Should You Get a Second Bachelor’s Degree or Go for a Masters’ Degree?

By Jon Fortenbury
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Image: City University of Seattle

SSU Special Edition: Life After Graduation

Whether you want to change fields, be a more well-rounded job candidate or just learn something new, deciding between a second bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree is not always easy. While there doesn’t seem to be one overarching correct answer binding everyone who considers the question, that doesn’t mean an answer doesn’t exist at all…Read more

11 Tips On How To Balance School, Work And Family

By Tara

SSU Mom Special Edition

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Image: Pinterest

#9 Bring your kids on campus with you. Let them see the inside of the buildings, where you have classes, let them meet your professors. If you attend a suburban campus like I do, let them run around in the grass. They think it’s a big park and a big park = fun. When your kids know where you’re going, it makes it much more real for the both of you…Read more

Cheating in School?

By Bible.ca

The world in which young people live makes it so easy to be dishonest in regards to truth. Think how easy it is to cheat on examinations in school. In fact, we see so much cheating that we must be careful lest cheating appears to be normal to us. Continue reading “Cheating in School?”

Exam Time: Associate God in your Studies

Christian students tend to forget that their Heavenly Father wants to be part of every aspect of their lives, including school. At times, we just murmur a simple prayer of blessing upon our studies and leave the rest to ourselves. In school, I came to see the difference between studying my way and associating God in my studies. Continue reading “Exam Time: Associate God in your Studies”

Praying for You

Happy December ladies!

Finals week is soon approaching, that’s why I’d like to use this opportunity to pray for (with) you before you head to your exam. Feel free to use this video prior to going to your exam room. Have blessed exam weeks!

Solutions for Student Burnout

Here comes that period of the semester when your stress levels will soon be on the rise due to group projects, presentations, annoying classmates/profs, preparation for final exams, sleep deprivation, and job (if applicable) and prayerfully you don’t get ill (with the flu) during the meantime. Welcome to student burnout! Continue reading “Solutions for Student Burnout”

6 Time Management Skills Every College Student Needs

By Patricia Gorden Neill, Academic Info.net

Whether you learned time management skills in high school or on the job or not at all, you are going to have to learn them to get through college in two or four years and make good grades. Since these skills are also essential to an active career, you’ll be ahead of the game by making these skills your top priority once you’re on campus. Conquer these time management skills and the rest of your college career will be successful. Neglect these, and you’ll be swamped even before you get to midterms exams and papers.

Keep a Schedule and Get Organized

You can use a calendar, a PDA, a checklist or a spreadsheet, but whatever method you choose, you’ll need a way to organize all your work and keep a schedule. Keep the class syllabus for each class as it outlines reading assignments, homework, projects and deadlines for papers and tests. Use a calendar to keep all the dates noted for work due. Make organized lists of tasks to be done. Write up a to-do list each night for the next day. During your first two weeks, this may seem as extra drudgery, but in a short while, you’ll learn how all this calendar-keeping makes your life so much easier. It is one of the major keystones of time management. If your first scheduling method doesn’t work for you, don’t be afraid to try another.

Keep Up Your Health

This may seem a strange thing to include under the rubric time management, but if you become sick, stressed or lack energy because of bad diet or too little sleep, your entire college career could be impeded. Keeping your health by fitting in the essentials such as healthy eating, exercise and sleeping regularly and well every night is far more important than you, as an 18 year old, may realize. You see, at your age, you recuperate well when you overburdening your health and you don’t see the need for healthy daily patterns until you are too bushed to get up in the morning, let alone do a full day’s worth of classes, homework and hours of study. Eating pizza instead of a balanced meal occasionally isn’t a problem. Pizza every night, though, will bring you down, add unwanted pounds and kill your energy. Promise yourself you’ll practice good health habits and it will provide you a powerhouse of energy all through college.

Learn To Say No

In college, you have to become your own boss. Your parents aren’t around and you are on your own. This is a heady trip for most young people, and it’s one of the biggest reasons for college drop outs because students fail to balance school, work and social time. You have to be in charge of yourself. Saying no to the cool party over at the next dorm or a weekend camping trip will be hard. Especially so if at the same time you’re saying yes to hours in the chemistry labs for catch up work. But if that chemistry lab work is necessary for passing that class, you’ll be able to do it. Promise yourself something really fun to make up for the missed good time. However you accomplish this nearly next to impossible task of saying no and instead doing what you need to do, it is the stepping stone to success in life.

