Overcoming the Chaos of College

I can’t count the amount of times I’ve struggled in school. Things jumbling together and it seemed like there was absolutely no control over anything. Realistically, it is hard to be young, to be in your early 20’s, in college trying to figure out your whole future. Every decision you make building up to this “future”. Having no experience in life, and having to face reality with a vulnerable heart. Responsibilities and decisions being handed to you, expectations rising, but really having absolutely no idea where you are headed or what you want to do, while having life happen without any yielding. To me, it felt like this massive wave crashing down on me, having no escape. 

I remember crying the night I tuned 18, just a month before I started my first term in college. I was so afraid of what this new age would bring. I only felt fear; fear of responsibilities, fear of not knowing where I was going in life. I mean, I was starting college! I was technically considered an “adult”, technically. Such a fearful time, having to decide life, but at the same time not having an idea of what I was doing. I think many of us feel this way at some point in our early 20’s, overwhelmed by this sudden independence and the major responsibilities.

My beginning college experience was a mess. I had to learn how to manage real life, the reality of life, and my studies all at once. Life got real quickly, countless things happening in my life all around. Reality was happening. I experienced turmoil and chaos; I experienced the crash of my family, the pain in each of my family members, death of close friends, heart break, sickness in my brother and mom, as well as many other things. I addition to all these things I still had to manage school, homework, class, assignments, readings, projects, exams and a job, trying to figure out where I was going and what I wanted to do, while keeping my spirits high and motivated. I felt like I was losing myself, feeling like I was falling into an endless pit. It was difficult to adjust to all these changes and to put everything into perspective. I felt like I would never be able to manage it all and to overcome the hit life gave me. 

 I gave my heart to Jesus November 2009, 3 months after my 18th birthday, and everyday I am grateful that was when it happened. I don’t know where I would be through all this if I did not have Jesus by my side. What I am trying to say is, it is hard. It is extremely hard, and it probably will get harder before it gets any easier.  Life never stops, it keeps going, good or bad, it happens when it happens. Having all these “life” situations happen at an age where I was trying to figure out where my life was going was so much harder. 

So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.  But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” (Matthew 14:29-30, New King James Version)

This is exactly what I was feeling those years. I saw the chaos and feared I wouldn’t make it. Peter saw the chaos, and he lost faith. He knew Jesus was there, walking on water, achieving the impossible! But he was not sure he would be able to make it to Jesus, feeling weak and afraid. Even though he saw Jesus, and even when Jesus told him to come, he didn’t believe he would make it. Life strikes hard, just like those waves and the wind pushing Peter back and forth, life hits us. Scaring us, bringing us doubt, causing for us to feel like there is no way out. But just like Peter, through this situation, looking past the winds roaring, keeping your eyes above the waves, Jesus is there. Keep your eyes focused on Him, through the turmoil and craziness of life.  He is standing there, above the waves, making sure you get to him safe from harm.

Doubt, worry, confusion, pain, all these things find their way to us. Peter, went through these same emotions, but Jesus had already taken care of everything. He had it all under control, no matter how high the waves were rising or how furiously the wind was blowing- Jesus was not going to let any of those things harm Peter, He had everything under control. Jesus is doing the same in your life. College, life, work, family, friendships, it all can be overwhelming and in some way attack you, but think about this: 

“And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.” (Matthew 14:31-32, NKJV).

He is protecting you from the hard hits in life, and He is waiting for you on the other side of fear. Even when college life seems like a terrifying time, know Jesus is standing there above the waves.

New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.