Cancelled graduations, online exams and no goodbye parties – probably not how a lot of people were picturing their final year at university. And for those still studying, the future is looking unclear as well. If you’ve found yourself in this position, it’s completely natural to feel down about it. But I also want to share some encouragement through this bewildering season.
For those of you still finishing off final assignments, routine is going to be your best friend right now. With so much time on our hands the temptation to procrastinate, or conversely spend all day working, is easy to fall to. But keeping balance during this time is really important. Set yourself daily targets with your work and a schedule for when to work. That way you can use the rest of your time refueling yourself by catching up with friends and family remotely, making use of your daily outside exercise time, spending time with God, looking after your mental health and enjoying some chill time. Being stuck inside does not mean you have to stay ‘on’ 24/7.
A whole new world
Leaving university can already feel like a big jump into the uncertain, let alone with the world feeling like it has ground to a halt. But just because things feel bad now, it doesn’t make God’s promises to us void. One of my favourite Bible passages to be ripped out of context is Jeremiah 29:11,
‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’
While I do believe it’s a great piece of motivational scripture, it’s also important to remember that this was said as the Israelites faced years of captivity under the Babylonians. Things got worse before they got better. Now I’m not trying to be a prophet of doom, but instead remind us that no matter what’s going on, God still has good plans for us.
The truth is, even at the best of times sometimes seeking out God’s plans can feel a bit like a guessing game. Use this time to prayerfully think about what your next steps in life could be. You don’t have to land on a lifelong career straight away, so keep your heart open to what God could have for you and see what’s out there.
The bigger picture
Finally, it’s important that we don’t get caught looking too inwardly. While this is a difficult time for everyone, people living in poverty are being hit the hardest. That’s not to say there aren’t problems here in the UK, but keeping perspective of the wider world around us is crucial.
By looking at some of the problems people are facing around the world, we can choose to be part of the solution. For example the Emerging Influencers programme is a great opportunity to use the extra time you’ve got to meet other world-changers, learn new skills and make a difference.
Whether you’ve finished uni and bored with nothing to do or buried in assignments, I hope this article provided some useful tips to get through these unprecedented times.