Since it is a new year (happy 2015!) and sometimes after the holidays it can be hard to get back into the swing of things, I want to encourage those in school now who need a boost of motivation.
Here are some pieces of advice on how to finish off the semester well, and these can also pertain to other areas of life—not just in the college world, but also in the business world, and even regarding your faith walk. Hope you are motivated, inspired and eager to refocus in this New Year if you haven’t already done so!
1. Study, prepare, review: For those of you in college, forming study groups, either weekly or monthly, is very important, especially during midterms or finals. Depending on the course you are taking and where, you may have more or less study-group meetings, but they are very useful, as long as your best friends aren’t in the study group. You may feel distracted if your best friend is making you laugh or talking about something off topic. Pick a group of people you vaguely know, or who you know do well in class, and gravitate toward them, as they can possibly help you become a better student. Aim high.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind… (Romans 12:2)
The same goes for studying God’s Word. We need to focus on God’s Word, read it, study it, digest it and process it. We don’t just zip through a chapter and then never engage it again. We need to rehearse the truth and repeat the reading of God’s Word. I have known people in their 80s who still love learning and reading the Bible. You are never too old or young to learn, and we as humans tend to forget quickly, so we need to repeat the truth so we don’t believe the lies in the world that war against God’s truth.
2. Create a LinkedIn profile: If you are over 18 and want to network in the business world, LinkedIn is a great social network for business connections and to build your resume. LinkedIn has more than 300 million members and it is the largest online professional community. Click here to check it out.
3. Contact your professor or boss: Keep in communication with your teacher and show your interest in the course you are taking. If you’re not in class, show your enthusiasm for the company or for your work. If you are checking in and checking out, chances are your professor will take notice, and if you’re not putting in 100 percent, your boss may also not want to keep you on as long or it could even spoil any kind of promotion in the future.
Make sure to be faithful with the little if you desire to be in charge of many things, but remember it comes with MUCH responsibility. Many people want the salary, but don’t want to work for it, or they want the promotion, but they don’t want the overtime it takes to get there. Even the Bible says, in Luke 12:48, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”
4. INTERN, INTERN, INTERN: I cannot communicate or express enough how important interning is, even if it is voluntary or unpaid. If the career you choose or desire to pursue is based on having experience or networking, you must intern. Not only do you learn so much, but it will also pay off because you will see your own personal growth and expand your network in your field. Before I did hosting, I was a background actress on films and loved watching how the directors and actors interacted with one another. I also interned for the network I host for now, JUCE TV Network. I highly advise internships if you are serious about a particular job, ministry, mission or career path.
5. Build your portfolio or résumé: Just as I explained that interning increases experience, it will also be an addition to your résumé. It’s always great to build your experience in your field with different skills and to do jobs you are passionate about. Make sure to double proof your resume, and don’t worry if it’s short—it will grow over time. View some sample resumes on LinkedIn or Google. If you are in college, go to the Career Center, if you have one, and make sure a professor, parent or friend reviews your résumé for any typos or errors, and possibly can give you advice.
6. Don’t fall into peer pressure or distractions: You all have goals this year most likely, right? Since it is a fresh new year, the old has gone and the new has come and is coming! More than ever, visions, goals, dreams and planning should be at the forefront of your mind. If you want a successful semester and year, make sure to be watchful for distractions. “Surround yourself with people who are only going to lift you higher…” and if you room with someone who parties or is pressuring you to do things you don’t feel comfortable doing, or making you feel left out, pray and seek guidance from a mentor or parent. Remember that to be successful, you must put God first and surround yourself with like-minded people. If you are hanging around the partiers or time-wasters, then you may want to find a club with people on campus who are doing what you love or aspire to do. You are who you hang out with. There is also another famous quote, “Show me your friends and I will show you your future.”
Nothing is impossible with God’s help, and yes, it is hard making transitions into new seasons with new friends. I am not saying don’t love people, or be rude and exclude people, but keep a distance from those who drain you or are not FOR YOU. I pray you find those destiny friends, the ones who support you, love you, cheer you on and are genuinely there for you! You are worth so much and God has BIG plans for your life! We don’t have time to waste, amen? 🙂
7. Discipline yourself—learn to say no: There is such a thing as the art of saying “no.” Some of us can be people-pleasers and want to do it all. If you have an A-type personality, you want to go above and beyond for everyone and do everything…but you are not Superwoman. You can’t do everything and be successful at everything…and that is okay! Do what God has prepared for YOU to do. There is no one like you, with the DNA you have! (Psalm 139)
We also need to learn to resist temptation, the flesh, peer pressure, the enemy, negative thoughts, sin and the world. What do I mean by this? I mean learn to RESIST the negative things bringing you down, binding you to addiction, the things that keep resurfacing in your life that you just can’t stand. We all have flaws and need to improve, but we need to learn to say no and resist the enemy because the Word of God says HE SHALL FLEE! Satan and his demons will run when we start to build our spiritual muscles of faith and perseverance. Read James chapter 4 for more on this! We need to humbly seek God and His righteousness, and God will give us the grace to say no to the worldly customs and patterns that do nothing but bring us down.
We need to learn discipline like an athlete. An athlete resists, which literally builds muscles. The more you say “no” to the bad, negative and carnal thinking, the more your spiritual self will grow. This means you will be able to say “yes” to the things of God more over time, and will build up your faith, the more you resist worldly things and begin to dwell on the things of God. It is SO freeing and peaceful to be in this place. I thank God He sent Jesus to free us from sin, bondage, addiction, fear and death!
PI Girls, I pray that this article helps you understand how to refocus, plan and be prepared for a prosperous year SPIRITUALLY in the Lord and all those other things will be added to you, precious girls. Good luck to you all. I believe in you! Love you all.
Contact me via social media for any questions, advice, prayer or just to say hello: Facebook: facebook.com/ChristiGiven
God bless you all! Comment below and share your favorite piece of advice and a thought as well!