As students have returned to campus and arrived for the first time, I have realized that there are really just three types of college students: the positive planners, aimless aliens, and directed drifters. I have been in each of these categories since starting college two years ago, and I want to encourage all students with what the Lord has taught me.
When I started college in 2013, I was a positive planner. I had no doubt about my bright future which was neatly scheduled into a five-year plan. I was determined to get my bachelors degree in elementary education and then earn my masters before teaching fourth grade a local Christian school. If I met a nice guy along the way, I would get married. I had my perfect life imagined, and I was even a bit condescending to those who had not chosen a major yet. Life was set.
A month later, I became an aimless alien–lost, misplaced, and directionless. Suddenly, I began questioning my decision to become an elementary teacher, and I started throwing around other options. I could be a high school English teacher. Or I could be a librarian. Or a photojournalist. A nutritionist. A…anything. One night, I sat in the dorm stairwell and finally told God that I was willing to leave my comfort zone and the path I had always thought I would take.
By August of my Sophomore year, I was completely purposeless. I had survived a hard summer, and I did not want to come back to school. In fact, I did not want to do anything that was not easy and fun. Because of my selfish thinking, any ideas I had for the future were unwise, and impractical. I never would have said this, but I felt like God had failed to direct me. I was empty and lost. This feeling stuck with me for almost nine months.
A few weeks after Sophomore year ended, a man stood on a platform in front of me and 1500 other college students. He asked the question, “Who are you?” I honestly did not know how to answer that question. He then said, “You cannot know what you are supposed to do with your life until you know who you are.”
I had no idea who I was. I knew that I was a Christian, but that was it. As a Pine Cove employee over the summer, I accepted the truths that I have always been taught:
- I am a daughter of the King of Kings (John 1:12) in the painful process of sanctification (I Thes. 4:3a).
- I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works which He has before ordained (Ephesians 2:10).
I am a directed drifter–I do not have a set plan for the future, but I know that the Lord does have a set plan, and I can rest contentedly in that state.
If you are a…
- Positive planner,
- Be sure that God is the one directing your paths (John 3:30, Prov. 3:5)
- If He is, embrace God’s plan for your life (Philippians 1:6)
- Aimless alien,
- Realize that you cannot have control of your life (Luke 17:33)
- Realign your life to fit God’s plan (Rom. 12:1-2)
- Directed drifter,
- Enjoy the view as you wander and quit worrying about the destination! (Ecc. 7:14)
- Continually seek Jesus and He will give wisdom for the next step (Prov. 3:6)
- For any stage of life—
- Seek Jesus
- Look to grow
- Live pure and unspotted
- Lean on him
People may make plans in their minds, but the Lord decides what they will do.
What would you consider yourself? A planner, alien, or drifter?