College Life: Stress, Syllabi and Jesus
by Brandon Markette
With the start of each new semester, it once again rears its ugly head. As we move through the first few days, each class spawns its own syllabus. At first glance these syllabi do not seem very threatening. After all, they are fairly small, right? No more than a few pages. By the end of the week, each of these syllabi make one horrific point obvious. Not one professor shows any knowledge that we have more than one class.
With an entire semester ahead the workload seems difficult but not impossible. Sixteen weeks, give or take, appears to be enough to get this work done. Invariably, however, it is not. You see, classes are not the only thing in our worlds. Some of us work, many of us have responsibilities at our fraternities or sororities. Oh, and don’t forget we have social lives, too. Slowly but surely it seems that we cannot keep up with the work. Just one day of “Eh, I’ll do it later,” leaves us with twice as much work. By mid-term we are in a fanatic rush to complete our reading and assignments, and hopefully have time to study for the tests also. We drink gallons of coffee and carbonated beverages just to stay lucid enough to continue reading or writing. As final’s week approaches, we inch closer to both completing our assignments and losing our sanity. So, what is a poor student to do?
Well, I found an answer, and his name is Jesus. Here is what he says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” He knows how hard life can be, and he wants to lend you a hand. When we trust in him, Jesus promises to help us find that rest which our souls so desperately need.
Now, I don’t want to come off sounding like, “Believe in Jesus and all your problems evaporate,” because that is not true. However, Jesus Christ offers us a different perspective on things. As I approach the crunch of finals, I know that studies are important but they will end. My relationship with God, however, is eternal. Yes, finals and term papers are important, but they are not the end-all and be-all of my existence.
Instead of my grade point average, my focus is on Jesus and my relationship with him. Taking time each day to pray and read the Bible feeds this relationship, and keeps my priorities straight. During these times of prayer I offer my burden, the stress and pressure, to God. As he promised, he takes on some of that burden and helps me to bear it.
I remember studying for finals one year, when I had this feeling that I should spend my time studying my Bible, not my class work. I spent probably half of my study time praying and reading the Bible. The other half of my time I studied as normal. Answered prayer is not easy to explain but, let me say, my memory seemed supercharged. I found it easier to recall facts. Now, this has not happened with every test I have ever taken, but I do believe that it was God helping me during a very stressful time, and that Jesus does give rest to our souls when we respond to his invitation to “Come to me…”
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