1. Relinquishing control: giving it to God was literally a hard saying for me, for someone who needed sooo much control in my life, in my academics, over my friends, in my family etc. But this semester, I was forced to give up my control over what I held so tightly to, when my mom went into hospital there was nothing I could do except fall on my knees and ask for God’s help. When my assignments didn’t seem to match up to expectations, I was lost, I needed to ask for help, I had no one to turn to. In my decisions, people who I asked left me with ‘it’s your choice’(s) and ‘do whatever makes you happy’(s), how was that even an answer, but it was God’s way of telling me to come to Him, the Answer. And it was when I went to Him for help, that the calmness came to me to make decisions, and He blessed my choices. It was a gradual learning process, and I have not learnt fully but I am still learning to lean on Him, every day in all I do.
2. The reality of the world in all its harshness: The bell curve sucks, the competition sucks, everywhere. Everything isn’t like before, when I was in a neighbourhood school from primary school to JC, it was easier and things were simple, you were pitted against your cohort. Now suddenly everyone is so smart and ridiculously talented and the best part is that they seem to do it effortlessly, and it’s scary… but we know we have our God to commit all things to and I trust He will tide me over these.
3. The importance of spiritual and emotional community: never have I appreciated more my community and my church. You don’t know who your friends are (in uni context), you see people in fleeting glances, hellos here and there, how are yous but I wonder whether people actually really care. And at the end of the day, there’s this community who welcome you into their arms, they’re family and you know deeply that there’s a space in their midst for you, and they listen to your spiritual journey and scold you sometimes, and guide you, and give you good advice because they really care. I think I cannot ask for more. Such love, pure and genuine in this environment, it makes me feel so undeserving of His love.
4. The benefits of discipline: it helps that my parents trained me up to create ‘to-do-lists’, to work hard, and I think it pays off, in a place where your time is yours to deal with and be accountable for, it pays off.
5. The advantages of being less decisive/indecisive and exploring options, written about in another post
6. You will burn out, whether slower or faster, and that is okay. It is okay to fall asleep so deeply you wake up wondering what year is it, because your brain will burn out due to mental tiredness and IT IS OKAY. I have learnt that faulting yourself for being tired is not good, it only increases an already intensifying stress level. So, learning to rest is something very important.
7. I learnt the value of prayer. It was not just in the hard times, like in the past, (which I say shamefully). But now, I learnt to pray always, in the good times, to remember His faithfulness and everlasting mercies which upheld me through the tiredness, journey mercies in the travels everyday, for grace in the assignments, for calmness when things went awry, for mental, physical and emotional soundness…and even more in the bad times. The bad times saw me cling on to Him, not in desperation only, but knowing the faithfulness of my God, that He would answer, and trusting Him not just for the immediate solution, but for the strength to wait for the solution and to wait on Him for the peace that would hold me to the end. Above all, i learnt to worship Him for the good and the bad, for the tough times and the easier ones, for everything I have, I owe it all to Him.