Bells ring. Class begins. Bells ring. Class ends. You study for a bit, do your homework, and before you know it the day is over. It happens again the next day: bells ring, class begins. Bells ring, class ends. You then realize the week is over, followed by the month, followed by the semester. The next thing you know, you’re finished with another school year.
In my case, I’m finished with all four years of college. It’s been an interesting ride. It’s funny how you never really see yourself grow every day, but looking back over several years, you realize how drastically you’ve changed.
I can’t even begin to count how many times I thought I wouldn’t make it. So many times I would think, “God, I know You don’t give us things we can’t handle, so why am I going through this?” Sure enough, I made it through every situation. He was there. So many times when I became discouraged, it seemed that the message in chapel was speaking directly to me. Whenever I had no idea how I would be able to get projects, papers, or homework done in time, God was forcing me to depend on Him more and more.
College is a challenge. It’s a challenge to balance academics, extracurricular activities, and relationships. It’s a challenge being away from home. It’s a challenge being away from family. But a challenge can be described as a situation that tests your abilities. Do you know how much students would learn if there were no tests? Very little, if anything at all. They wouldn't take notes. They would be inattentive. They would rarely ask for clarification.
Tests motivate. They make you pay attention. They make you take notes. They make you evaluate your mistakes to prevent making them again. Tests make you want to learn. That’s why God gives us challenges. Though I love a good challenge, no one loves every challenge they go through. But that’s how we learn. That’s how we grow.
As I said, there has never been a day in the past four years when I have thought, “Wow, I’ve grown so much in the past twenty-four hours.” However, now that I’m graduating and looking back to my freshman year, I see how the challenges in the past have molded me into who I am today. Some lessons only needed to be learned once (I would definitely advise you to learn every lesson the first time), while some needed to be repeated countless times before I finally caught on.
But all in all, it was the collection of challenges that developed me.The next time you’re going through a test and you wonder how in the world you’re going to make it, don’t focus on the difficulty. Focus on your development. Maximize your learning potential.
I’ve had a great time writing for you all this year. If you’ve been a consistent reader, I hope you’ve been able to glean a few laughs, as well as some insight. To the new students enrolling at PCC this fall, congratulations on a new journey! Remember to enjoy every moment you get. Learn everything you can possibly learn. Experience everything you can possibly experience. The bells will ring to begin class, and they’ll ring again to end class. The next thing you know, you’ll be walking across the stage to claim your diploma.
Make it your goal to be satisfied when that day comes. Make it your goal to be able to look back and say, “Wow, I’ve grown so much in the past four years.”