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Image: usnews.com

Break Big Tasks into Smaller Tasks

You have a big research paper due at midterm. It’s intimidating even to think about it. Time management experts all say to break large tasks into smaller ones and take the smaller ones step by step. First do the research itself with time at the library, then outline what the paper will cover, then break up the writing into the various sections of the final paper. Work on the paper every week by taking care of the small steps, and it will be done by the time it is due. If you procrastinate until the last minute, you’ll be overwhelmed. Break it down and do it step by step and refuse to be overwhelmed. By spacing out your work, you’re far more likely to be successful.

Schedule in Social Time, Too

College is such an amazing time in most people’s lives because it is not only exciting academically, socially it’s a blast as well. Fun things to do and fun people to do them with is one of the best things about these years, so don’t neglect to add social time into your calendar. Do this wisely, and you’ll have learned the difficult job of balancing work and pleasure. The hardest trick is learning to do this well, so that you have both but not too much of either one. You need to relax a bit each day, taking time for yourself, as well as working and playing with others. Finding the right balance that works for you can be difficult, but all successful college students learn the trick.

Allow Room for the Unpredictable

You and your roommate have a big fight, one that comes out of the blue. You catch the flu and are sick for a week. Because you’ve completed half of your term paper and have handed in homework regularly, you’ll still be OK. Life is going to throw some unexpected things your way, and you’ll have to adapt on the fly. If you’ve been working steadily all along, you’ve built in some room to be flexible when the unpredictable occurs. If your priorities are now [messed up], reprioritize them so that things work. This is something you can only learn when you’re in the middle of it. Learn to roll with the punches, and you’ll have another invaluable skill.

In summary, as soon as you hit campus, start setting up your schedule and calendar and writing out your daily to-do list. You’ll soon learn the value of your hard-won time management skills as they will make your college career much smoother and more successful for you. As these skills easily transfer to every other part of your life, you’ll be glad you got them early.

 

Chasing Success: The Good Enemy

End Times Special Edition

Two years ago, I watched a great movie titled “the good enemy”. It tells about several stories of Christians who share a common problem: They are deceived by the devil to be busy doing good deeds while neglecting fellowship with God. A particular story is that of Imuentiyan, a college girl who, due to constant parental pressure, decides to become success-driven at the expense of her communion with God. Years later, she graduates with honors and secures a promising career while pursuing her Masters’ degree part-time. Though she became successful, made her family proud, and earned respect from society, her life was empty on the inside. When she witnessed a Christian colleague exercising her gift of healing to heal a sick woman at work, Imuentiyan realized that her emptiness was due to neglecting God and the gifts of healing and intercession she once had in college.

This is a poignant message for our generation, for those of us chasing success to get some achievements. Many students are so focused in being on top of everyone whether in school, sports, clubs, church, or job. They want the recognition, approval, accolades, or gratification. Nothing wrong with wanting to achieve something in life, however, when this is done at the expense of our relationship with our Heavenly Father then something is wrong. Chasing success leads to destruction as it becomes our idol and passion instead of God. And one may say “what if I chase God and success?”, the Bible clearly states that we can’t serve or chase two things at once, just like we can’t chase a dog and rabbit at the same time, for instance. “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money” Luke 16:13.

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image: dreamtime.com

Chasing success is a “good enemy” because it is allows us to fulfill our goals and earn society’s respect while concurrently cooling down our love and zeal for God and blinding us to our destiny. “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” Mark 8:36-37. What’s more important to us: Is it chasing our dreams or following God’s will for us? The above verse shows us that even if we were to gain the whole world (e.g. riches, popularity, possession), it wouldn’t mean much compared to losing our soul. When we chase success, our soul becomes corrupted by the world. Just think about this, if success was worth pursuing then why do we see some celebrities commit suicide, on anti-depressant pills, or in rehab? I know the world doesn’t paint it that way, it shows us that success is everything but are we to conform to the patterns of this world?

