Tips on Flourishing

After an extraordinarily busy week of concerts, events, and exams, I think it might be appropriate to deviate a bit from my typical blog-writing template to give a list of some of the things which I’ve found to be helpful in my life as a college student.

The thirty-minute cat nap. The length of such naps may vary, but the art of snatching a few minutes of sleep in between classes, or after a particularly stressful exam is a vital tool for survival in college and a great aid in getting through the day and ensuring alert engagement in the classroom.

Regular exercise. At the beginning of freshman year, exercise was the thing that I often pushed to the back burner when I was especially busy. What I’ve discovered, however, is that simply making the time to run over to the gym three times a week helps prevent me from becoming overly stressed and serves as an excellent study break—a healthy de-stressor which I need most during exam time!

Focus and urgency. Sometimes, juggling a formidably long list of assignments, tests, and other commitments is a bit overwhelming. Nevertheless, I find that diving first into the task which seems most difficult and working as efficiently as possible comprise the best strategy for managing the college workload. Using a stopwatch to time my completion of assignments also helps to give me a sense of urgency and a heightened focus.

Random hugs from friends. As I was writing this list, my friend Shannon came into my room to give me—you guessed it—a random hug…and she said I ought to add such hugs to the list. Undoubtedly, the encouragement and support of friends here at Erskine has been essential to my ability to flourish in college! And besides, who doesn’t love a random hug?

Spiritual nourishment. I have to confess that, when life becomes hectic, I’m very prone to neglecting that which I most need—time spent with the Lord and in His Word. I’ve learned, however, that no matter how overwhelmed I may feel, taking the time to be filled and renewed by God’s Word and by reading authors like Spurgeon, Thomas à Kempis, and Elisabeth Elliot always leaves me restored and better-equipped to work “with all [my] heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” (Colossians 3:23).

And there you have…just a few of the components of a full, flourishing college life.