May 7, 2024 by

“I’m so tired.”  

Honestly, that statement is probably the phrase I say the most to my friends, who usually nod their heads in agreement and say, “Me, too.” Tiredness seems to be the anthem of the college student, and it can be attributed to any number of factors: homework, social activities, jobs, student organizations, stress, crazy sleep schedules, early classes, and the list goes on. Part of our problem with tiredness could be that we often struggle to prioritize our need to rest, but the importance of rest is reiterated throughout Scripture. Genesis 2 tells us that God rested on the seventh day after six days of creation. Not only that, but in Exodus 20, He establishes the seventh day to be a holy day, a Sabbath, a day rest for His people. 

The value of rest is repeated throughout the New Testament as well, and we see that Jesus regularly withdrew from the crowds during His ministry and spent time resting and talking with the Father. There’s no doubt that rest is an important part of the Christian life, but it can be difficult to find time to rest in the midst of a hectic college schedule. In light of that, here are three practical strategies to prioritize rest in college. 

Establish a Consistent Quiet Time 

One of the most important and effective ways for us to rest is to spend intentional time with the Lord. Rest is not just physical; it has a distinct spiritual aspect. When you start college, it is crucial to develop consistent routines as soon as possible, especially when it comes to quiet time. “No Bible, no breakfast” is a phrase often heard at Cedarville, and it is a reminder to us students of the necessity of spending time in God’s Word daily to strengthen and refresh our souls. 

Incorporating a regular quiet time into your daily schedule is one of the most effective ways to prioritize spiritual rest, and if your quiet time isn’t regularly scheduled, it can be easy to forget or neglect Bible reading and prayer. Spending time with the Lord refreshes us in powerful ways, and especially in the busyness of college life, we need to be intentional about seeking it out and making it a priority. 

Take Designated Breaks from Homework 

During my second semester at college, I started to feel burnt out because it seemed like I was always doing homework. Instead of procrastinating, I strayed on the side of overworking myself to the point where I was exhausted. To combat this stress, I turned my Sundays into a day when homework was off-limits. I would go to church, spend quality time with friends, and also spend time resting and doing activities that I enjoyed such as reading or writing for fun. After following that routine for a few weeks, I started looking forward to my Sundays because they were a chance for me to catch my breath before the start of another week. 

I encourage you to set aside a designated time where homework is off-limits. If you’re not able to take an entire day off, intentionally set aside an afternoon or an evening every week. Get some friends together and spend time resting from work together! 

Before the procrastinators get too excited, let me clarify that I am not advocating for procrastination on schoolwork. In order for my Sundays to be “no work” days, I had to be diligent about completing all of my assignments for the week by Saturday night. But I found that working a little harder during the week to make Sundays a day off was always worth it. I could genuinely rest without feeling as though I had tons of assignments looming over me. 

Don’t Overcommit Yourself 

Especially as a freshman in college, it can be easy to overcommit to clubs, activities, and organizations. Though it is important to get involved on campus, filling every single moment of your days will only lead to burnout. When you go to the Involvement Fair at the beginning of fall semester, don’t hesitate to sign up for activities and attend informational meetings. However, after learning about ways that you can get involved, narrow your commitments down to a manageable number of activities that still leave room for you to rest. 

Getting involved on campus and in a local church are excellent ways to grow in spiritual community, and it’s important to keep in mind that overcommitting to tons of activities will prevent you from deeply investing in a few important activities. Additionally, if you don’t have time to rest because you are involved in too many activities, you may find yourself quickly burning out and unable to faithfully serve or participate in those activities. Dig deep into community and opportunities here at Cedarville, but also realize that it’s perfectly OK to say “no” to some opportunities. 

Rest is essential to the Christian life, and as college students, intentionally making time to rest is important. It is easy to fill your days with countless activities and schoolwork, but prioritizing time to rest both physically and spiritually is vital to combatting the tiredness that seems to characterize the college experience. 

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