How to stay sane in your final year of school
7 tips for surviving a year of stress without losing your mind (or faith!)
I just finished my final year of school, and have received all of my results. While I’m happy with how I did academically, I’m grateful for a few more things than just the numbers on the pages. Mostly, I’m glad I stayed connected to God during all the stress and study.
So I’d love to offer you a few of my tips (coming from someone who just finished) for surviving your final year of school, and actually feeling good about it!
1. Don’t stop going to church
Even if you feel like you’re not getting anything out of church, because you spend time there feeling guilty about not studying, time spent with God and with fellow Christians is essential for encouragement and learning. Remember Hebrews 10:25: "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching".
2. Stay involved in ministry
Perhaps you’ve been leading at your school Christian group, or in Sunday school or youth group. Maybe you’re part of the music team. Whatever it is, you don't have to stop! I took time off from a few things, but still stayed leading at my school Christian group and sang in the band at church. This will help you stay connected to other Christians but, even more importantly, you’ll be prioritising serving God!
3. Read the Bible as much as possible
My Bible reading suffered during my final year of school, and it’s something I regret. Now that I’m getting back into a better routine, I’ve remembered just how important it is to dwell on God’s word daily to grow as a Christian and remain convinced of God’s blessings. Maybe you could try slotting Bible reading into your study timetable, or getting up earlier to read, and actually making time for God. Perhaps you could write verses on your study notes, to remind you of God when you’re studying, or on sticky notes on your desk.
4. Use the last year for evangelism
This may be the last time you see some of your classmates. Make sure they know you’re a Christian, at the very least, so they can ask you questions. Even better, talk about Jesus with them, or invite them to church! They might say 'no' because of the time commitment, but if you can convince them to take a night off, and spend it at church or youth group, you might find them investigating Christianity.
5. See education as a gift
This might feel hard when your marks are bad, or you’re studying late at night, or your parents stop you from going out, however God has given us an amazing gift in education which other people in the world don’t have. Remind yourself of this every day, and you’ll find yourself appreciating your studies much more.
6. Go on a Christian study camp
I would highly recommend getting a group of Christian friends together and going on study camp. You’ll get tons of study done, so when you take a break you won’t feel guilty. Plus, the small group times are a great way to both test your faith and evangelise. Coming from a private Anglican school, I found small groups on study camp to be quite confronting as other girls shared their views, which were very different to mine, but also a really good introduction to sharing my faith with people who I didn’t know. Some of them offer financial support if you need it as well.
Probably the most important thing is to lean on God always. Tell him everything! Ask for help, confess, but most of all, praise God for his consistency, and for always being there for you, no matter what stage of life you are in. Pray for your friends and classmates as well, and ask other Christians to pray for you. Thessalonians 5:17 says pray continually, so make that your aim.
Your final school year might feel like the end of the world at points, but there are also wonderful parts to it. I hope you have a really great year!
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