I love taking tests so much. It is my sixth favorite thing in the world, right behind chocolate, Doctor Who, rainy days, sliding across hardwood floor with socks on, and kittens. I just adore cramming as much information into my head as I possibly can and testing how well I actually retained everything I learned.

Okay, that might be a little bit of a lie. I’m not a huge fan of taking tests. I’d rather write a paper. However, in the middle of a busy semester, taking tests is exactly what I find myself doing often these days.

In the midst of my work this week, I found myself seated across from a wonderful friend of mine in a coffee shop. We were laughing our bellies sore as we relived our favorite scenes from the movie we had just seen and marveling at how little stress matters once you take a break and enjoy simple gifts in life. At one point she stopped me and said how amazed she was at how stressed she had been just hours previously, and how quickly that had dissolved. I pondered this for a minute to realize that I had experienced the exact same thing. I had been feeling the pressure of multiple deadlines, yet once the work was completed, the worry had lost all of its power.

Take that, stress!

People of the online community, our parents were right. Worrying does not help us accomplish anything in life. While it is important to learn how to budget our time and accomplish as much as we can with the time we are given, allowing stress into our lives is a useless waste of energy. It dissipates so quickly once the event is over, and we find that the worry was no help at all. In fact, it has only as much power as we give to it.

That fact moves beyond the pressure of school. There are situations in life that catch us off guard and leave our heads spinning. However, in my 19 years of living, I have found that life has a way of working things out in the end. God is an active God, and He will not leave us hanging.

In college, we experience highs and lows and learn how to deal with them. Stressing about tests, deadlines, a disagreement with a classmate, or anything else that comes our way will not help us to accomplish anything. Our focus needs to remain on growing closer to our Creator and bringing Him glory in all things, including our studies and the times we need to laugh it out.

I’d encourage anyone reading this to figure out ways to keep yourself from getting to the point where you’re blinded by stress. When you feel it coming on, walk away for a moment. Belt out your favorite song, eat Oreos (not the whole box!), call your mom, or watch a hilarious movie. Figure out how you relieve stress best, and make it a habit. Trust me, it helps to keep your focus on your goals, relationships, and relationship with Christ.

In the midst of this crazy semester, know that it will pass soon enough. Safe sailing, everyone!