I recently had one of those weekends where I literally did homework from Friday night to Sunday night. I did not leave campus except to go to Walmart. It would be an understatement to say that I felt strung out and definitely not ready to face another week of college classes afterwards. As the week progressed, I felt unproductive and unable to function at a normal studious level. I am sure you can relate to this brain-weariness, especially as we near the end of the semester.
In the college atmosphere, where our purpose is to study and learn, our brains are highly susceptible to exhaustion.
One recent Sunday night, I was at my wit’s end trying to study for my biology exam. After an hour or more of staring at the pages, I repositioned myself and made a snack, but I still came up short as my brain refused to focus on the material. It was a moment of desperation. My brain was overworked and busily thinking about all of the other stressors I had at the time. I sent a text to my older sister, who is just one year ahead of me in college, and asked her what to do. Her reply?
“Eat chocolate, and take a break.”
It sounded like wise advice. The Lord has impressed upon me recently to just pause and rest in his eternal truths, which are far more valuable than earthly matters. Sometimes I need to listen to my physical condition and rest. Most importantly, we need to listen to our spiritual well-being. Are we so obsessed with getting our work done that when our Heavenly Father implores us to rest, we refuse? How often do we forget Psalm 127:2, that “the Lord grants sleep to the one he loves?”
One of my favorite high school teachers told me that stress comes from fear of the past or the future, not the present. In this case, that refers to either worrying about not studying enough in the past or fearing how your grade will look in the future.
One of my friends from home passed on some advice from her mother concerning the college workload: “How does one eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”
In the same way, how does one survive college? One class, one day, one week and one semester at a time.
You have survived 100 percent of your worst days if you are reading this. This too shall pass. It is a season to grow in our discipline, knowledge and skill; and to develop our God-given abilities. Rather than stressing, let us learn to stretch ourselves a bit and embrace the struggle. Attending college is a true privilege, and if we embrace the struggle now, the benefits will be rich.
I have to admit, taking a moment to rest when I always have so much to do is tough, but I still push myself hard in my studies. God’s love and open arms are always enough to raise us above our workload and stress.