Looking to the future, there are some big decisions to make. What college do you want to go to? What major would you like to study?
Finding the “right fit” is important. With more than 16,000 colleges and universities worldwide, there is a variety of options. Sound a bit overwhelming? What you need is a plan of attack.
Step One: Research. Deciding whether to go to school close to home or far away, to a large school or small, to public or private, and what to major will help you find specific options. When you find several schools you like, look into them and compare. Don’t just look at the surface, but look deeper into the schools vision, mission, and everything they have to offer you as a student.
Step Two: Visit. Choose several colleges and schedule a visit. Most schools have preview days with tours of the school, meetings with an admissions counselor, and opportunities to attend a class. Walk around and talk to students about what they like most at the school. Every college will make their website look as amazing as possible, so it is important to visit so you can get a real feel for a school.
Step Three: Apply. Narrow the list of schools to a couple that really interest you. Each college has a general application to fill out with your information. It may or may not include an essay. In addition, be sure to have your transcript and SAT scores ready to send in.
Step Four: Pray, Consider, and Accept. As acceptance letters (and rejection letters) come in, pray that God will lead you to make the right decision. Consider each option carefully, and think about which school feels best for you. What school has your favorite programs? Which school did you feel at home at? Once you’ve made your decision, make sure to let the college of your choice know!
God has a plan for each one of us, and he will direct our paths, even to college. College is a journey full of new opportunities around every corner; you just have to find them.
Happy college hunting!
Carlie Stach is a homeschooled senior from North Carolina. In the fall she hopes to study Communications and Media Studies at the school of her choosing. In her free time she enjoys writing, photography and camping.
Flames engulf a stone building, a ravenous dragon destroying everything standing in the way. You emerge from the smoke, a crying baby in your arms…
You hear the thump thump thump of a new born baby’s heartbeat as the mother holds her child for the first time…
You begins writing the problem on the board as the students behind you snore gently, heads resting on the sides of their desk while the other throw paperbacks and bits of pencils when they think you’re not watching…
You spent your sleepless nights researching in the emptiness of your lab, desperately searching for a cure…
Your voice rises as the message reaches the people sitting even in the dark corners of the chapel and excited “Amens!” radiates from the stain glass windows…
Everyone has a different path and a different purpose in the insane roller coaster we know as life. By age 15, we may think we know what our purpose is…but the odds are we are completely clueless.
Only one knows exactly who we are and exactly what we are here for: our creator, the writer of our destiny–God.
As we are moving towards leaving for college we are completely focuses on what our plans are for the next chapter in our lives and we forget to ask God what HE has in store for our futures.
Next time you pray about your future try and give God your hands and not just your plans because if you surrender your plans and your life now, the reward will be so greater than whatever you could have imagined just by yourself.
Sixteen year old Abby Johanson spends all her free moments typing away at her laptop, scribbling on scraps of paper, or getting her words down on paper. Abby is a high school sophomore from Greenville, SC. She aspires to become a published writer sharing God’s love through words.
She enjoys painting, teaching art classes at her studio, playing soccer, and writing. She lives with her parents and has one younger sister and two precious tuxedo kittens, Ebi and Tali. She’s involved in her school’s FCA, Art Club, Beta Club, and NAHS (National Art Honors Society).
She plans on going to a small Christian college to get a dual degree in English and Creative Writing with a minor in Fine Art, to then become an English professor and published author.
She also writes on her school newspaper, The Mannuscript, and sees it as a way to share her love of words. She is involved in her Church ministry, Crave, is involved in a small group of 12 years with a close knit of girls to dive deeper into His Word, and is currently writing a curriculum for rising sixth grade girls.
Her favorite bible verse is Jerimiah 29:11.
Patrick was a normal boy living in fifth century England. He probably had a mom and a dad and maybe some siblings. They might have had a farm with livestock to care for. They had neighbors and close friend. Maybe Patrick had a friend he’d known his entire life.
