Senior Madalyn Lynxwiler is in her final few months as a student at LCU. She’ll graduate in May and is writing a series of blog posts to her younger classmates. She wrote this second post for her own blog this week and graciously allowed us to share it here as well. See her previous post here.
It’s me, again, just your friendly, neighborhood senior.
I am finishing up my time in undergrad, and I have another piece of advice for you. In my operations management class, we have studied value-added time vs. non-value added time. Non-value added time is when someone is just waiting for something to happen in which the time waiting adds nothing to the finished product. An example is waiting in a long line at the grocery store. The time you spend waiting for the register adds nothing to your experience at the grocery store. In fact, it may decrease your experience. However, value added time is when waiting is actually important to the quality or the experience of the finished product. This, for example, is when you need to wait for a cake to bake in the oven, otherwise you have no cake, or when you are waiting for a photograph to develop in the dark room. In college, you are going to be faced with many opportunities but you are going to need to decide what benefits you most as a student and as a person who is invested in others. Do things that add value to your time at college.
Many people come to college expecting to meet their soulmate and reduce college to a way to find a spouse. Now, I realize that I am saying this as a senior who married a man she met at college, but I also spent plenty of time being single and living life on my own. You see, I see a lot of people come into college too focused on things that are not going to add value to their time at college. One of those things is focusing on being in a relationship with anyone who is willing instead of investing in friendships that could last a lifetime or developing a mentor in one of their professors that could guide them through college and give wisdom in life.
So, along with doing things that add value to your time at college, I also want to challenge you in this: try not to date your first year of college. Here are some reasons why:
- Why are you here? You’re here for an education, and if you’re spending so much money on getting an education, then it should probably be the number 1 goal of your time at college.
- You should focus on building friendships that could last a lifetime and are life-giving. The friendships you make your first year can carry you through the ups and downs of college and even through a break-up if that occurs.
- You don’t know yourself. I know it seems like you do, but I can’t count the number of things that I learned about myself that are so helpful now that I am married. I had the ability to develop my own passions and hobbies, my own friendships, my own life. And, I learned to be more independent. Relax. No one knows that much about themselves when they first enter college. You’re just still trying to figure out how to be an adult. You will discover more about yourself your first years of college than you ever could have imagined. It’s easier getting to know someone else when you have learned more about yourself.
- College is a really expensive dating service. I’m not saying dating in college is bad at all, but when your focus is shifted from your education to who is eligible to date, you waste what could be value-added time.
- You should spend time being content and having fun! Enough said! You will get married someday and there are things that you can do now that are harder when you are married and your finances are more strict and you have a home and more responsibility.
Your time at college should not be a period of waiting until you graduate and get a job or get married; it should be a time where you grow and build yourself and develop character and do awesome stuff for God and for yourself. Go on mission trips and internships far away! Spend money to go to a really awesome conference! Do things that challenge you! Do things that grow you!
Do things that add value to your time at college, because that’s what it’s about- learning about the world and yourself and how you are to interact with it. When approaching it that way, you’ll get an awesome education that’s worth way more than what you paid for it.