How to Find Balance in College

How to Find Balance in College

Perhaps you have seen the charts that look like this:

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When I visited a college for the first time in November of 2012, one of my dorm hosts showed me this chart.  Five years later, I can attest that it is accurate.

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Senior Year Dorm Room Tour

Senior Year Dorm Room Tour

I finally finished cleaning, rearranging, and decorating my dorm room just in time for residential students to move in later today.

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I thought I would give y’all a quick tour of my abode for the next nine months…my last nine months of undergrad!

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Every room is furnished to house two students.  Even though I am in a single-occupancy room, I have two dressers, two closets, two desks, and two beds (and therefore, twice the space to hide all of my junk).

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As expected, I have a lot of pictures hanging in my room.  Anyone want to guess how many?

It’s only appropriate that the library was trying to discard this Chris Rice CD.  I have used YouTube (because I am old school) to listen to various songs from it on repeat for the last three years of college.  Now I can quit typing song names in the YouTube search box.

I spent a long time decorating my door, and I am so proud of it!  I would much rather stare at my door than get started on the school work that my syllabi say I have to do, but if I want to graduate in May, I better wrap up this post and get to work!

Peanut Butter and Cream Cheese Mug Oatmeal

Peanut Butter and Cream Cheese Mug Oatmeal

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As I mentioned on day one of NaBloPoMo, there is another celebration lasting this entire month:  National Peanut Butter Lover’s Month!

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Because I myself am a peanut butter lover, I hope to post a peanut butter recipe every Friday of this month, starting with this easy microwave recipe.

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Ingredients

  • 1 tbs. peanut butter
  • 1 tbs. cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1 cup water

Directions

  • put peanut butter and cream cheese in a microwaveable bowl or mug
  • microwave for thirty seconds
  • mix the melted peanut butter and cream cheese with 1 cup of water
  • stir in oats
  • microwave an additional sixty seconds
  • let cool
  • eat and enjoy!

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Happy Peanut Butter Lover’s Month!!

No-Bake Protein Cookies

No-Bake Protein Cookies

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People tell me it’s possible, but I don’t believe them.  They tell me that they never eat breakfast, and lunch is their first meal everyday, but I am convinced that they are either (a) lying, (b) crazy, (c) confused, or (d) all of the above.

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For one thing, breakfast has to be the best meal of the day.  Why would you want to skip it?  I mean, aatmeal is considered a breakfast food.   Enough said.  (And for everyone who isn’t an oatmeal-addict, there’s always bacon, eggs, grits, sausage, hasbrowns, yogurt, etc.)

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Additionally, I wake up hungry almost every single morning.

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All that being said, I guess no one truly skips breakfast since the whole idea of “breakfast” is that you “break a fast.”  Really,  the first thing you eat on any given day is breakfast.

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Even with breakfast, I am hungry again by the end of my first class.  I have found that eating 1-2 of these protein-packed cookies between classes can tie me over until lunch.  Since they require no oven or stove, I can mix up a batch quickly and have enough cookies to last me a week.  And even if you “skip breakfast,” you can still enjoy one of these before lunch 🙂 .

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No-Bake Protein Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup oatmeal

Directions

  • In a medium bowl, mix milk and protein powder until a smooth batter forms.
  • Microwave peanut butter for about thirty seconds.  Stir peanut butter into the protein and milk.
  • Mix oatmeal into batter.
  • Form 6-8 cookie-dough balls.  Press them onto a plate.
  • Freeze for at least thirty minutes.
  • Eat and enjoy. (Store uneaten cookies in the refrigerator for up to a week.)

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Are you a breakfast eater?  What is your favorite mid-morning snack?

There Are Just 3 College Students

There Are Just 3 College Students

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As students have returned to campus and arrived for the first time, I have realized that there are really just three types of college students: the positive planners, aimless aliens, and directed drifters. I have been in each of these categories since starting college two years ago, and I want to encourage all students with what the Lord has taught me.

When I started college in 2013, I was a positive planner.  I had no doubt about my bright future which was neatly scheduled into a five-year plan.  I was determined to get my bachelors degree in elementary education and then earn my masters before teaching fourth grade a local Christian school.  If I met a nice guy along the way, I would get married. I had my perfect life imagined, and I was even a bit condescending to those who had not chosen a major yet. Life was set.

A month later, I became an aimless alien–lost, misplaced, and directionless.  Suddenly, I began questioning my decision to become an elementary teacher, and I started throwing around other options.  I could be a high school English teacher.  Or I could be a librarian.  Or a photojournalist.  A nutritionist.  A…anything.  One night, I sat in the dorm stairwell and finally told God that I was willing to leave my comfort zone and the path I had always thought I would take.

By August of my Sophomore year, I was completely purposeless.  I had survived a hard summer, and I did not want to come back to school.  In fact, I did not want to do anything that was not easy and fun.  Because of my selfish thinking, any ideas I had for the future were unwise, and impractical.  I never would have said this, but I felt like God had failed to direct me. I was empty and lost. This feeling stuck with me for almost nine months.

A few weeks after Sophomore year ended, a man stood on a platform in front of me and 1500 other college students.  He asked the question, “Who are you?”  I honestly did not know how to answer that question.  He then said, “You cannot know what you are supposed to do with your life until you know who you are.”

I had no idea who I was.  I knew that I was a Christian, but that was it.  As a Pine Cove employee over the summer, I accepted the truths that I have always been taught:

  • I am a daughter of the King of Kings (John 1:12) in the painful process of sanctification (I Thes. 4:3a).
  • I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works which He has before ordained (Ephesians 2:10).

