"Best years of your life".
"Your college years will define you".
Both are lies.
Not saying college completely sucks… but it is hard. It is not as exciting as it looks on your social media. Sometimes you have a perfect friendsgiving and take cute pictures. Other days you find yourself 15 pounds heavier, dreading any social gathering, failing six classes when you are in five, and wondering what the heck you are even going to do with this degree that is burning a hole in your pocket. You soon find yourself counting down the days until your next break, reminiscing on the moments in high school when you got a study guide and your mom made you dinner.
I've been there and by been there I mean I am there. I am a senior and I am confused, broke, tired, lonely, and over everything about college.
But then I am reminded… college does not define you, it refines you.
If you are in college then you understand failure. Maybe, your failure looks like straight Ds on your midterms a couple years ago. Maybe, your failure is that you're 3/4ths finished with a major you hate. Maybe, your failure looks like a broken heart, a mistake at a party, or still not having any real friends.
In life you will fail. Yes, this includes during your four… maybe five years at college. However, failure isn't a bad thing. I truly believe the Lord gives us failure sometimes to remind us that our worth is not from the world. No matter what your Biology midterm said, or what the Monday morning gossip is– you are worthy, loved, and created for an eternal purpose. Trust that.
Failure is not something to run from. Sometimes the best blessings come from hard lessons. Sometimes God uses failures to close doors that were never meant to be opened. Sometimes broken hearts lead to restoration of One's soul. And failure, if we allow it to, can refine us. It can sharpen us. It can make us better, more beautiful, and allow us to shine. Like RG3, Heisman winner in 2014 said, "no pressure, no diamonds."
Failure makes us stronger, because it allows us to see our weakness, and have an opportunity to seek God's strength. We will fail in life. And when you are 20-something, I can promise you that you will have moments where you wake up and want to scream, "WHHYYY?" But in those moments, remember that you were never called to do things right. You were never called to get a 4.0 and date the cutest boy on campus.You were called to love. To love Jesus, love others, and to praise Him even when life is crappy.
So no, your metabolism may be slowing down and your GPA may be going down, but don't allow college to be a defining factor in your identity. Your identity is not found in Greek life, your mistake last weekend, your GPA, your weight, the amount of friends at your brunch, or even how much money is in your bank account. Your identity comes from the One who created you. The One says you are enough. The One who sees your failures, your worst mistakes, and your weakness and says "Come as you are".
If you tired, drained, and counting down the days till your next break from college– find rest in our sweet Jesus. He gives strength when you are weak and reminds you that your purpose isn't found in these fours years.
Yes, work towards a degree and work towards earthly friendships, but do so in His name. Chase the author of love and One who created you first. How are you supposed to figure out your purpose in this world if you don't first follow the One who created your purpose? Try your best. Study for the test. Do some squats. But focus fully on His name. And in your weariness, brokenness, and on days when you are overwhelmed, breathe in-and-out. Then, look at where your feet are planted. God put you where you are for a reason. He's gotten you this far. Why don't you trust Him with your tomorrow?
So if you clicked on this because you related to the title… my prayer is you recognize these four truths.
- You are not alone. Find peace in knowing at least I am on the struggle bus too.
- Find peace most importantly in Jesus. Stop letting your failures define you.
- When you are stressed because of a test, talk to Him. When you are excited because your crush texted you back, talk to Him. When you are nervous, happy, content, or frustrated— talk to Jesus. You are only winning the race if you are racing towards the prize. Race towards Jesus, the finish line. Chase Jesus, not top-tier letters or a ring by spring. Stop racing towards anything else.
- Allow your failures to refine youand strengthen your relationship with the Lord. You lost a friend? Let it show you the importance of kindness. You made a mistake last weekend? Let it show you how beautiful God's grace is for broken people like you and me. And allow this mistake to make you wiser next time. Every failure has the opportunity to make you wiser–only if you give it the One gives us wisdom.