COLLEGE.

College. Whoop Whoop!

Well this chapter of my life is officially coming to a conclusion. With this, I find myself reflecting on my time in the wonderful world of university life. To chronicle this, I thought I would write about what I have learned in college.

Here a list of a few things (in no particular order) I have learned and my pearls of wisdom for the college newbies.

1. You know nothing.
Calm it down, I am not attacking you with words via the Internet. Realize at the start of things how much you DON’T know. Coming into college, you think you’ve got a handle on life. I’m going to warn you right now that you do not. The quicker you learn that, the easier and more fun this time of your life will be. Humbly learn all you can from your parents, professors, advisors and older students on campus. They’ve all been there and done that. Approach this time as a chance to explore and learn. You will fall down. You will screw up. Epically. But, that’s ok! That’s what these four (or more) years are for! So just go with the flow.

2. Caffeine is bae, but Jesus saves.
College: the time of no sleep. It’s all fun and games until you have to wake up for an 8 AM class. College is where you learn the beauty and magnificence of God’s nectar from heaven-coffee. Ok..maybe a little dramatic there. But on the reals, caffeine is great. Also, learn the beauty of coffee shops, and I ain’t talking Starbucks, but the little local joint in your town. Mine has you check in on Facebook to use the Wi-Fi so now everybody and their mother know how often I go there…awkward. #noshame. But more important than coffee is finding that sustaining power that is the gospel. I knew who Jesus was pre-university, but in college I learned to know Him. I learned the extent of Him dying on the cross and coming back to life and what that saving grae looks like to me. I learned to rest in Him and live through Him. I learned what it means to be a disciple. So while caffeine, whether your poison be coffee or Dr. Pepper, Jesus is really what gives life.

3. Don’t be so concerned with keeping a schedule.
Something God wrecked shop with on this Type A planner was sticking to my schedule as if my day depended on it. Go to class and work and make time for homework and whatever else may be important to you, but don’t be afraid of spontaneity or unplanned interruptions throughout the day. Learn the love language of quality time. Hang out for hours on end at a coffee shop or your friends apartment. Act like an overgrown child. Stay up late and watch movies. Alarm clocks were invented for a reason! Take a random road trip to a neighboring area. Make an ice cream or Whataburger run at 1 AM (dem honey butter chicken biscuits though). Don’t forget to have fun and make some memories along the way!

4. Get involved on campus.
Seriously, join something fool! Whether it is Student Government or the Quidditch Team, whatever your thing may be, join it. That is the best way to meet people and make those friendships. College is rough with nobody to do life with. You need those people to sit and do homework with, do random stuff with and just to live life with. College is a weird and awesome point in your life, make the most of it. Try something that’s out of your comfort zone. Step out and be bold. College is the only time where exchanging your phone number and where you live to 15 different people in a day isn’t totally weird. Just do it. Don’t be afraid to show a little school spirit while you’re at it! Join in on those school traditions at least once.

5. Go to the library.
I know…nerd alert *pushes glasses up nose*. Learn to love that place though. Means to do homework. Place to meet with classmates. Free Internet. Its great! It is the best place (and sometimes the only place) where you can get stuff done. Plus there are some really old book there that are kind of awesome.

6. Rock your guilty pleasures. *snap snap*
Own you! Be unashamedly whoever you want to be. The reputation you built in high school and that image your created means nothing in college. Do you boo boo. Whatever your quirk is, own it. I promise, you will find that you are not alone in that guilty pleasure. Plus, thanks to Pinterest and Tumblr, fandoms are totally in right now (shout out to the Doctor Who, Sherlock, Harry Potter, Marvel and Narnia lovers of the world). Don’t’ be afraid to be yourself! Listen to your favorite jam. Watch your favorite show or movie. Whatever your thang is-rock it!

7. Keep an open mind and heart.
God used my college experience to show me a lot about Him and a lot about myself. I pray the gospel and Christ’s love is revealed to you and meets you where you are at in college as well, but be open to whatever these few years of your life might hold. Learn something new. Try something different. Fall in love somehow. Learn patience with the ignorant yet opinionated people in your classes. Get to know your roommate, classmates, and professors-they may just end up being some of the greatest people you’ll ever meet. Don’t be so set in how you used to think or do things. I’m not saying you have to run off and become a hipster liberal college stereotype (I mean unless you want to of course), just learn why you think and believe the way you do.