But all this changed when Irish men landed on England’s shores and captured Patrick. They dragged him back to Ireland and sold him as a slave. For seven years, Patrick worked as a slave in a foreign country. Who knows exactly what happened to him? Did his master beat him? Did he go hungry most days and nights? Did he cry himself to sleep and dream of better days spent with his family?
Through his captivity, Patrick was a strong Christian. He remained faithful to God and trusted in the Lord through all his trials.
At last, after seven years of slavery, Patrick escaped Ireland and sailed back to England. His family was overjoyed to see him. It was like getting him back from the dead.
It seemed as if Patrick’s life would go back to normal now. Instead, God asked him to do the hardest thing yet.
Return to Ireland.
There aren’t a lot of details known of Patrick’s life but I’m sure he wrestled with God over this message. He was human. He was confused, scared, and maybe angry at what God was asking him to do. But despite sleepless nights arguing with God, Patrick said yes to God’s call. He packed his things and sailed back to Ireland.
Once in Ireland, he began to tell the people about Jesus, and God used him. Through Patrick’s willingness to say yes and obey, God reached thousands of people. He changed thousands of lives. Many Irish people heard the Good News of Jesus Christ and dedicated their lives to him. Patrick planted 700 churches and trained 1,000 pastors.
Patrick’s life is a miraculous story of what saying yes to God could look like. God doesn’t need perfect people to do his will. He doesn’t need powerful people or people who are good at speaking or debating. All God needs is a person who’s willing to say yes to him.
God has destined you for a great purpose. He can do amazing things with you if you are willing to say yes. Listen to his call on your heart. Listen to what he has to say, and once you hear him, obey.
What would it look like to say yes to God? What would it look like to be used by him to change nations?
It’s time to find out.
My name’s Danielle Dodge. I’ve found it’s a hard job to summarize fourteen years of life into a small paragraph so I’ll just mention a few things. I’m an avid writer and reader. I love to write young adult fiction/fantasy novels and devotionals. I’m a ballerina, a violinist, an amateur photographer and an amateur horseback rider. I like BIG words, bright colors, cats, and of course, chocolate. And if you didn’t guess already, I’m a born again Christian, follower of Jesus Christ.
Does my hair look okay? Is my make-up smeared? Do my clothes look cute enough? Are my curves in the “right” places?
Self-doubt, self-image, and self-consciousness are the leading causes of depression in teens, and studies have shown that girls fall into depression easier than guys. You might often worry that how you look or what you do isn’t good enough for yourself or other people.
In the Bible, there are tons of scriptures to encourage you to see yourself as the beautiful daughter of God that you are – like Psalm 139:13-16 (ESV), “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, everyone of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”
So, we know that God knew us before we were even thought of. Before anyone on this Earth got a chance to meet you, or even had your first, initial thought, your father in Heaven KNEW everything about you. He loves you no matter what you look like, because He created you in His own image. Romans 12:2 (ESV) says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” No matter what the world may think, it’s never perfect or as good as our God’s image of you.
You are always good enough for him. He loves you and cares for you so much that He desires a relationship with you. So, don’t “rate” yourself, because God has already given you the perfect 10.
My name is Alexa Clark, and I love to write in all sorts of formats, but my favorites are advice articles. Besides writing, I am in the marching band, I run, and I dance. I’ve been a Christian my entire life and love my God with all my heart. I love to live out His word, especially through music and performing.
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV)
Every day, for 605 days, I prayed for God to send me a Christian friend. I felt alone and isolated at school due in part to the efforts of a group of mean girls. Their constant harassment and belittlement had made my life so miserable it was hard to come to school a lot of days. However, I believed God would make a way for me if I would trust Him. I continued to place my trust in Him no matter what I faced day after day.
One day a tall, skinny girl, with long brown hair and a smile that went from ear to ear, walked into my class. Mrs. Greene, my teacher introduced her. “Class, I’d like your attention. I’d like for you to meet Dianne Miles. She’s just moved into the area and she’ll be joining our class. I know that you all will make her feel welcomed.”
I could already hear the mean girls giggling at Dianne because she was so skinny. I wasn’t sure if we’d be friends, but I felt it was important to introduce myself and make sure she felt accepted. I knew what it felt like to walk in her shoes.
