Simple resolutions

I have officially begun my last-ever semester of college. If this were any other year, I’d be starting my fall semester with a list of ways to be a great student or of things I want to achieve, and then by the end of the semester I’d feel discouraged about having failed at most of those things. I’m still making a list this semester, but of a different sort (we’ll say it’s a sign I’m growing up).

This semester, I will not worry. I will not allow myself to be burdened with anxiety about finding a job or making money or achieving my ideal GPA. This isn’t to say that I’ll just sit back and wait for God to hand-deliver me everything that I want; I’ll be prudent and responsible about pursuing those things, but I’ll trust that dead ends are merely detours and open doors are purely His grace. I’ve seen Him provide in incredible ways over the last few months not only for me, but for several people I know, and I hardly think He’s daunted by even the most dismal job market.

This semester, I will enjoy where I am. Complementary to my resolution to not worry, I will also not dwell on what I wish I could have done differently the rest of my college career. Worrying about the future and regretting the past have made me miss out on the present entirely too often, and I intend to avoid both from now on. I will allow myself to be just as mentally and emotionally present as physically wherever I am, whether that’s with friends or in class or alone with God. And more than that—I want to not only be present where I am, but be engaged with whatever is happening. I want to do my best to appreciate even the most boring or frustrating moments spent at a desk, knowing that in 16 weeks, my time as a student will be over.

This semester, I will not define myself by my academics. I will not allow a bad grade to cripple my sense of self worth, or depend on a good grade to bolster it. If I see someone else’s name on a plaque recognizing exemplary students, I will be happy for them and will not wonder what I could have done to earn the honor instead; if I see my own name, I’ll accept that with humility. If I wear cords at graduation, I will not feel inferior to those with more cords, or superior to those without. I also will not define myself by how good a copyeditor I am or how many articles I write for the newspaper or how many friends I have, but by how well I love God and others.

This semester, I will learn to parallel park like a boss. It’s trivial, but will be necessary when it’s not my turn for our apartment’s one parking space.

In the huge, life-changing things and in the tiniest, silliest things, His grace is sufficient for me.

Here’s to finishing strong — not by my own strength, but by His.

Simple resolutions

9 thoughts on “Simple resolutions

  1. “This semester, I will not worry.”
    Forgive me if I sound inflammatory, that is not my goal. But isn’t part of the trick to making good goals to make reasonable (i.e. within actual grasp) ones? I feel as if saying “I will not worry” is an impossible goal, thus you’ve just doomed yourself to failure…

      1. 1) I’m confused as to how Phil. 4:13 means that one ought not ever worry.

        2) I’m glad to hear it’s going well =) Has it been tested intensely yet?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Goal number 5: Don’t get dissuaded by misanthropic comments like the one above. AKA- don’t listen to Debbie Downers.

  3. Ox—

    1) It doesn’t mean I shouldn’t worry, but it means that through Christ, I can accomplish not worrying.

    2) I had a surgery that had a very high risk for life-threatening complications while at the same time having low odds for success, my car broke down in the middle of a 100-mile stretch of Utah where there’s no services and no cell reception and a mechanic told me it wouldn’t survive the rest of the drive to California, and Biola did not offer one last class I needed for graduation this semester and all four of the sections of the only comparable class I could find elsewhere were closed and the registrar and professors both told me that there was no way I could get around the class size limit. Is that intense enough? [In all three situations, I immediately surrendered my worry to God, and He provided.]

  4. Parallel parking is by far the most useful skill I have in my toolbox, slightly ahead of knowing how to dice an onion. I just moved to a rather big city, and have to \\ park up to five times a day. Every day I say a silent prayer of thanks to my stepfather, who taught me.

    (Found your blog via a friend’s FB link to the 56 best/worst analogies written by high school students. Love.)

  5. radiantrachel says:

    This is precisely what I am challenging myself to do this semester. It is incredibly hard. Let’s keep each other accountable. We are not what we do. We are hidden in Christ. We are the beloved. Our job is to learn to be good lovers by loving; God will take care of the rest.

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