8. Don’t go home all the time, but don’t burn those bridges.
Stay at school on the weekends you can. Campus is a lot more fun on the weekends and that’s where you really build friendships. On the other hand, don’t totally avoid home. Keep in touch with family and close friends from high school. College shows you just how much you value and appreciate them.

9. Spend a summer doing something you’ve never done.
I spent last summer as a camp counselor and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done (actually going back for round 2 this summer). Study abroad. Take a job you’ve never had. Stay on campus. Whatever!! Just spend those few months doing something new and different and getting outside your bubble.

10. Learn about you and find that independent woman deep inside.
Who are you? What do you like to do? What do you want to spend your life doing? Move out on your own. Find that independence in you. Learn how to be adult. Learn that you can do things like pay rent and change the battery in your car on your own. Its exhilarating learning you can do ting by yourself. Know that you can do this! You will learn to handle life as it comes and live this new stage out. You can do this! Will it be like the movies? No your life will not be like an episode of “Friends”, but it will be so much better, because you know what? It’s real and it’s your uniquely and intricately designed adventure that you get to live out. Embrace it. Celebrate it.

College is fantastic. I have absolutely loved it. Some moments will be better than others, but the good outweighs the bad ten folds when all is said and done. Have fun and good luck!! Please enjoy these cheesy yet true quotes.

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Throw Down For What!?

So I’m a senior. I have no idea what I want to do with life. You do the math on this confusion equation happening in my life right now. At time, tis a struggle indeed. God and I have had many-a-nights where I sit and complain to him and describe my debacle (like He doesn’t already know what’s going on in my heart). Not gonna lie, I am terrified, but thanks to the da big man, a few Jesus dates and my college ministry’s worship service last week, I have come to terms with this point in life. Allow me to explain what I have learned.

I have been secretly wishing this year would just hurry so I could see what is up next for me in the next chapter of my life. What’s the fun in that though?! I know this year is going to be a big year of growth and experiencing how to lean on God and seeing Him in new light…and I want to skip over that why???? I’ve been in such a hurry to just get answers and get to the end of this year, I forget to just stop and breath and see what He’s up to right now and honestly the fun and memories I can be having right now. I have one more year in college. Never again will I be at this point in my life. As crazy and time consuming as things seem now, after this year it won’t be as east to have movie nights til 2 AM, spend all day in a coffee shop blogging and hanging out with friends nor be able to essentially do whatever I want like I can now. In one of my Jesus dates, I read Philippians 4. I had been so concerned recently with God giving me the answers right now about what I’m going to do next year and what all is going to happen this year. I was super demanding. Not some of my finer moments I admit. This chapter really was a slap in the face. I need to not worry about these things running rampant in my head-I need to take it to God. I need to remember all He’s already done and the fact that He has literally shown me recently how faithful He is. I need to fix my thoughts on right now. When I take my eyes off Christ and off right now, that’s when stress starts setting because my mind starts wandering and I take things into my own hands.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me-everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. -Philippians 4:6-9

#BOOM. Take it to God. Let me translate: Don’t worry about a ting, because every little ting is gonna be alright when God is in control.

Part two of this lesson learned: shred yo plans. Literally. I wrote down my life plans, everything I wanted to do in life and tore it up. One of my best friends and I were joking about doing this and then we thought…nah, let’s do it! We are so concerned with our plans and finding God’s plan for us and fulfilling these things. I’m reading “Radical” by David Platt with a girl I disciple (go get it now if you have not read it, on the reals). The first chapter talks about dropping this American version of Jesus and the church that we’ve become accustomed to and radically changing how we’re doing our Christian lives. Part of this radical change for me had to be giving up what I wanted and putting everything in God’s hands. I encourage you to shred your plans-it was quite liberating. Not even gonna lie though, it was really hard. I didn’t realize how many things I still had a clenched fist on. I think that was the point though. God really showed me what I was still holding onto. I had given a lot over to Christ, but not everything obviously. There are still desires in my heart that I want. By no means is Rachel a free elf now from these things. Ha! I wish it were that easy. This is a daily thing that I’m working on and something I’m reminding myself to do daily.

