Posts

10 Tips for Coping with Finals Stress

Finals are upon us, which means as a student you’re probably experiencing an increased level of stress trying to wrap up your projects and study for your exams. While increased levels of stress are normal this time of year, we have put together some strategies you can use to decrease the stress that studying and test-taking can cause, as well as some tips for coping with the stress that you may experience.

  1. Pray. There is power in prayer. Now, prayer isn’t a cop-out. Staying up all night to play video games and asking God to help you do well on your final the next day probably isn’t going to work. But if you put in the work of studying, and ask God to help you remember what you studied and to calm your nerves, He will help. Start with prayer. It makes everything else go better.
  2. Take a breath. Finals can be overwhelming, especially when you allow your brain to run 100 miles an hour. It seems simple, but a few deep breathes can do wonders for slowing down your mind and calming your nerves.
  3. Make a list. Write down everything you need to do—studying, laundry, sleep, papers to write—and cross items off when you’ve accomplished them. Sometimes just having the overall view of everything you need to do can help alleviate your stress. Plus, you’re less likely to forget an assignment when it’s written down.
  4. Create a study schedule. There will be some exams you need extra time to study for, and others you won’t need to study nearly as much. Make a schedule of your week, when you can study, when you need to sleep and eat, and plug in what exam you need to study for. It will help you feel less overwhelmed.
  5. Get some sleep. Contrary to popular belief, pulling an all-nighter will NOT help you do better on your exam. When you’re tired and run down, your brain doesn’t function at full capacity—meaning you’re going into the exam with less brain power, and are likely to do worse on the exam. Get your sleep. You’ll do better.
  6. Eat healthy. Cans of energy drinks, junk food, and late night pizza won’t fuel your brain, let alone your body. Grab some healthy snacks—fruit, veggies, whole grain crackers. The better you eat, the better you will feel, and the more energy you can put towards remembering everything you’re studying.
  7. Limit your time on social media. Checking updates on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and responding to all those SnapChats of your friends’ stressed out faces can be fun, but if you’re not careful, you can waste hours on social media. Limit your time on the internet during finals and put it towards studying.
  8. Exercise. Taking 30 minutes out of your day to get in some exercise will help improve blood flow to your brain and make you more alert and remember more of what you’re studying. It’s not a huge time investment, but can reap a huge reward!
  9. Do something fun. One hour out of your day won’t kill your grades. Go do something fun. Read a book. Go for a walk. Play a video game. Go out to eat with your friends. It’s a great way to reduce stress and get your mind off of what needs to be done. It may even give you a fresh perspective on that subject you’re studying.
  10. If all else fails, yell! That’s right, I said yell. There’s something incredibly relieving in letting out a good ol’ fashioned yell. It will relieve your stress, make you feel like a weight has been lifted off, and if you time it just right, you may cause your roommate to jump…giving you both a good laugh. Disclaimer: don’t yell in the library. They may frown upon that.

Know someone who could benefit from these tips? Use the buttons below to share this article with them!

 

Just Pray

Praying is one of the most difficult struggles for Christians today.

Reading the Bible can be tedious, but when we see the Bible sitting on the table, it reminds us that we need to read. Sin is a huge challenge, but we KNOW that we are not to participate in it, so we fight to stay away from sin.

It’s different with prayer. There is no physical reminder to call us to pray, and forgetting to make time for prayer is a very easy.

Even still, the biggest issue we have with prayer is that we do not know how to do it. Jesus taught us one prayer, but sometimes that prayer can seem rehearsed and ineffective. Other times, we have specific needs and thanks to offer God, but we are unsure how to do it. Worse still, there are times we feel as though God is not answering our prayers – either He is not listening or He feels distant and unconcerned. Our prayers go unanswered and we feel as though God never heard them in the first place. Prayer is hard!

But it does not have to be.

God wants us to call out to Him, and He does not care how we do it. He just wants to hear from us. Your prayers do not need to be eloquent pieces of work; they just need to be heartfelt. Your prayers do not need to cry out for the salvation of all souls; they just need to be an honest presentation of your heart to God. He is waiting to hear your voice today, and when He does, He will rejoice that you contacted Him in the first place (Ps. 141:2, Matt 6:7).

Even if you do not know WHAT to pray, God still wants to hear from you. Just open your heart and start talking. If you can think of nothing else to say but Jesus’ name, then cry, “Jesus!” with all you can muster, and trust God. The sweetest prayer comes not from the best words or asks for the nicest things, but from the heart that earnestly seeks to touch God.

Do not believe the lies any longer. God is waiting on the edge of His seat to hear from you. He longs to hear your voice. He looks forward to when you contact Him, you just have to start talking.

Remember: God HEARS every prayer and rejoices, He just does not answer all of them the way we want. So start now. Have a discussion with the Lord of Creation and see what He has to say to you.

Just pray.

Read it yourself: 2 Chronicles 7:14, Romans 8:26, Psalm 141:2, Matthew 6:7

January Prayer Requests

Prayer is at the foundation of all we do in Ignite. It keeps us in tune with God’s voice, grows our faith and opens doors that only He can open.

Please hold us in your prayers this month for the following:

Ignite Mission Trips: 

  • Czech Republic: We will have our first team meeting on Monday, January 30 and begin planning our trip. Please pray for the finances to come in and for God to direct our planning. Read more about this trip or make a donation!
  • Romania: In October, Ignite will help lead a mission trip to Bucharest, Romania. Please pray that God guides everything we do, helps us plan the trip and that the finances come in. Read more about this trip!