God gave me the words and the courage I needed to speak to Dianne. “Hi, my name is Crystal and it’s nice to have you here. I’ll be glad to show you around if you’re interested.” To my surprise, within no time, we had become best friends.
Dianne became a target for the mean girls, too, but we were able to face the bullies together. God had heard every prayer I’d prayed and today, four decades later, Dianne and I are still BFF.
Crystal Y. Hathcock and her husband Tony, live in Liberty, South Carolina and have been married for thirty-two years. They have two puppies, Hankie and Calvin. Crystal is a freelance writer; a student with the Christian Writer’s Guild and writes religious articles for the area’s local newspaper. She enjoys cooking for family and friends, couponing, jewelry making and singing. (read more…)
“Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, ‘I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.’ . . . So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.” (Genesis 29:18,20 NIV)
“So what does what I eat have to do with my relationships?”
Going into a relationship can be as fulfilling as a Big Mac or as scanty as devouring a Snickers bar. Let’s use a formula called the glycemic index to see why! (glycemic what?)
Everything we eat goes through a digestive process. After so many breakdowns, every choice bite is used to provide us with the calories we need to function. Each waking moment and every blink of the eye requires energy. But not all of the foods we eat are digested the same—not all foods are what they appear to be!
The glycemic index is a measurement used to track how fast or how slow foods are utilized. Proteins and fats have an evenly based glycemic index. The digestive process uses the calories from these foods in a steady way. So a Big Mac and fries allows a stable up flow of energy.
Breads, sweet drinks, and all sugary foods … are complex carbohydrates, digested quicker. The result is fast energy, but it’s used up as quickly as it appears. The instant gratification of a Snickers bar; the sweet, smooth chocolate enhanced by the salted peanuts, intermingled in a layer of caramel goes down fast and boosts your mood. But after the high, you’re left deflated, let down and outright stripped of ambition.
Moving slower in a relationship than your heart and hormones want, will allow for an incubation period. But love can strike you blind so you go for the instant satisfaction.
The Snickers bar relationship will peak and then fall, leaving you with a sudden void. A more thought out, well rounded relationship will go a long way, not letting you down in a tumult.
When you meet that perfect one, when the sensations of the right chemistry are upon you, make the right choice. Don’t throw away the opportunity of a lasting relationship for the quick fix of a Snickers bar!
“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God… Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” (Romans 12:2 MSG)
If you’ve seen the movie “Grease,” then you probably remember Sandy—the quiet girl who’s made fun of by her friends for being a “goody-goody.” Eventually she decides to grow up and asks her friends to help her to become more like them. When this is accomplished, she feels accepted by her peers and is suddenly viewed as cool. Unfortunately, she didn’t grow up. She just stooped even lower.
Being mature doesn’t mean getting a car for your 15th birthday, having a baby at sixteen, or even being able to carry on a mature conversation with an adult. Romans 12:2 states that true maturity is developed when we are able to stay close to God. It isn’t based on popularity or knowledge … only wisdom.
This scripture also says to “fix your attention on God… unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to it’s level of immaturity.” Doing this won’t be easy. You will have to fight hard against the high school lifestyle, which may result in rejection from your friends. But so what? Wouldn’t you rather please God and allow him to bless you eternally than try to earn worldly acceptance from your so-called friends?
So would I.
Tessa Hall is a writing and coffee obsessed seventeen-year-old. She lives for Christ only and believes that it’s not just a religion, but a relationship. Her Young Adult, Christian fiction contemporary novel, Purple Moon, is currently under contract with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She also writes a blog called “Christ is Write” where she posts teen devotions, writing tips, book reviews, author interviews, and coffee recipes.
Tessa has always enjoyed writing and has a passion to spread God’s healing, love, and comfort to her peers through the written word. Some of her other passions include acting, film, music, photography, and dance. She has big dreams and high hopes for her future, but believes that God can grant the desires of her heart as long as she puts Him first. Her favorite scripture is Ecclesiastes 11:9 (MSG): “You who are young, make the most of your youth. Relish your youthful vigor. If something looks good to you, pursue it. But know also that not just anything goes; You have to answer to God for every last bit of it.”
