SSU of the Month: M.M.

image: Single Sisters in University

Interview Topic: Handling Academic Success

Sisters! Meet M.M., a graduate student in Business Administration. We all know that academic success is highly emphasized in school: Professors tend to value those who actively participate in class and perform well in their studies, and it is a common trend that students who have good grades become arrogant. As ambassadors of Christ on campus, how should we handle academic success? Let’s read what M.A. has to say.

How was your overall academic performance last academic semester?
It was good, I thank the Lord for His faithfulness. I got good grades in all my classes.

Some professors tend to give preferential treatments to students who take their course seriously, was it the case for you?
It is true that some professors like certain students over others, thus treat them a bit differently. In my case, I have to admit that one professor was more lenient with me compared to others because I put effort in her class. The rest of my professors treated me all equally compared with other students.

How did you handle success?
I’m always thankful to the Lord whenever I receive a good grade and I have learnt to discipline myself to never ask my classmates for their test results. In that way, it keeps me grounded to just give praises to the Lord. Of course, there are those students who want to know my grades at all cost, I let them see but I always tell them to never show me theirs. I also make sure I move on from the test results so as to not become proud.

This leads us to our next question, is there anything else you did to prevent yourself from becoming arrogant?
I think disciplining myself to move on from a test result was a big help because it made realize that this was just a grade at the end of the day. I made sure to focus on another activity to direct my mind away from the results. I believe the more we look at a test result and/or compare ourselves with others it can either produce pride or depression. So, just move on. Besides, my success came from Christ not me hence it’s absurd to glorify myself.

How did you balance your success with your mission as an ambassador for Christ on campus?
That’s a good question. If we can’t handle success well as a child of God, it ruins our mission as ambassadors for Christ. Our surrounding must see that we credit God for all our success. I give thanks to God, then move on. Sometimes my classmates were surprised that I didn’t spend time talking or bragging about my results but I always said that it was just a grade. It’s better to be simple when it comes to success than arrogant.

Do you think that there is a tendency to become a workaholic to keep up with good grades?
Yes, because you want to preserve that top place in the class. In my statistics’ class for example, my friend used to stay up late working her head off those challenging homework the prof gave us, why? Because she wanted to continue excelling. What we should do is our best and leave the rest to God, if the Lord doesn’t watch over us, the watchmen stand guard in vain as Psalm 127:1-2 says. God provides for His loved ones while they sleep and I can testify to that.

What do you do to put Christ first in your studies? I always pray before I write any test, study for an exam, do homework, work on a project, etc. I understand that academic success is important but I have come to discipline myself to do my best and leave the rest to God, to praise God through good and bad grades. I have resolved to not cheat or help others during examinations no matter how tough it gets.

How do you discern the will of God when it comes to picking elective classes, internships, or career fields (if applicable)? It starts with intimacy with God, the closer you are to the Lord, the more the Holy Spirit will direct you. Concerning electives, I go with courses that will challenge and not pollute my intellect (as there are some classes that are not appropriate for children of God). So far, I have only done one internship program and it was kind of a must, I sent out requests, it was the only company that replied positively and I took it. Career field at this point is a bit ambiguous, not too sure of what I want to do. However, I believe that if I continue to grow closer to the Lord, He will direct my steps as said in Proverbs 3:5-6.

Any word to SSU on how to handle academic success? SSU, recognize that the success you have comes from God and you have no part to glory, God will not share His glory with anyone (Isaiah 42:8). It is actually a testimony to your unbelieving friends when they see you praising God and not yourself, remember that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5). Thank God for the success, then move on.

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