It’s the #1 piece of advice most people give college students. But sometimes…we don’t listen. I have gotten myself in this scenario more than once: you’ve put off writing your paper/studying for your test/working on your project until the night before, and you know have less than twelve hours before said assignment needs to be turned in.
So while you should avoid this situation at all costs, here are some tips for when you’ve procrastinated!
If I am really uninterested in writing that paper that’s due in the morning, I often find myself suddenly incredibly interested in doing all sorts of other less-urgent assignments. Don’t do it! Make a list of what you absolutely need to get done that day, and prioritize each thing in the list so that the most important ones get done first. What are the most important ones? That depends on your list. What things are worth the most points? Will take the most effort to do right? Are most important for your degree program? If it’s just not possible to get everything done (again, hopefully you don’t put yourself in this situation!), then you need to prioritize tasks.
2. Caffeinate and eat the right food!
You probably will actually need some coffee tonight, so stock up. BUT, don’t give in to the temptation to also stock up on junk food and candy bars. You’ll crash earlier and harder than if you choose some sustainable snacks, like apples and peanut butter or veggies and hummus.
3. Find your spot.
If you’re going to have to concentrate the work you should have spread out over a few weeks into one night, find a spot to work that has everything you need. It should be comfy (but not so comfy you could conceivably sleep there), have good lighting, and plenty of space to spread your work out.
Here’s mine! My desk in my room has multiple light sources, a big enough space to spread out my laptop and books, and is surrounded by things that inspire me and make me happy. You can also see my coffee and To-Do list!
School is important, and doing your best work glorifies God. But your grades do not define you, and if life has piled up on you unexpectedly and you do some things imperfectly, it’s okay! He wants more for His children than tidy lives and fake perfection – He wants you to be alive in His grace and perfection, not your own.
School is officially back in full swing! The blizzard we suffered through in Lynchburg delayed some things, but we’re back in class and taking on week two of the spring semester!
In an effort to avoid facing reality and dealing with the fact that school has started again, here is a look at my wonderful break – in pictures!
I had a wonderful Christmas! I love this picture because (1.) I LOVE pretty coffee mugs and (2.) I had just painted my nails with green and red sparkles. So you could say I was pretty festive.
I spent Christmas with my family, at home in Colorado. We woke up early, ate breakfast, and exchanged gifts. Here are some of my favorites:
My little sister Kendra gave me this gorgeous piece of artwork – the elephant is made with nails and string, and she used sequins for the water splashing out of his trunk. She’s so creative, and I love this beautiful creation.
Books! I love getting books as gifts – you can read them, scribble in them, love them to death, and if the right time arises, you can even give them away to someone who needs them! My lifelong dream is to have a big library and casually give away all the books to people that need to read them. This year, I also got a beautiful journaling Bible that I love.
Other highlights of Christmas:
Spending Christmas Eve answering calls for NORAD! NORAD tracks Santa every year, and my family and I got to go to a makeshift call center and tell kids and their families where Santa was and when he would get to their house. It was so fun to hear their little voices and answer questions about Santa’s musical preferences, his reindeer, and his elves!
My mom made a “Hot Cocoa Bar” for a Christmas party that had lots of hot chocolate, whipped cream, sprinkles, and lots of other toppings. It was so fun and made for some pretty cute cups of cocoa!
After Christmas, my family and I drove to California to spend some time with more family.
The drive from Colorado to California was long, but beautiful.
We spent a few days with my aunts and uncles and cousins in a beautiful little home we rented.
We spent the evenings in this gorgeous backyard, complete with pool, hot tub, grill, and hammock. So much fun!
I was loving how warm it was!
New Year’s was pretty boring for us – I was leaving for a debate tournament the next day and had a flight to catch! But I did make this little Instagram year in review:
It was a good year – In-n-Out, pancakes, snow, a trip to London, buckets of slime, and lots of laughter!
I traveled to an early debate tournament during the first week of the year in San Francisco. Before debating, we took the time to check out some sights!
Debate ladies – Leonora, me, and Vida – at a vantage point to look at the Golden Gate Bridge.
It was a foggy day, but it was still beautiful. We even saw a rainbow!
Vida and I walking around the Muir Woods! It was a rainy week, but we still managed to see some awesome places!
After a busy break, I flew back to Lynchburg. This amazing book kept me company: Teach Us to Want, by Jen Pollock Michel. I talked about it in my Christmas Break Reading List post!
I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year. Let’s take on 2016!
It’s finally time for break! If you’re anything like me, the temptation is to spend your precious break napping and binge-watching cop dramas on TV. Not only will this get boring after a while, it’s (shockingly) not the best thing for your health or mind. So, my usual alternative is to spend a good amount of my free time during the break reading! Seriously, I love having breaks so that I can rediscover how much I love doing non-assigned reading. It’s a lot harder to remember that you love to read when you have 400 pages of history to finish. So I take some time to read all the things I’d much rather be reading during the break. And boy, do I have a long list of things I’ve been wanting to read. So here’s my reading list for this Christmas break! Hopefully it will inspire you to do some reading yourself and give you some ideas about where to start!