This past Thursday at my college ministry’s weekly worship service, the speaker said Satan’s biggest goal is to stress you out so you will live in the bondage of fear. Well crud…he succeeded and I let him. Heck, I think I welcomed him in by indulging in the pity party, poor me, I don’t know what to do with life so I’m gonna sit and cry and eat ice cream alone at home attitude. I have lived in fear of the unknown and fear of the possible and stress has definitely been the unlocked window that these crept in through. It always has been. Stress has been one of those ugly things I struggle with. Thursday night the speaker talked about Exodus 4. In this, the Lord shows Moses His power. Moses is nervous and worried that God’s people are not going to listen to him. God uses what Moses knew (his staff) to show him His power. A staff defines a shepherd, it is a part of who they are, it is the most important and significant tool they use. God says throw this down. Throw down your livelihood and what’s defining you. It doesn’t say God said to just toss his staff to the side, set it on the ground, hand it over, etc. No, He says he…

threw it on the ground
(You’re welcome.)

After this, the staff turns into a snake and God tells Moses to pick it up by the tail. (Pretty sure at this point I’d be like, yeah no….). If you know anything about snakes or survival skills, you know not to pick a snake up by the tail because they can swing around and bite you. It is the most vulnerable part of the snake to grab and you have the least amount of control.

God didn’t take Moses’ staff, just as He doesn’t want to take away our gifts and livelihood. He wants us to quit trying to own it. He’s got a plan and reason for your gifts and the things He’s laid on your heart. I need to not own my staff which right now for me is the idea of my future and my life plan. Like it were the snake, we need to pick it up humbly with the realization that we are not in control. I think God does put things on our hearts and we do have a choice, but I let worrying about it consume me. I got distracted by trying to figure out right now what happens come May. I need to throw down my plan. Throw down my staff. For what?? The sake of my sanity. Just kidding. Maybe not. Throw down for God. Throw down for seeing what God has planned. Throw down for seeing Him right now, not wishing to be months in advance when I think I’ll see His plan more. Throw down for right now. Throw down for the gospel. Throw down for God being greater, mightier, more loving and more knowing than I will ever be. Throw down for da big man.

I found this quote on Pinterest and as cheesy and Hallmark card-ish as it may be, it speaks da truth: “Stress makes you believe that everything has to happen right now. Faith reassures you that everything will happen in God’s timing!” Throw down the stress. Throw what you know-faith. His timing is always perfect. Throw down you trying to make things happen and instead humble yourself to make His name greater. What is your staff? What defines you? What do you have a clenched fist with right now?

 

 

 

Education Major Probs. Volume 1, First Edition

Those of you who are teachers or who are bravely about to enter to the world of education-shout out to ya!!

I am just embarking on my second semester as a junior-pre block as it is called in my department, meaning I am the semester before student observations and two semesters before student teaching. I will have the adventure of 20 hours of field experience this semester as well as aiding some young mind with their reading ventures through one of my classes. As I get further into the Teacher Education Program, I have come up with these few education major problems that I hope you fellow educators might sympathize with, I’m sure there will be many more to come…

#1: When you tell people you want to be a teacher and they ask why.

#2: When you tell people you want to be a teacher and they laugh and say you won’t make any money.

#3: When you tell people you want to teach middle school or high school and they look puzzled or say you’re brave and crazy.

#4: When you tell people you are an education major they say “ahhh ok”, like something now makes sense.

#5: Your Pinterest time has gone from looking at “fun stuff” to teacher-y things (which you now think is fun).

#6: You see a children’s books and automatically think how you could use it in different content areas and what activities you could do with it.

#7: Anything you sit through where you are learning something, you are taking mental notes on their teaching style and thinking about what you would do the same or different, and thinking about how the presenter is hitting different learning styles.

#8: You are aware of your own learning style and how your own brain works.

#9: You feel the need to hoard extra school supplies and craft supplies.

#10: All your class finals now are some sort of project or case study.

#11: There are stray books, crayons, etc. rolling around the back of your car.

#12: You catch yourself observing kids you are around, be it nieces, nephews, cousins, etc. to see where they would be on a learning curve, or you find yourself treating them like a teacher would, not normal a human being.

#13: You and education major friends just sit and talk shop now, not typical college topics.

#14: You have caught yourself correcting grammar in your head when reading Facebook posts.

#15: You have become the unofficial research paper editor amongst your friends (but you secretly don’t mind because it’s practice for the future).

#16: All of your education classes have markers available to take notes with (because those professors understand you) and it’s slightly disappointing when any non-education class you take does not offer the same service.

#17: Some days your content area related classes inspire to want to teach, while your education classes make you want to run and hide. And vice versa.

#18: People think your major is super easy and don’t understand why you get worried or stressed.

#19: You want to color code everything when organizing.

#20: You might just cry if you lost your planner.

Like I said, stay tuned, the second edition is not far off. As much as we complain, we do love it though!!

