the answer to all of these is no.

This does not mean that we should not be ignorant about the world's issues and problems surrounding us, but that with a worry free mindset, we will be able to approach them with greater insight.

Since coming to college, I've found myself doing less work, and spending more time with the people around me. Of course, I still worry about things. However, now more than ever, I want this to shift. Worry simply has no purpose in my life.

Life is infinitely important and full of meaning, yet at the same time, the little things aren't meant to be taken so seriously.

So, the next time you find yourself anxious or stressed, worried about that test, that relationship, that job you applied for, take a step back and ask yourself: Is this mentality serving me? Just that act of recognition may be enough to shift your mindset into one that is full of less worry and more trust and faith.

Let's all strive to live our lives worry free,


Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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When You Work A Job In College, You Earn Things Mom And Dad's Money Can't Buy

The appreciation I have gained is something that cannot be bought, it was earned by hard work and dedication.

As my first year of college approached, I pleaded with my parents not to make me work during my first semester. I selfishly just wanted to have as much free time as possible to hang out with my friends, go out to frat parties, and sleep the whole next day. The last thing I wanted was to have a job to worry about, I just wanted to live off of my parents' dime.

I also thought it would have been nice to have school and extracurriculars as my only responsibility, but my parents refused to let me not have a job. They were both extremely hard workers for all of their life and saw no reason I could not handle both work and school.

So, against my wishes, I went out and got myself a hostessing job at a local restaurant. I had no idea the lessons and skills I would gain from this job that I dreaded on applying for initially.

1. Time Management

One of the things I value most about simultaneously being a student and having a job is learning how to manage my time. Prior to being a working student, I was extremely lazy when it came to doing assignments and projects, I would put them off until the very last possible moment. Once I started working, I had no time to waste, I was forced to get my life together and prioritize my responsibilities. So instead of spending my free time laying around and watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians, I was finishing my assignments before I had to go to work because I knew I had no other choice. I learned how to balance my responsibilities while still making time for myself.

2. Maturity

I learned that you cannot rely on your parents financially forever and that it is crucial to learn how to support yourself. I know my parents wanted to teach me that the real world is hard and they wanted to prepare me for it as best as they could. They did not want to shelter and enable me because they realized that it would only hinder me in the long run. My job itself taught me how to take responsibility for my actions, be on time, and to be professional. This all around gave me a more mature outlook on life and strengthened me as a person in several areas.

3. Perseverance

Being a working student is not easy and often makes it really hard to keep going when you are tired, sick, or just feeling worn out. Balancing both work and school can be extremely overwhelming and just make you want to give up at times, but you learn how to persevere because you care about your future. I had coworkers, teachers, and friends/family supporting me through every obstacle that was placed in my path and helped me get closer to achieving my goals. I knew the consequences of missing work, skipping class, and being lazy so I chose to persevere even when times were tough.

4. The Value of Money

When your parents support you financially, you never realize how much things cost. You probably never thought twice about swiping your parents' credit card for a $5 coffee or a $20 meal, but once it's your own money you start to think twice about splurging on unnecessary items. I began to realize how much things like groceries and gas cost and started to manage my money accordingly.

I also learned that money just doesn’t grow on trees and that there is a lot of hard work required in earning money. I would never have realized the true value of a dollar if my parents didn't make me get a job in college.

5. Appreciation

By having a job in college, I gained such an appreciation for things that I would have previously taken for granted. I have learned what it means to work for things and truly deserve everything that I have worked for. The appreciation I have gained is something that cannot be bought, it was earned by hard work and dedication.

Cover Image Credit: Carlie Konuch

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A Thank You Letter to my Hero's

Your simple, yet silly personalities have the ability to light up any room you walk into.

Dear Friends, who were blessed with an extra chromosome;

I have decided that this World Down Syndrome Awareness Day, I want things to be all about you guys! Thank you for snuggling up to me in the middle of chapel and always wanting to hold my hand. I want you all to know that my love language is touch, so the endless hugs don’t bother me a bit. Thank you for having some of the most infectious personalities. Thank you for letting me act like a fool in front of you. Thank you for having faith like a child, so innocent perfect and pure. Thank you for teaching me to be so different. I used to see you guys in stores and malls and look down or walk the other way. Oh, how I was so wrong, and I misjudged you. And for that I am sorry, because I know that you do not judge. You don’t judge someone based on their appearance or personality but instead you LOVE. You Love with all your heart. My life would not be complete without you guys in it. I hear you giggle and laugh so hard it leads me to smile. I smile at this site because I think God is smiling and laughing along with you. I believe He created you and your bubbly personalities to bring light into this dark and fallen world. He looks down at you and smiles when he sees you giving it your all when you tie your shoe. You have taught me to never out grow being a kid. You have also taught me how to laugh. Your simple, yet silly personalities have the ability to light up any room you walk into. I am beyond thankful for all!! Thank you for the lessons you have taught me and will continue to teach me!!

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