Everyone seems to complain about projects, tests, homework, and bad or strict teachers. But we don’t realize that education, seemingly the bane of our existence, is actually a great gift. How many other people in the history of the world have had the luxury to spend their time learning new things all the time?
College is one step closer to greater learning and one step closer to work. Some college students may be working already and feel the weight of handling their own finances. At the same time college gives students the opportunity to learn from great academics and tap into the minds of great thinkers. College challenges students to make the most of their cognitive abilities. College lets students develop great friendships and experience the world at large for the first time. College is hopefully a process of maturation, of moving from a minor to an adult.
But these benefits seem to be outweighed by the pressure students feel from strict grading systems and high tuition costs. A recent study by the Higher Education Research Institute called “The American Freshman: National Norms Fall 2010” found that college freshmen ranked a record low in emotional health. Only 52 percent said their emotional health was above average compared with 64 percent in 1985.
More and more students are reporting stress as they face a competitive academic environment and an uncertain future. When you realize that you will one day be out there all alone, with only yourself to depend on, you may question your self-worth. Good grades are much harder come by than in high school, and fear of academic failure is stressful.
But we ought not to be so fearful, for our future and our lives depend on God. Certainly we must put in effort according to God’s command, but we should trust Him more and simply do our very best for His glory. No matter what the job market is like when we graduate, God will be there to support you.
At the same time, recognizing that college is a time of emotional instability and a critical part of the maturation process, Christians ought to take this opportunity to bring God’s love and gospel to those who desperately need Him.