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Thrifty Thursday: Budget 101

Alrighty fellow college peeps, the beginning of the year, time to start fresh-including with your budget. I found this nifty little step by step how to on Pinterest. The link is below, and here is a summed up version of it.

http://brokenmeadows.hubpages.com/hub/How-to-Plan-A-Budget-and-Stick-To-It-Practical-Budget-Advice-For-Beginners

Set Goals
-Why are you budgeting? How much do you want to save, spend, etc.?

Evaluate Current Financial Status
-How much are you making? Do you have debt? What bills, loans, etc. do you have to pay?
-What is your current income?
-Calculate current income.
-Calculate monthly expenses.
-Find what your disposable income is.
*Helpful to make an Excel spreadsheet to figure out all of these number and keep track of what you are spending.*

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Budget!
-Plan ahead how much you’ll need to spend not on regular monthly expenses, but on things like food, paying off student loans, childcare if you need it, etc.

Stick to Your Plan
-Set up different bank accounts
-Set up direct payoff of your bills from your account if possible (leaves no room for your phone being cut off or being evicted)
-Ditch the credit cards
-Don’t buy things unless you have the money to pay for it right then

Good luck!! Keep it up, yall got this!

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‘Twas the Night Before Finals

Twas the night before finals,
And all through the college,
The students were praying
For last minute knowledge.

Most were quite sleepy,
But none touched their beds,
While visions of essays
danced in their heads.

Out in the taverns,
A few were still drinking,
And hoping that liquor
would loosen up their thinking.

In my own apartment,
I had been pacing,
And dreading exams
I soon would be facing.

My roommate was speechless,
His nose in his books,
And my comments to him
Drew unfriendly looks.

I drained all the coffee,
And brewed a new pot,
No longer caring
That my nerves were shot.

I stared at my notes,
But my thoughts were muddy,
My eyes went ablur,
I just couldn’t study.

“Some pizza might help,”
I said with a shiver,
But each place I called
Refused to deliver.

I’d nearly concluded
That life was too cruel,
With futures depending
On grades had in school.

When all of a sudden,
Our door opened wide,
And Patron Saint Put It Off
Ambled inside.

His spirit was careless,
His manner was mellow,
He started to bellow:

“What kind of student
Would make such a fuss,
To toss back at teachers
What they tossed at us?”

“On Cliff Notes!  On Crib Notes!
On Last Year’s Exams!
On Wingit and Slingit,
And Last Minute Crams!”

His message delivered,
He vanished from sight,
But we heard him laughing
Outside in the night.

“Your teachers have pegged you,
So just do your best.
Happy Finals to All,
And to All, a good test.”

*Retrieved from: http://www.jokes2go.com/poems/3244.html?21*

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“God’s Not Dead” Actor, Shane Harper Interview

Aight, so check it! Some brilliant people have collaborated to make this movie, “God’s Not Dead” and frankly it looks legit and its coming out this spring. One of the stars is former Disney Channel actor turned recording artist, Shane Harper. I have to say I was a fan of him on Good Luck Charlie then have more recently like his music a lot, then I found out he’s in the this movie and was like, what the what, that’s awesome. He’s an interview with him about what it’s like to be a Christian in college, check it out!!

http://godsnotdeadthemovie.com/blog/shane-harper-talks-about-gods-not-dead-movie-and-college-life/

Thank You, Sarah!

The other day, I was leaving the Rec Sports Center at my university from working out and headed back to my truck. As I was pulling out, I noticed a sticky note left on my windshield. My first thought was that a friend had left me a note, my second thought was that I had done a jank parking job or something and someone was informing me of their opinion via blue sticky note. Much to my surprise, it was a note stating that from some sweet person named Sarah informing me a truck had hit me then drove off. Sarah left her name and number and said call with questions. Naturally, I got out of the truck and inspected it for where it had been hit. Turns out, there was just a tiny scuff on the driver’s side front bumper. I called Sarah thanking her for leaving the note and seeing what had happened. She then proceeded to tell me that she had filed a statement with the University Police Department about what she had seen just in case I wanted to press charges or file anything. The scuff on my truck was so tiny, it was hardly noticeable. The fact that a) she left me note I found incredibly kind and was very appreciative, but that she b) went the extra mile to go to UPD and inform them of what she had seen proved to me that faith in humanity is restored. People are all around good. When the world is crumbling to bits as it seems and you’ve lost faith in people, remember there are people like Sarah out there that are genuinely good and kind hearted. So to Sarah, I saw thank you! Let’s not let the chain of love end here, yall, let’s keep it going!