[Image: Project Inspired contributor Christi Given with Bethany, a PI Girl at Vanguard University of Southern California]
Many people may ask: “Why should I attend college? Is it worth it for me to obtain a degree and is it worth the financial investment?” For me personally, the answer is yes. Yes, it is WORTH the cost financially and time-wise because you will develop skills you otherwise wouldn’t have. The other reason is you will find out more about yourself and will meet people that you otherwise wouldn’t have. For me, college was such a growth period in my life, not only academically, but also spiritually. I really learned to trust God in all things from finances and personal life to grades and my future career and calling in life.
So it is with you. Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church. (1 Corinthians 14:12)
One aspect of this article is education, but I am also a firm believer in following your dreams, passions and talents. We need to not only have a degree to provide the credibility in our field, but also need to use and discover the God-given abilities we have to share the Gospel and to be a light in a dark world.
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. (1 Peter 4:10)
The other reason why I believe it’s important to follow both of these important facets of life is because they can very much go together. While you follow your dreams you can get an education, and sometimes being in college can birth those passions or you can discover what it is that you really want to do. Maybe you’ll take a photography class and realize you have a passion for photojournalism, or you may take a Christian Worldview course and find that you have a passion for missions, or you may take a health class and want to help people. Make sure to follow both your educational path and your passions so that you can take care of yourself later in life as well as do what God has called you to do. I recommend going to a Christian school to really get that kind of education that is set apart and that can pour into your life not only within academics, but spiritually as well.
Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. (1 Corinthians 7:17)
One thing that I see people do is follow their passions, but when in school, they put them on the back burner and consider the two separate. You weren’t created to be miserable or to be forced to do something you despise doing. You were created to be free and to use the gifts God gave you, to not only glorify Him, but to bless and to serve others. What is it that you are passionate about? Ask yourself this question and then take classes based on your dreams, passions, future ministry or calling, and become an expert in your field.
Tips on Following Your Dreams and Getting an Education
1. Find out what you love and just do it! Follow your dreams and God-given abilities. Become an expert in that field.
2. Realize your education can complement your dreams: Having a degree makes you an eligible professional in that field. If you intern or gain experience, you will be further along than someone who has no degree or experience. Do what you love! An education and your dreams go hand in hand—don’t separate the two and don’t major in something you can’t see yourself doing in life. Write down your dream and find a major or minor complementing this area of study or field of work.
3. Don’t major in something you dislike: Why put yourself through the ringer when you know what it is you’re passionate about? If you don’t know what you want to do, find a few different classes, talk to a school counselor and pray for clarity. If you do know, then follow that dream. I wanted to do something in entertainment, television or writing, so I majored in communication with an emphasis in journalism. You can do it!
4. Do internships and start networking: In college you may find that you’ll be connected to a network of people in your business or ministry, and you also may be allowed to do internships in your field. Internships are KEY in college and I HIGHLY recommend them. Getting hands-on experience really can clarify for you whether you see yourself doing that career in life. If you don’t see yourself doing that full time, then you’ve just saved yourself a lot of time and money. If you do see yourself doing that job, you’re building experience and gaining job contacts for the future.
5. Invest in your future: God says we reap what we sow (Galatians 6), so it’s vital we invest in our dreams, passions and education. Ask God for guidance. Talk to your parents, counselors, advisers, youth leaders and mentors that you trust and really seek out God’s will for your life. I truly believe this is important in living out God’s perfect will for you and to be fruitful in your gifts and talents.
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-12)
PI Girls, do you agree that your education can go hand in hand with your dreams? How can I pray for your education and future career? Comment below!