Students Ignited: Please pray that we see students at Monmouth College and Carl Sandburg College come to know Christ, get ignited with a passion for God, and reach out to their fellow students.

Divine Connections to start Ignite at: Culver-Stockton College (Canton, MO), Western Illinois University (Macomb, IL), Knox College (Galesburg, IL), Augustana College (Rock Island, IL), Northern Illinois University (DeKalb, IL) and Silesian University (Opava, Czech Republic).

Finances: Ignite is funded primarily through donations from our partners. Please pray that we see growth in our finances in order to increase our ministry to more schools. You can help by making a tax-deductible donation today!

Staff: We are attempting to fundraise a salary to bring President and Visionary Leader, Jason Vana, on full time to push our ministry forward and step through doors God has opened. Please pray for partners in this endeavor. Read more about this decision.

We appreciate your prayers and look forward to sharing with you how God answered each one!

December Prayer Requests

Prayer is at the foundation of all we do in Ignite. It keeps us in tune with God’s voice, grows our faith and opens doors that only He can open.

Please hold us in your prayers this month for the following:

Ignite Mission Trips: 

  • New Orleans: The New Orleans team leaves December 31! Please pray for safe travels, powerful impact and that we see God move mightily in the lives of people in New Orleans.
  • Czech Republic: We are in the planning stages of our annual trip to the Czech Republic and are receiving applications from students. Please pray for wisdom in choosing our team, planning, raising the finances and safe travels.

Students Ignited: Please pray that we see students at Monmouth College and Carl Sandburg College come to know Christ, get ignited with a passion for God, and reach out to their fellow students.

Divine Connections to start Ignite at: Culver-Stockton College (Canton, MO), Western Illinois University (Macomb, IL), Knox College (Galesburg, IL), Augustana College (Rock Island, IL), Northern Illinois University (DeKalb, IL) and Silesian University (Opava, Czech Republic).

Finances: Ignite is funded primarily through donations from our partners. Please pray that we see growth in our finances in order to increase our ministry to more schools. You can help by making a tax-deductible donation today!

Staff: We are attempting to fundraise a salary to bring President and Visionary Leader, Jason Vana, on full time to push our ministry forward and step through doors God has opened. Please pray for partners in this endeavor.

We appreciate your prayers and look forward to sharing with you how God answered each one!

November Prayer

Prayer is at the foundation of all we do in Ignite. It keeps us in tune with God’s voice, grows our faith and opens doors that only He can open.

Please hold us in your prayers this month for the following:

Ignite Board: We are in the process of growing the Ignite board and need wisdom and discernment in our choices.

Ignite Mission Trips: We are in the planning stages of our annual trip to the Czech Republic and our brand new New Orleans trip. Please pray for wisdom in planning, raising the finances and safe travels for both trips.

Students Ignited: Please pray that we see students at Monmouth College and Carl Sandburg College come to know Christ, get ignited with a passion for God, and reach out to their fellow students.

Divine Connections to start Ignite at: Culver-Stockton College (Canton, MO), Western Illinois University (Macomb, IL), Knox College (Galesburg, IL), Augustana College (Rock Island, IL), Northern Illinois University (DeKalb, IL) and Silesian University (Opava, Czech Republic).

Finances: Ignite is funded primarily through donations from our partners. Please pray that we see growth in our finances in order to increase our ministry to more schools. You can help by making a tax-deductible donation today!

Staff: We are attempting to fundraise a salary to bring President and Visionary Leader, Jason Vana, on full time to push our ministry forward and step through doors God has opened. Please pray for partners in this endeavor.

We appreciate your prayers and look forward to sharing with you how God answered each one!

Ignite Monmouth Gets in the Word!

Last night, Ignite Monmouth held it’s first official group gathering of the school year, and it was a huge success.

We saw over 25 students, and three staff members, show up for the gathering, get to know each other, worship and pray together, and discuss how to keep your spiritual fire burning during the school year. It was fun, exciting…and very challenging.

Student Leader Ian Smith led the discussion, challenging students that Ignite gatherings and church services are not enough to keep you going through the week. He likened it to eating 15,000 calories all on Sunday, and not eating again until the following week. You may get filled up, feel satisfied (or bloated!), but in the end, that’s not enough to keep you going. We have to be stoking that fire every day.

The group discussed the need to read their Bibles and pray every day, and the benefits that come from such discipline.

The 5×5 Plan
Ian then laid out what his church calls the 5×5 plan: commit to spending 5 minutes reading your Bible and 5 minutes in prayer each day. No matter how busy you are, everyone has at least 10 minutes they can spare each day to spend with God. We’re praying that students pick up that challenge an commit to it throughout the school year.

Time with God is important, and the members of Ignite Monmouth, both new and returning, were challenged to carve out that time each day to stoke their relationship with God and keep the fire for Him burning. It was a great way to start off the school year.

Related Resources:
The following resources will help you get consistent in your Bible reading and prayer time:

  • YouVersion: This web site, complete with mobile apps, provides members with a number of interactive Bible reading plans to help you get into the Word and know where to start.
  • BibleGateway: This web site offers a number of biblical translations, along with online commentaries, dictionaries and devotions.
  • Prayer of Examen: This ancient prayer form will help you learn not only how to make your requests known to God, but also how to express gratitude and listen for His voice.

How do you plan on reading your bible and praying more?