Kicking off the new year

As college students all around the country settle back into their dorm rooms and apartments and get back into the swing of classes, it’s important to remember what really matters.

Sure, football season kicks off in just a few weeks and that’s pretty important — at least down here in the South. Sure, spending time with those friends you haven’t seen all summer is important. Of course, your grades and classwork are important. But God is infinitely more important.

Maybe some of you went on missions trips this summer. Maybe you spent time with your home church. Don’t let the fire God started in you this summer burn out. Don’t get overwhelmed by athletic, social and academic obligations and neglect God.

As college students we make excuses not to go to church, read our Bible, pray or join a Bible study. We’re always “too tired” or “too busy.”

But I can’t stress enough how important all of those things are, especially in the midst of an overwhelming, stressful, busy schedule. Our relationship with Christ should be our priority and if it is, you’d be surprised at how rewarding it is. When you really dive headfirst into the word of God and passionately dedicate your free time to getting to know your God better, it no longer seems like a chore.

The best place for me to start was joining a Bible study. Once a week, I got to eat dinner, fellowship with other Christians and study the Bible. It gave me a chance to de-stress and laugh while spending time in God’s word. Nothing encouraged me in my walk with God more than spending time with other Christians going through the same life stage as me.

When we fill our hearts and minds with the love of Christ, everything else going on around us seems less important. College can be some of the greatest years of your life, but it can also be some of the hardest.

It seems like college students are always stressed out about something. Some worry about keeping their grades good, some worry about working a job to pay for school, some worry about fitting in with a certain group or club, some worry about drama with friends or roommates and some worry about their future after college graduation.

Students can be so hard on themselves when things don’t go the way they wanted. If they don’t make a good grade on a test, they’re stupid and don’t have a future. If they lose the ballgame on the last second or the last pitch, the whole college and fanbase hates them and they’re failures. If someone don’t get along with their roommates, it’s because he or she is boring and annoying and unlovable. Everyone struggles with feelings of discouragement, but in the pressure cooker that is college, everything can seem heightened.

Amidst all the pressure and negativity placed on students from themselves, their families, their peers and their professors, it can be tough to stay rooted in who you really are.

You are a child of God and your grades do not define you. The Savior of the universe died for you and your stats after a game do not define you. You are unconditionally loved by the Creator of the universe and what other people think about you does not define who you are.

So as the chaos of a new year unfolds around you, no matter who you are or what you are doing, remember that you are loved and guarded by the almighty God. Refresh yourself with those truths every day. Spend time with God and His word and let His love consume you and pour out onto others.

Now let the new year begin!

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (Colossians 3:1-2, ESV)


By Jessica

Jessica Ingram

Jessica Ingram is a regular contributor to The Rope. She also is the event coordinator for The Alabama Baptist/TAB Media. She graduated from Mississippi State University in 2017 and is a member of The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham.

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