Deutsch: Brigg Mentor aus Greifswald, Kapitän H. Möller (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you are serious about your studies, then adversity becomes your almost-constant companion. This takes many forms.
- Financial. If you have taken out a student loan, your budget is extremely limited, and you are put under immense pressure to pass each semester. You are also expected to manage your finances well enough to be able to live. The end-of-the-month Salticrax (South Africans will know the saying) becomes very real! You find yourself inviting yourself around to friends with money for meals frequently!
- Peer pressure. Dorm life, or Rez life can be very difficult. Either it can be a huge culture shock - especially here in South Africa, or it can be a huge temptation to a debauched lifestyle.
- Academics. This is a no-brainer.
So, how in the world do you turn these adversities into positivity? I'm going to suggest five steps you can start implementing today that can help you accomplish that.
1. Get financial advice.
Money Bags Portrait (Photo credit: I M A U-M-N-B-N!)
Speak to your parents. If you know they are not good with money, then speak to somebody that you know is good with theirs. Getting creative with your money now will not only help you in the present, but will also help you after you have graduated. It's amazing how quickly we forget good habits, so when you do develop good financial habits, keep them for life.
2. Find a mentor.
This can take a number of different forms.
My suggestion is to find an academic mentor and a life-coaching mentor. Some of the good colleges with help you with that. Otherwise you may need to get creative and start asking around. The value of a mentor cannot be overstated. I hope to go into the qualities of a good mentor at a later stage - perhaps as a post or two next week.
But not just your "thoughts for the day". Write down the difficulties you have had in your past, and how God has brought you through those difficulties. Another list to journal regularly is a list of things to be grateful for. It will absolutely astound you how much you really have when you actually write them down. I find using pen and paper is much better than computer. Somehow, actual ink seems to settle in the mind deeper than typing does.
4. Spend two hours a week at an AIDS orphanage.
There is nothing more humbling than this. Your problems will suddenly start to fade away when you see the types of problems and adversity faced by AIDS orphans and victims. You will not leave that place the same person that you went in as.
AIDS Orphans in the Biwi/Mchesi area of Lilongwe, Malawi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
. Even if this means running up and down the flights of stairs at your residence, get yourself into an exercise routine. The endorphins that your body releases are natural morphines that get your mind buzzing. There really is such a condition as exercise-addiction! And that's why!
REZ_010 (Photo credit: Fiona Saiman)
Do you guys have any other suggestions? Has anything worked for you to help you through adversity during your studies? Please share.