<<<more posts by Tessa…
People milled about the room, almost everyone looking like they’d stepped out of a book. Actually, they had. I guessed that people costumes were dressed as a character from their book. Now why hadn’t I worn my costume? Ah well, at least I wasn’t the only one in normal clothes. Even though I wasn’t feeling like I was completely part of the crowd, I was ecstatic to be there at the One Year Adventure Novel summer workshop.
The One Year Adventure Novel (OYAN) workshop was absolutely the most awesome thing I experienced summer 2011. OYAN students are very excited about writing and really fall in love with their characters. That first day at the camp was an exciting way to start with all the people dressed up, talking, laughing, and having fun before the classes even started!
I made several new friends and learned more skills about writing. I’m now better prepared to go out and write good stories and I know whom I want to write for and why.
One of the biggest things that hit me at camp though, was that most of the speakers mentioned the need for more teen Christian fiction. They talked about how most of teen fiction nowadays has fallen far away from God. Most teen fiction is now full of violence and darkness.
After I listened to the speakers, I was so ready to go out and write! I wanted to write something amazing, be published right away, and change lives in the world. I realized that my calling from God is to write for teens; to write stories with God-inspired themes. I realized the amazing gift of story that God has given me.
Story is an amazing way to get our point across. There’s an example of this in the Old Testament of the Bible. After David took Bathsheba as his wife and sent Uriah out to die, Nathan came to David. He didn’t blatantly tell David what he’d done wrong. Instead, Nathan told David an allegorical story about the rich man who took the poor man’s lamb. The story made an impression on David and revealed his sin more clearly than a blatant reprimand would have.
Story has the ability to change lives. Teens need changed lives. They need to hear of the Good News and of Jesus. But, most fiction for teens has become dark and depressing.
God has given me a passion for writing, for story, for fiction, for Him. I want to use the gifts he’s given me in my writing to serve Him.
The camp in itself was not the best part of my summer; consolidating the fact that I’m a writer for God and cultivating my passion for writing were the discoveries that made my summer awesome!
I’m trusting God to use me in the ways He wants. He’s put writing on my heart and I’m going to use it to glorify Him.
Danielle Dodge is thirteen years old. Her top favorite activities are reading and writing although she does enjoy riding horses, ballet, and playing the violin. She’s placed in three contests and written two novellas.
“Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t force itself on others, isn’t always “me first”, doesn’t fly off the handle, doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, doesn’t revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end.” (1 Corinthian 13: 4-8 The Message)
Sara Bareilles, a popular singer, describes being controlled by a guy in her song Gravity: “You hold me without touch, You keep me without chains.”
When I was a senior in high school, I met a charming and funny guy who I fell head over heels in “love” with. Looking back, I have realized how unhealthy that relationship was for me. I was verbally abused, called names, and controlled for a year of my life by someone who never deserved me in the first place.
When I moved away for college, I was enlightened by 1 Corinthian 13, where God describes to us a love that is so amazing that it never fails, never gets angry, always trusts, and always perseveres. I realized that the relationship I was in wasn’t any of those things and it definitely wasn’t a Godly relationship. I broke the relationship off and by doing so I regained my self-confidence and became a girl who wasn’t going to let people push her around, especially silly boys.
It can be hard to get out of abusive and unhealthy relationships, but you must always remember that you are the most important person in the situation. If you are in a relationship that is bad for you, think about yourself and your future. Never let a guy hold you back from being everything you can be. Search for the type of love that God describes in 1 Corinthian 13 and never settle for less than you deserve.
McKenna Watts is originally from Hueytown, Alabama, but currently resides in Livingston, Alabama where she attends the University of West Alabama. McKenna works for a daycare at a Methodist church where she teaches a three-year-old daycare class. McKenna is majoring in elementary education and wants to teach kindergarten after she graduates. McKenna began writing at an early age and is now a staff member with the Southern Christian Writers Conference based out of Tuscaloosa, Alabama that her family has run and operated for the past 20 years.