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.