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Five Stress Busters for College Students

But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him. - Habakkuk 2:20

I sit at my computer keyboard a tired girl. My feet are sore, my eyes ache and my brain can’t hold another fact. As I adjust to another semester here at college, my life is unbelievably hectic. Papers and tests, work and friends—my days are so busy that all the time I can spare for God is a quick prayer at the end of the day.

I want to be successful and put my all into every day, but sitting here, I feel like I can’t go on. I can’t go on in this crazy life that leaves me exhausted and unable to enjoy the things around me. I can’t go on without spending time with God.

What I need is a time of silence—a time when I’m alert, not half asleep, a time when I can intentionally bask in the presence of my Lord. This isn’t a time when I drill Him with all that is wrong in my life and all that I need. Instead, it should be a time when I relax and let Him speak to me—a time of simply listening for His voice in my life, a voice that is so often eclipsed by all life’s busyness. It’s a voice that can speak to my heart if I make the time and quiet my spirit.

In 1 Kings 19:11-12, the prophet Elijah is waiting for the presence of the Lord to pass by him. A great wind, an earthquake, and a fire all pass by, but God is not in those elements. The presence of God is finally found in a whisper. A whisper!

How will we ever find God in our noisy lives if we don’t stop to listen for Him?

The days ahead will still be exhausting, I admit, but there is a certain joy and encouragement found in sitting at the feet of God. Our lives at college are so unbelievably busy, but we all need to spend time with God. It is in Him that we find the strength to face whatever lies ahead.

It is in silence that we hear the heart of God.

Five Tips for Stress Relief

Talk.

Sometimes a good heart-to-heart brings things into perspective and helps you clarify your problems as you put them into words. Don’t whine; just be honest and accurate. Be ready to listen, too!

Laugh.

In some cases, laughter really is the best medicine. Rent a Marx Brothers movie, play a prank on a friend or sit next to that guy who tells great stories when you go to the cafeteria. Nothing clears your head like a good, hard laugh.

Move.

We get so busy with all our commitments, it’s easy to cut out exercise—but there are few better ways to blow off steam and clear your mind than a few minutes on the treadmill or in a pickup game of basketball. Get those endorphins flowing.

Simplify.

A lot of our stress comes from being overcommitted or from wanting more than we really need. Cut through the clutter. Consider getting rid of those activities, possessions, and ambitions that keep you too busy.

Waste some time with God.

Not all your time with God has to be Bible study and fervent prayer. Waste some time with Him. You can spare a half hour! Find a nice lawn and lie on your back looking up at the clouds He’s made. Skip some stones. Collect some fallen leaves. Sit with your back against a tree and listen to some favorite music.

Want more advice for the college years? Check out Student to Student: A Guide to College Life. It makes a great gif!


From Student to Student: A Guide to College Life © 2008 by Paula Miller and Paul Buchanan. Published by Regal Books. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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