Our Father wants to prosper us in His own way, He said the words we are all so familiar with in Jeremiah 29:11 “for I know the plans I have for you…They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” When we place God first and submit to Him, He will lead us to glory in His own manner and time while filling us with power (the Holy Spirit) as well as joy, peace, love, and authority over demons which success can’t buy. Now the path of God is challenging and humbling at times compared to the path of success, yet “the blessing of the Lord makes a person rich, and He adds no sorrow with it” Proverbs 10:22. Along the way, the Father shows us to live purely, prevents us from danger, and makes us wise. This is far more important than chasing success which can only change us outwardly and not inwardly.

Chasing success is indeed a good enemy; the example of Imuentiyan and celebrities prove that when we neglect God, it doesn’t go well with us. So, let’s do our best (without measuring up to others) in school, church, job, or sports and leave the rest to our Father God. When we put our Father first, He will prosper our ways whether spiritually, academically, employment-wise, or others.

And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?

                   

“Must Be Must A Permanent Resident or Citizen To Apply”

International Student Edition

Nod your head if you know how it feels to meet all the job requirements until you read the line towards the end that says: “Must be a permanent resident or citizen to apply.” “Not again!!!!” is usually what I say in great frustration. Being an international student is such an enriching experience: It brings maturity, new skills, cultural knowledge, etc. Nevertheless, one thing foreign universities forget to mention in their brochures is the challenges and limitations international students will have to confront when looking for jobs after graduation. It’s inevitable to fall into depression and desperation as an international student especially when you have family back home counting on your financial support. How should the Christian international student take this situation?

Let’s face reality, most international students come from countries not doing so well that the idea of staying and working in the host country seems more appealing and rewarding. In the U.S., for instance, if international students decide to work after graduation, they have to extend their student visa through Optional Practical Training (OPT) or a sponsored work visa (a requirement that many employers are reluctant to initiate). OPT allows you to stay in the country for another year and find a job or internship related to your field of study. You cannot be unemployed for longer than 90 days – any longer, then you will have to return to your country. This means that for those who graduate from college without a job, the job search has a time limit (Vongkiatkajorn, 2013¹). I mean the current job market is already tight and competitive enough and as an international student, you still have to add your immigration status into the equation. A lot of international students tend to crack under these cases particularly when the job search has proven fruitless overtime; consequently, many resort to marriage for papers or continuing education.

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image: plymouth.edu

For the Christian international student, we know that marriage for paper is not a union blessed by God, so it’s either we continue our education or eventually get a job. For those of us with financial pressures, finding employment is the only option, and for that P.E.R.S.E.V.E.R.A.N.C.E. is highly needed. “So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that He has promised” Hebrews 10:35-36. In this context, the author is referring to brethren that need to rest assured in the Lord and endure (persevere) amidst the persecution of their faith, for soon the Lord is to come. Applying this to international students, we need to stand firm in the Lord and not give up on Him. We need to persevere in the faith that the Father will meet our needs for work. So many references² in the Bible support the importance of work in the life of a believer, “for even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat” (2 Thess 3:10). For this reason, we can be confident that the Father will not refuse us this request. We should be faithful in prayer and reading/meditation of the Word to renew our strength, and be filled with the Holy Spirit, who will do the supernatural in us. It doesn’t stop there, we need to find ways to apply strategically for jobs knowing our status limitations. From experience, I have found that staffing agencies help students get jobs quickly regardless of your conditions. Another way is to be in contact with the friends or profs you had in school. They are a great source of assistance because they know your situation and can have connections here and there willing to accept international students based on qualifications and experience.

Don’t lose hope or be discouraged, otherwise you’ll only be inviting the devil to capitalize on your weakness to lure you into making bad decisions. As international students, we were able to overcome many obstacles during school days including homesickness, managing tight finances, adapting to a new culture, and adjusting to a new educational system that we just can’t give up now. With the Lord on our side, He’ll make all things possible, most likely not according to our timetable, but He’ll surely do it as He cares for us. We need to stand firm in the faith, “so do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that He has promised!”

¹Vongkiatkajorn, Kanyakrit. (2013). “The U.S. is the Land of Opportunity, But Not So Much For International Students”. Policy Mic.

²Other references include: Genesis 3:19, Ecclesiastes 11:6, Proverbs 31:27, Acts 20:34-35, etc