8 Steps For A Successful Semester

1.Be willing to put your best foot forward academically, socially, spiritually.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as if working for the Lord and not men.”- Colossians 3:23.

God has always given us His best so we need to do the same with our daily actions throughout the semester. This could be not skipping class to sleep in, setting aside a time of devotion every day, or including someone on your hall that isn’t your favorite. No one likes eating leftovers and God sure doesn’t like getting ours either.

2.Dedicate time to being a better friend

“ Two are better than one, because they have good return for their work; if one falls down , his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!”- Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

This semester I want to be the type of friend that always puts people first, that always encourages, and is quick to listen. One of the best ways we can show Christ’s love is through our friendships. Sometimes in the busyness that comes with a college semester I fail to put my friends first like I should. I want to work on not taking the people that God has blessed me in my life with for granted. Be the friend that holds the tissue when the boy says no and the friend that screams when she gets the internship she wanted. It’s time to stop using pictures on Instagram to express our love for friendships and start living out our friendships by our actions.

3.Start thinking about what you can do for God not what He can do for you

“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of you heart.”

I think this verse is often taken way out of context. Yes, God wants to give us the desires of our hearts, but He also wants us to start desiring what He desires to give us rather than just what we want. When we go about our daily activities this semester, we need to be asking ourselves what we are doing today that is glorifying to God. We need to work on not being afraid to say “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders,” and truly understanding the weight of those words. God has granted each of with gifts and callings that only we can fulfill. Don’t let the class where the teacher asks the impossible, trying to do every club on campus, or Netflix get in the way of that.

4.Seek time alone with God/ make his relationship a priority

“ But Jesus would often withdraw to lonely places and pray.”- Luke 5:16

It can be so crazy in our busy lives to find time to just sit and be still before God. But we need to accept that throwing up a quick prayer before we eat or have a test is not going to help us have an authentic relationship with Christ. We need to be actively seeking Him in our times of devotion so that we can have a relationship that grows. Now, I know how hard it is to set aside time when you want to hang with your friends, nap, or feel like you have so much homework you might explode. But setting aside time with God can help us to put Him first in our lives where He belongs. Growing in Him can be one of the ways we start to grow up ourselves.

5.Forgive those who have wronged you in the past and move forward

“ For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you.” – Matthew 6:14

Forgiveness is not a word anyone likes to hear, especially when it involves a situation where they have been wronged. It’s not a secret that my earthly father has not exactly played a big role in my life. It is really hard for me sometimes to call him and love him when I know that he has never put me first. But even though it can be a daily struggle for me to forgive him, it is still harder for me to continue to hold a grudge and keep it bottled up inside. I am not saying you need to let that person back into your life that has hurt you in the past, but by not forgiving them how can you expect God to turn around and forgive you? So this semester let go and forgive the girls that were mean to you in the past or the boy that broke your heart. You might just point someone to Christ by your actions.

6.Enjoy your time of singleness

“He has made everything beautiful in its time.”- Ecclesiastes 3:11

It can be really hard when you are in college to look around and be happy for the people that are in relationships when you are not. It can start to feel like your biological clock is ticking when you just turned 19 or 20. Let me tell you a little secret, God wants you to be single for a reason. He wants you to be in a relationship for a reason. If you are not in a relationship, it might be because God isn’t done with you yet, or it could be because the boy He has planned for you isn’t ready yet. God’s timing is always impeccable. Even if the guy you thought would be your prince charming isn’t. This semester instead of stressing about never getting married or feeling like you wear a perpetual “Friendzone Me” T-shirt, take some time to truly enjoy it. Go out with your girlfriends, invest in the guy friends you have and make as many as you can, buy a new outfit to make yourself feel beautiful just because, and have that extra scoop of ice cream. Use this time to fall so in love with God that you no longer need a boy to know your worth.

7.Gossip less

“ A gossip betrays a confidence but a trustworthy person can keep a secret.”- Proverbs 11:18

“ Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only things that are good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear it.”- Ephesians 4:29

Watching what I say is easily one the things that I struggle with the most. We can remember every single thing that a mean girl said to us in high school, the time a boy called us ugly or fat, or when our “best friend” told someone she thought we were annoying. Yet we forget to recognize that we so easily have done the same things to others. We need to be the type of friends that when we get frustrated with each other our first instinct isn’t to run to another friend and complain. We need to be the type of friends that can keep secrets. I know how much fun it can be to be the person who has the scoop at a sleepover, but it shows so much more maturity to keep the promise you kept. We were put on this earth to lift each other up and be encouraging, not to complain, ridicule, swear, and to hurt. Don’t say something in your haste and anger that you can’t ever take back.

8.Don’t stress

“ If God is within her she will not fail.”- Psalm 46:5

“ This is why for Christ’s sake I delight in weaknesses, hardships, insults, persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak then I am strong.”- 1 Corinthians 12:10

The hard part about being a Christian is that we are going to face trials. We are going to face semesters where our class loads seem insurmountable, we face problems back home, and we feel abandoned by God. In these stressful times, we need to remember to rely on God before we rely on ourselves. He alone promises to make our burdens light, if we turn to Him. No matter how many times you stress cry over a test, eat dinner alone, or feel like you can’t do it anymore, God has never left your side. You are not a failure for admitting you need help. So this semester try to truly let go and Let God. He holds our whole world in His hands, He will not let us fall without picking us back up.

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