1. Teach Us to Want: Longing, Ambition, and the Life of Faith, Jen Pollock Michel
I’ve been waiting for my hold on this book to come in from the library for weeks! We read Desiring the Kingdom by James K. A. Smith as a debate team this summer, and this book is another take on a similar idea: what we desire shapes what we think, how we act, and who we are. It tackles the lie that desire is innately sinful and instead argues that God has made us desiring beings, but that our desires have been misdirected by sin. I loved James K. A. Smith’s book, so I’m excited for this one!
2. Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling, Andy Crouch
We read this fantastic book as part of my favorite class this semester, Writing as Cultural Engagement. The class used it to discuss the ways our writing could influence, shape, or create culture. I loved the book, but I was so busy this semester I often rushed through the chapters, so I’m using this break to reread it and appreciate it more fully. Crouch makes an argument for doing more than commenting on culture or mimicking it, but actually getting our hands dirty and creating it – for the glory of God.
3. Visions of Vocation: Common Grace for the Common Good, Steven Garber
I started this one during Thanksgiving Break, and I’m so excited to finish it. Garber argues that one of the hardest things for the Christian (or really anyone) to do is to truly know the world and yet love it. He beautifully explains how difficult it is to face the heartbreaking reality of a fallen world and respond with compassion and action. It’s challenging me in all kinds of ways right now.
4. A Grace Revealed: How God Redeems the Story of Your Life, Jerry Sittser
This book is the only one I haven’t started already. It was written by a man who faced incredible sorrow – the loss of his daughter, wife, and mother in a car accident. He’s written about grief in another book, A Grace Disguised, and this book is supposed to answer the question, “How do we live meaningfully, even fruitfully, in this world and at the same time long for heaven?” I’ve so often thought about the same thing – how do we, as Christians, place our hope in the not yet while truly living out the lives He’s planned for us here on earth? I’m excited to see what Sittser has to say.
I hope this list inspired you to make your own Christmas Break reading list! Happy reading!
The end of the semester is so close! The debate team is using these last few weeks to get some service projects in that will benefit our whole community. Here are some of the projects we’ve been doing – hopefully this will give you all some ideas about how to bless people this Christmas!
First, we’ve been raising money for kids in Lynchburg to have happy Christmases! We’ve held bake sales, collected money during Halloween, and collected from our parents and friends all semester.
Alli and Nora working the bake sale in the library!
Some of the delicious goods Liberty students bought to raise money for little kids' Christmas gifts!
We recently got together and wrapped all the presents we had bought at our annual Christmas party. We ate dinner together, wrapped the presents, had a while elephant gift exchange, and took some fun pictures! Here are some of the (frankly fantastic) pictures we took that night!
Here's Abby Joy and Brianna having fun at the party!
And Claire and Hannah!
And finally, my lovely quad - Rachael, me, Claire, and Amanda!
Second, the team helped out a local food pantry last week. Park View Community Mission is an outreach of Park View United Methodist Church. It provides food for the local community through its pantry and its Wednesday night community meals. Check out their website and contact them to help serve!
We did a special project last week for the food pantry. They have a huge freezer in the back of the church that holds all the donated meat they receive. They needed a large group to come and organize the meat so that they can use all of it in the most effective way. We spent the morning taking most of the meat out of the freezer and organizing it my the date it was received or by the needs it was being allocated for.
Here are the lovely volunteers that spent their Saturday morning cleaning out a giant freezer!
Amanda and Kris working hard to move the boxes of meat out of the freezer!
I hope this gave you some ideas about ways to serve during the Christmas season! There are plenty of other food pantries and soup kitchens in Lynchburg or you can find one in your local area wherever you are during break! Spread the spirit of Christmas and the love of Jesus by serving the people around you!
It’s exam season!
And that means caffeine-fueled library camp-outs and stressed all-nighters. It’s these perilous times that we need our friends around us.
So here are some ideas for supporting your friends during this crazy stressful time!
1. Leave them encouraging notes (and maybe some chocolate!)
My Bible study girls and I made these cute little wrappers for Kit Kats and left them on the desks of our fellow debaters. We found a template online to make the covers and then spent the afternoon making them. Just head over to Pinterest and you can find a ton of great ideas similar to this one! (Here’s where I found the template for this particular one.)
2. Force them to take a quick break and relax.
(This coffee happens to have a piece of Peppermint Bark on top! Best coffee ever!)
I know how it goes – you’ve got two finals tomorrow, a project due today, and three papers due next week. But you need to take a break occasionally or you’ll burn out and get nothing done. So find a friend that also needs a break and go hang out over some coffee. You’ll get the caffeine you need to make it through your next study group and you’ll have some sweet time with a friend!
3. Take some Christmas pictures!
It’s something everyone says they want to do before they leave for the semester, but always get too busy and forget about. In the same vein as #2, take a break and take some Christmas pictures with your friends! Get a group together, and pick a location. You can get all dressed up or go for the Ugly Christmas sweater look. Some members of the debate team got together and took some pictures in front of the Christmas trees in the Visitor Center recently, but my roommates and I are doing Ugly Christmas sweater “family pictures” next week!
I hope these tips help you encourage your stressed-out friends before finals!
Good luck on your exams!