Five Tips for College

I’m not so good at getting involved in the social life of my school, if that’s what you want tips on. However, I am now in my junior year of college, and have gotten all As, except for in one class. So, here are a few things I think might help you achieve your academic goals.

Old-Picture-University-of-pennsylvania

1. Focus on the projects in front of you, instead of letting yourself be overwhelmed by all the work that’s coming. During the first week of classes, professors often go over the entire syllabus to let you know what will be required of you during the 16-week class. This has been known to cause people to freak out. In my experience, it makes it feel like you’ll be doing a lot more work than you actually will be doing. Generally, you’ll have 16 weeks, but talking about it all right away can make you feel like you have a lot less time. This week already I’ve had several professors discuss the final exam with us, during the first class session. Talk about pressure. Don’t let it get to you. Focus on doing a good job with the work that’s next.

2. Choose partners wisely. When there’s a group project that’s required, I kind of like to spy out the class and see who’s going to do the work and who’s not. It’s pretty easy to tell. Be active when it comes to teaming up, not passive. Don’t be afraid to ask someone you’ve never spoken to before. Chances are they want a good partner also.

3. Listen to the professor, and do what is required of you. I know. This seems really obvious. But I’ve observed a lot of people who have made presentations or written papers that just don’t fulfill the professor’s requirements. Either they turn it in late, it’s not long enough or short enough, parts are missing, etc. Read the syllabus, listen to what the professor says, and ask questions if you’re unsure about the parameters of an assignment. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your professors if you need help. Also, many colleges have tutoring labs; if you’re having trouble with a particular subject, take advantage of them.

4. Find a rhythm and a method of organization that works for you. What I mean by rhythm is that each class has a different feel and expectation, and each class will require a different timeline for assignments. Most of my classes have a lot of reading. In order to make sure the reading is fresh in my mind, I have to read it the day of the class or the night before, if the class is in the morning. As far as methods of organization, weekly planners work for most people. I, on the other hand, keep track of class dates and times on my computer/phone calendar, and I keep track of assignments on a note that stays permanently on my laptop desktop. Every semester is going to change the way you approach learning, so realize that the method you used in high school or the last year of college might not work for you this year.

5. Don’t lose sight of the really important things. With college, everything feels so urgent. This assignment is due this day, this test is this day. Don’t forget about the things that are less urgent most of the time, but are more important all of the time. For example, your relationship with God. Your family. Your church. They can all so easily be pushed aside because there’s no professor reminding you every Tuesday and Thursday at 10:15 A.M. to pay attention to them. Take moments to evaluate your life and ask yourself what important things you are neglecting.

How God is Sexist (Part 1)

Haven’t you heard? Everything is sexist these days. Movies, music, television, politics, the media, the army, the workforce, air conditioning. Yes, air conditioning. If you don’t believe me check out the article here. It seems that a day can’t go by without the internet adding another thing to the list of things that are sexist. Many would like to add Christianity to that list.

rTLxdrakcAnd I might too, but I look at the whole situation a little differently.

But before you go about deciding whether or not I’m right or wrong, which you may have already, let us first look at the definition of sexism. Because you can’t really decide whether you can label something until you know what the label means. There are a few different definitions of sexism. One is “prejudice or discrimination based on sex”. Another is “behavior, conditions, or
attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex”.

I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; likewise that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. (1 Timothy 2:8-12)

Man, do people hate that. It’s cultural, they say. Despite the fact that there is really nothing within the text that indicates this was a cultural mandate only, in fact much to indicate the opposite, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s extremely sexist. A woman is to remain quiet? That’s certainly discrimination based on sex. And if 1 Timothy wasn’t enough:

As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church. (1 Corinthians 13:33b-35)

But, then, we have verses like this:

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)

What gives? How can the Bible claim to make no distinction between the sexes, then tell women to shut up? How is that fair?

All natural questions.

I’ve written before about the fact that every human relationship mirrors our relationship with God in some way. Just as a wife is joined with her husband, we are joined with Christ. However, the picture of marriage goes beyond the relationship we have with each other, and with God. The relationship between a man and a woman is also a picture of the relationship between God the Father and God the Son. 1 Corinthians 11 says that just as man is the head of woman, the head of Christ is God. The members of the Trinity are not more God or less God because one is the head of the other. They are all equal in their divinity. However, there is a definite hierarchy. Jesus did not consider it unfair to submit to his Father’s will. If it cannot be beneath the Son of God to be under the headship of God the Father, it is not beneath a woman of God to be under the headship of a man of God. Spiritually, there is no difference. There is nothing about a woman’s soul that makes her less than a man. This is simply the way that God has designed the relational chain of command. There is nothing about the chain of command that makes one link less important than the other. 

Part 2 coming soon.