by Kimberly Ong
No doubt, college will give you the most exhilarating four years of your life. You’ll be swept off your feet for both good and, well, not so good reasons. So, though you didn’t ask, we’ve listed a few tips just for you! A college survival guide, if you will.
1. Stand your ground.
You’ve heard this advice one too many times, but only because it’s that important. Do not give in to peer pressure. Draw your lines and don’t compromise. Being in college means you’re old and smart enough to know what’s right. There are no gray areas when it comes to the sins for which Christ died. If you stick by your values, people will see that, and they’ll respect you.
2. Broken is beautiful.
College will break you, and then build you up, only to break you again. You will lose yourself, get confused, and get confused some more. It’s a long and difficult process, but nothing is ever without purpose. When you accept the honing, you’ll discover Him who makes you strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says:
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
3. Little light, shine.
God, the King of the entire universe, the Lord of the Heavens and the Earth, the Creator of all things, says you’re awesome. So, shine! Let this settle in your bones, and let it drive you to do many great things.
College is oozing with opportunities to shine for Jesus. Talk to the person at the back corner of the room, chat with the cafeteria lady, or organize a bible study group. In whatever you do, make Christ so visible in your swagger that people cannot ignore it.
Pray, even for just these two things: Lord, let Your will be done, and thank you.
As for us, we pray that as you’re being swept off your feet, you’ll find the strength to keep the faith and finish strong—although you didn’t ask. :)
DEALING WITH PEER PRESSURE: TEN WAYS TO SAY NO WHEN ASKED TO CHEAT, OR BULLY, OR DO SOMETHING THAT WILL BRING YOU TO THE PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE
by Marts Valenzuela
Another school year has kicked-off. New friends, new professors and new experiences await students within the four corners of their campus. Indeed, it’s fun to hang around the school with friends, but it’s more fun if you can avoid hanging out in the principal’s office with your parents because of misconduct. And I’m speaking in experience. I’ve been there twice in my high school days, and I tell you, there’s no place like the principal’s office.
As I grew old, I realized that I can actually avoid being sent in that dreaded place. Here are some nifty tips on how to say no when your “friends” asks something that will bring you to the principal’s office:
1. “DUH?! CHEATING* IS FOR LOSERS. I’M NOT A LOSER, ARE YOU?”
No one wants to be called a loser. And cheating is actually for losers. This is an old-school idea but in reality, students tend to forget that cheating is a sure-fire track towards failure. There are no shortcuts to learning. So if you can get your “cheaters are losers” message across, you can spare yourself from going to the principal’s dugout.
*can also be bullying or class-cutting
2. “YOU’RE TALKING TO A DEAD MAN”.
This may sound weird, but the idea is very biblical. Those who have received Jesus in their heart are already “dead to sin” and “alive to Christ”. And a “dead man” doesn’t cheat nor bully anyone! So the next time your “friends” connive with you about something you don’t want to mess yourself up with, politely reply, “You’re talking to a dead man.” See the reactions on their faces.
3. RESPOND WITH AN ANGELIC GAZE.
This is applicable only if you have it of course (otherwise proceed to #4 or go back to #2). No one can resist someone with an angelic face. When your “friends” pressure you to join them in their misconduct, stare directly into their eyes with an angelic, innocent look. See how it produces a startling effect on them. This is effective for pretty ladies, but works best with guys as well. Just imagine a guy looking eye to eye with another guy with an innocent, charming and angelic look. If you’re a guy and you”ll do it, for sure the perpetrator will don’t mess with you anymore.
4. SCREAM TO THE TOP OF YOUR LUNGS.
For sure your “friends”, because of embarrassment, will opt to stay away from you at that moment. Who wants to be seen around someone who screams to catch public attention? But be careful though. You might not be sent to the principal’s office because of bullying or cheating or class-cutting, but because of class disruption.
5. RUN AS JOSEPH DID.
Run! If you don’t know how to say no, if you have no guts to articulate your refusal and disagreement, the best thing to do is to run. Just see to it that no one takes hold of you garments before you take action, and make sure your seams are in good condition, otherwise you’ll literally run as Joseph did, naked.
6. BRING OUT YOUR BIBLE AND READ BEFORE THEM THE 10 COMMANDMENTS.
This applies if you always have your Bible accessible. The mere sight of your Bible might cause them to think twice of their evil schemes, how much more if they hear it being read before them? Read before them the Ten Commandments, stressing out the “thou shall” portions. You can also try reading verses about hell, stressing out “their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.” The more creative and convincing you deliver the message, the better.
7. IF YOU HAVE YOUR PROFESSOR’S NUMBER, DIAL IT AT ONCE.
Your reporting to authorities will immediately stop the progress of the misconduct, but your convictions will be tested. If your name is KJ and you’re used to be called a tattletale, this one’s for you. Just make sure you have cellphone load and you know your way home.
8. LOOKOUT TO HEAVEN AND SHOUT “OH! THIS WICKED AND PERVERSE GENERATION!”
This goes to those armed with dramatic prowess but having an unbelievable confidence will do. When your friends conspires with you, take a deep breath, make your timing and drop the line “Oh! This wicked and perverse generation! The end of time is near! When will you cease to do evil?” You can make your own script but the bottom line is to be dramatic. You’ll never know who might discover your talent.
9. HAVE THEM COMFORTABLY SEATED AND SHARE THEM THE PARABLE OF THE WAYWARD SON.
If you’re good in storytelling and in conversations, this can be your subtle way of disagreeing. Divert the conversation into something that will lead you towards biblical parables. Always look out for conversational cues wherein to inject your story. In the end, you might not just convince them of the consequences of their planned scheme, but convince them also to turn towards your faith. Just make sure no offering plates will be passed around.
10. INVITE THEM TO JOIN YOU IN PRAYER.
While your “friends” are still speaking, grab the hands of the one on your right and left, asking them to join hands with you. Then utter your prayer of forgiveness and of repentance. Ask for guidance in all your decisions. Intentionally make your prayer lengthy and convicting. Then after your litanies, ask “so what’s the plan?”
These tips may sound silly and will make you look self-righteous in your actions. And in one way or another, might cause you to think “higher” than you ought to be. Thus I am making this very important note on how to say no when someone asks you to break the rules:
“Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’, and your ‘No’, ‘No’;
anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” Matthew 5:37
There is no better way to refuse an invitation than by simply saying NO, backed up with conviction and a lifestyle that consistently says NO to cheating, bullying, class-cutting, and other things that will bring one to the principal’s office. And though the principal’s office may be cozy and cool unlike our typical classrooms, if you’ll ask me if I enjoyed spending my stay there? NO.