This week is insane.
It just is.
The week before finals everyone either seems to walk around like zombies who have given up on life or are running around like overly caffeinated squirrels trying to get everything done at the last minute.
I have taken to switching between the two pretty much on the hour.
I would prefer not to talk about the things that are causing me stress (as they are all my fault for putting them off). However, I would absolutely love to talk about the way God has blessed me with ways to keep me sane.
For example, Gabe stole my phone during lunch earlier in the week. Usually it would have made me upset but looking back on it, and the billions of pictures my poor phone was subjected to, it just really makes me happy that I have such goofy friends.
They constantly do things that make me smile and most of the time they aren’t even trying.
My friends have really become like a mini campus family. We eat meals together, make fun of each other, support each other, sit in silence and do work, and then make fun of each other some more. We’re living life together. That’s my favorite part of college so far.
I love explaining what I’m learning about in class to them. As a communications major communicating about communication to the people I most often communicate with, it makes me very happy.
I have an unhealthy nerdy obsession with learning, but it’s made even more fun when I can wave my arms around like a crazy person and explain why I am so excited. Even if they don’t think it’s as absolutely fascinating as I do, they at least humor me to let me talk about it. I appreciate that.
I also enjoy the random theological discussions Jordan poses in our group chats or when somebody asks for prayer, or when we’re able to vent about some life frustration that we just need somebody to listen to.
Another awesome stress reliever has been Action Pact, MNU’s improv team.
Improv is a form of live performance comedy in which the actors make up everything on the spot, often asking for audience participation. I am on both the main improv team as well as the smaller Serve Team which travels to churches and does shows on weekends.
The main team did a show on Saturday night which was just too fun for words. It was our Christmas show so we got to dress up and many of our sketches had a Christmas theme.
Tickets to the show were $5 and those who came sat at a table in the Black Box theater and enjoyed cookies and hot cocoa.
I love improv because it requires little to no preparation on my part. That means no agonizing over lines, trying to remember where to stand, or making sure my voice or inflection is quite right. I just have to understand the rules of the game and then act on instinct.
I lose track of time when on stage with this team. An hour long show feels like almost five minutes. Not only is it fun to perform, but I also get to watch what hilarious and often awkward things my teammates do.
This kind of performance requires a lot of trust. I have to put myself out there on stage and say whatever I feel needs to be said and I need to be able to trust that they aren’t going to leave me out to dry. They constantly support me and have my back.
I wonder if any studies have been done on if there is a relationship between trust on stage and trust in real life? Or maybe trust on a team (like football or soccer) and trust in real life? I feel like they would subconsciously go together…just a thought. I should look into that.
Isn’t college great? I bet I could ask some professor about that and they would give me six books, a web address, and the name of someone they “have a connection with” who is an expert in the field.
Either way, I find I have gotten closer to members of the improv team by just allowing them to see pure, unadulterated, crazy me.
And they haven’t run off screaming yet so that’s a plus.
Another great thing about school this year which has really helped me to de-stress is the knowledge that everybody living around me is in the same boat.
We all have finals. We all have to deal with the cold weather and the last minute assignments and the random frustrating bursts of sickness which always come at the worst moments. Even the professors have finals stress. They have to grade assignments and deal with all of us students going to them for last minute help.
It’s kind of nice to go into the library and see a whole flock of poor students frantically doing assignments and coveting the few precious outlets in which to charge their laptops. They understand me when I put down my backpack with a heavy thud and mutter “ugh!”. Often, they join me.
So I guess we all have to learn to help each other out.
We have to, like my friend Justin does, clear dishes in the caf for our friends because we know it is a way to help them out.
We have to squeak into town, after going home for the weekend like Alex did, and rush to Bell Center in hopes of hearing the last song of the choir concert that our friends have worked hard to put on.
And we have to show up in the library when someone says they don’t want to study alone like Jordan did for me earlier today.
We have to take care of each other.
We have to take care of our professors, realize they’re people too. They’re not trying to ruin our lives, they’re just trying to do their jobs. We like when they make life easier for us, we should try our best to make life easier for them.
We are in a community centered around hope and love which comes as a graceful extension of God’s love to us. He never promised us that things would be easy (and really, we have it so easy compared to what some other people are going through right now) but he did promise to never leave us.
So we need to be willing to bring ourselves to God and not forget about him as we have a million other things on our minds.
Staying connected with God will help us to better serve our fellow students, be a blessing to our faculty, and hopefully keep a fragment of our personal sanity.
So that’s the three things I’m praying for this week
1. That I will not forget who really holds me accountable. It’s not my grades that matter in the end, but who I am as a person, and the amount that I have invested in casting my cares on God and trusting him to help me be the best student I can be.
2. That I will remember my fellow students; remember to care about what they’re going through, and not allow myself to think I’m the only person with problems or stresses.
3. That I will remember my professors: remember that they are human beings, like myself, just trying to do their jobs and live a Christ-like life to the best of their ability. I want to remember to trust that they know what they are doing and remember to pray for them in their efforts to help us while still remaining fair.
Best of luck y’all.