Giving Up Control by Gaining It

The Beacon Bolt is a publication of the student body of Northwest Christian University. Being a college student with a full course load, three jobs, and a social life is hard. “Time management” is a term thrown around in the academic world that is hard to grasp. The meaning is not known to all college students and is replaced with the word “procrastination”, the almighty word that describes everyone’s work ethic. Everyone has had that night where everything piles up at once. One minute you’re free and easy, binge watching your favorite show on Netflix, when it hits you. Those 30 pages of reading, a response journal, and that cultural essay you had three weeks to work on are all due tomorrow. The stress hits, and you immediately start planning how you are going to bust the work out. “I’ll give myself thirty minutes of reading, then do the response, then write half of the essay, and then a Netflix break.” If that’s not time management, I don’t know what is.

Ephesians 5:15-17 says, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” In this verse I love how Paul writes that the days are evil. The days can pile up and bring distractions. Days bring events, people, and possibilities. Not that all of those things are evil of course, I love my friends and my beacon nights! But with the many passing days, more and more responsibilities will add up.

Time management is key. It’s one of those phrases you see on resumes and applications. It’s a business skill as well as a life skill. For me time management is not only organizing my schedule around class, homework and work, but around self-care and trips home. Time management is not scheduling all your crap, but taking care of yourself and having an efficient and happy lifestyle. Self-care, in Raegan terms, means scheduling time to play my insanely dorky board game, Settlers of Catan. I have to admit I have an addiction and play fairly often. Playing Settlers of Catan with friends is how I relax and enjoy myself. It is important to take time to hang out with friends and do something we enjoy. For others this may be a coffee run, Netflix, or hiking. Whatever it is that relaxes you is important. Now the fine line on this point is to schedule the time for your self-care. I can get out of hand and play five games of Settlers of Catan a day and accomplish nothing in my academic life. You have to find the balance between business and pleasure.

Another common obstacle of time management is the distractions that come with everyday life. A part of planning is preparedness. Knowing that my roommate is home at certain times during the day, I schedule my homework to be completed in the library. I can often find myself wandering to Netflix when I do homework on the couch, and although it is relaxing, and good self-care, it is a splurge that needs to be planned.

Going back to Ephesians and focusing on the latter half of the verse can often be daunting. Paul writes for us to “not be foolish, but know what the will of the lord is”, I like to interpret this as being wise in our actions and not being caught up in the foolish small details that can stress us out. God has a will and we need to continue on that path.

The recent song released by Twenty One Pilots has a lyric that goes “Out of student loans and tree house homes we all would take the latter.” I like this line because it shows how even though things may be a necessary stress, such as, student loans, we have had times when we’ve known no stress. This song is about how when he was young things were simpler, but now he has many worries that accompany adulthood. The song continues on saying how we care about what others think so much that it stresses us out.

When we are doing menial tasks in order to please others they become stressful. Find what makes you happy and schedule it in to your everyday life with no shame. As Paul writes, be wise, make the best use of your time, and fulfill God’s will for you.

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