I am a directed drifter–I do not have a set plan for the future, but I know that the Lord does have a set plan, and I can rest contentedly in that state.

If you are a…

  • Positive planner,
    • Be sure that God is the one directing your paths (John 3:30, Prov. 3:5)
    • If He is, embrace God’s plan for your life (Philippians 1:6)
  • Aimless alien,
    • Realize that you cannot have control of your life (Luke 17:33)
    • Realign your life to fit God’s plan (Rom. 12:1-2)
  • Directed drifter,
    • Enjoy the view as you wander and quit worrying about the destination! (Ecc. 7:14)
    • Continually seek Jesus and He will give wisdom for the next step (Prov. 3:6)
  • For any stage of life—
    • Seek Jesus
    • Look to grow
    • Live pure and unspotted
    • Lean on him

Proverbs 16:9

People may make plans in their minds, but the Lord decides what they will do.

What would you consider yourself?  A planner, alien, or drifter?

Dorm Tour

Dorm Tour

I am happy to link up once again for Fiesta Friday; it has been months since I have been able to join the party!

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So many different adjectives could describe this week: busy, crazy, informative, fun, rainy, laughable, stressful, insightful, and tiring.

I moved back onto campus Monday, and I have spent the week training to be a Resident Assistant (RA) once again this semester.  In the few moments that I have not been helping the deans create welcome bags, input student medical data, or assign roommates, I have been cleaning and decorating my hall.

Thankfully, I was able to come a little early on Monday and set most of my room up.  I always feel better once my bed is made, my walls are covered in pictures, and my t-shirts are folded and placed in ROY G BIV order in the bottom drawer. (It took me quite a while to hang all of my photos and organize all of my clothes).  Today I am FINALLY posting pictures of my room before students arrive this afternoon.

I usually leave my closet doors bare, but I had over 75 pictures to hang this year, so 18 of them are taped to the closet.

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My grandma bought me this clock for Christmas my senior year of high school.  I absolutely love it, but I always forget to put a battery in it…it’s only right twice a day (10:37 am and 10:37 pm).

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One of the benefits of being an RA is having your own room.  This is the extra bed that will probably be used less than 3 times all year.

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My desk is where I spend most of my time.  I really don’t like the school’s hard desk chairs, so I usually sit on an exercise ball.  However, I left my pump at home, so I have just been sitting on my knees until my dad brings the pump later today.

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I could probably survive just fine with only my bed and dresser.  As long as I have clothes, a clean room, and sleep, I am a happy girl.

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Do you prefer bare walls or lots of photos?

Can you sleep in a messy room, or do you always clean it before laying down for the night?

Top Ten Tuesday: Bible College

Top Ten Tuesday: Bible College

collegeCollege will be starting back in just a few weeks, and many freshman will be hitting the halls for the first time.  For those of you who will be experiencing your first tastes of Christian college, here are a few things you should know.

Ten Things You Should Know Before Attending a Christian College

1. Not all Christian colleges are alike.

My friend goes to Christian college X.  He has no curfew, and he only goes to chapel four times a semester. I go to college Y. My weekend curfew is 1 am, and I go to chapel four times a week.  He uses a communal bathroom in a filthy dorm; I share a bathroom with one other girl in our clean suite.  Here’s what I am trying to say:  don’t assume that everything your friend at college X has told you is true about college Y as well.

2. Dorm life at a Christian college is not a year-long summer camp.

If you’ve attended a Christian summer camp, you likely stayed up late at night laughing, eating pizza, and mourning the fact that you had to leave your new friends at the end of the week. Before my freshman year, I had the unrealistic expectation that my roommate and I would stay up late every night pondering God’s love and confessing our past sins. In reality, we usually went to bed around 11 o’clock (we aren’t really night people). The times that we did stay up late, we made ridiculous plans for our distant futures that involved opening cookie factories and taking adventurous trips together.

3. You may not find your mate here.

Sorry, but it’s the truth. Not EVERY match is made at Bible College.  (Some matches are made in phosphorous factories.  Either way, it all starts with a little chemistry).  Also, not every guy is a “preacher boy” that walks around quoting Song of Solomon.

4. Jesus did not build the ark.

While it is not necessary, a basic knowledge of the Bible is definitely helpful. However, you do not need to be able to fully contrast Dispensationalism with Covenant Theology. Your professors exist to teach you.

5. Your professors are not God.

In light of the last fact, you must remember that your professors are not omniscient. They make mistakes, and they may (unknowingly) teach you a lie. You must still search God’s Word for yourself.

6. The “spiritual high” is not ubiquitous.

As one girl on my hall said, “I thought my spiritual life would explode with flowers.”  Yes, the first few days will feel like literal Heaven. You will be surrounded by people of like-faith, encouraging you to focus on God. However, classes will start, and you will fall into a routine. If you do not consciously make God a priority, you will begin to backslide.

7. Knowledge about God cannot replace a relationship with God.

Do not be content to only learn about God in class. Continue to pray and spend time with Him daily.

8. Temptations abound.

Bible College is not a “Holy Zone” where you can escape sin. You must guard your heart.

9. God will work in your life.

According to I Thessalonians 4:3a, God’s desire is for you to be like His Son. He will bring trials and blessings into your life to change you.

10. Time flies.

Enjoy every minute of your four years. Once they are gone, they are gone.