Those Moments When I Considered Dropping Out…

LibraryBook_130206This last week was one that I would say was slightly difficult. How so? Well, simply put – school. This last week I have been fighting off a sickness, while having to prepare for and take 3 exams, while also trying to do my other homework, and juggling life. To be honest, this week isn’t that abnormal in the sense of busyness, but this one hit more harder than the others. So why? Because it was heavy on the academic part of my schedule.

“I wish I could do college without the academic part” is something I often find myself saying or thinking. I am not naturally a learner; I don’t enjoy doing research. School doesn’t naturally come to me – I have to work hard at it to be successful. Due to that, unlike my other activities and clubs, school drains me physically and mentally. The amount of effort I have to put forward exhausts me. It exhausts me to such a point that it is hard for me to find joy in the fact that I am doing schooling. The lack of joy makes me ponder whether I even want to do school… I actually consider dropping out of college. What always ends up keeping me enrolled is the clubs and organizations that I am involved in that I love and have grown and am growing so much from, the friends that I love who play a huge role in my life, or just the simple fact that I need a degree and I need to do well in order for me to be be successful post college and then adequately be a steward of my gifts.

You know what though, none of those motivations help me find any joy in the fact of me being a student. They just make me trudge the swamp of having to be a student. That is not what I want, not even a tiny bit. I know it is a blessing and a privilege that I have the opportunity to be getting an education, thus I want to be able to acknowledge that I am getting something from it.

And that acknowledgement has come. I was able to take some time at this end of the week and journal about all of this. In that time of reflecting and writing, I decided to take the time and look at all my classes that I have taken while I was a Hope student and write down what impacting thing I have learned from them. In doing that I was able to see that each of my classes have helped play a role in shaping how I think, how I act, and the man I am today. So with that new found knowledge, I want to make that my motivation in not dropping out of school and in having motivation for doing my schooling: I may not enjoy each class I take and the work that goes along with it, but with each class I take, I have the opportunity and often the benefit of gaining something to make myself a better human being.

For more about me, follow me on twitter @hopejohnluke17 or on Instagram at johnlukehawkins. If you have a question you can email me at Until next time!

What Moves You?

Being a senior has a lot of perks, such as knowing the ins and outs of campus, having strong relationships with people in your classes, and generally feeling like you know what’s going on. Another perk I never really thought about was being able to look back on the previous four years and see how you’ve grown as a person.

In my Senior Seminar class, we had to write a paper called “What Moves Me.” The purpose of this assignment was to look introspectively on your life and identify what values you have and what motivates you in your life. I had never really thought about myself in so much depth, so I can already tell that this class will really allow for a lot of internal reflection, which is great!

Today in class we shared a summary of our papers with each other in small groups and it was really interesting to see how people look at themselves. There were certain people who pinpointed their values as a characteristic, such as loyalty, while others were moved through specific events in their lives that really shaped their character and personality. For me, I was able to use a combination of these two methods by realizing that what moves me are the values instilled in me at a young age.

Various events in my life have taken place that highlight what things are most important to me. These values I cherish the most include trust, being kind to others, and looking out for my well-being and others in everything I do. I find it extremely effective gathering in groups and talking about our lives and what makes us “us.” I have never been in another class where the topic is based solely on ourselves and assignments are for our personal growth instead of being driven by class standards and trying to simply get a good grade. I actually care about this class because the more effort you put in, the more you get back and learn about yourself!

If you are unfamiliar with the structure of this Senior Seminar class, let me give a brief description. Freshman year, every student is in a class called FYS (First Year Seminar) where they are being introduced to the liberal arts education. Fast forward to senior year and you take another class reflecting on FYS as well as the past four years. This class is designed to analyze your progress and growth as an individual and a student. The main assignment the Senior Seminar class is structured around the Life View paper, where you write about your life and it’s specific events in a 25-paged or so paper. Pretty intimidating, but I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how I analyze my life and what has impacted me the most. Something else that makes the class really great is that you know a good amount of people in your class, so opening up to people is easier and more effective class discussions take place, which is much better than when people are scared to speak up.

I hope this blog has inspired you to look at yourself objectively and see what makes you the way you are. Personally, I find it interesting and amazing to see what has caused me to become the person I am today and in what ways I have remained the same since childhood. The values I had as a kid simply adjusted to my current lifestyle and I continue to carry out these beliefs and way of living. I believe it is highly beneficial to take moments every once in a while to sit down and analyze your life just for the heck of it because you may be surprised to discover something new about yourself.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @hopeleslie15.

Rest is the Rescue, and Chaos is the Culprit

“Take what’s dead, and make it come back to life.”

Back home in Iowa, the week before finals is what many schools call “Dead Week.” This is because while you’re studying for your cumulative exams for 4 classes, you’re also writing three 5-page research papers, eating food, socializing for 10 minutes a day, and sleeping for a total of never (that’s an exaggeration, but you can catch my drift.)

Monday night, I was feeling its implications.

Four folders, a binder, four notebooks, 18 credits, three jobs. A laptop. A backpack that I’m pretty sure might break after Friday. Two outfits a day, one for business meetings, another for homework. Three outfits if I somehow find the time and motivation to exercise.

This is the week before finals.

And I’m okay with that today, even though I wasn’t a few days ago. I was overwhelmed, running from place to place, pulling three nights of 2-4 hours of sleep, looking exhausted 98.7% of the time, and chugging Emergen-C every four hours to ensure my immune system could keep up.

Worst of all, I was not staying present. At all.

On Monday night at 3 AM, I was planning what homework I would be doing on Tuesday night at 4:30 AM. What I would eat for lunch on Wednesday. When I would be able to drink Lemonjello’s Fireside Latte (SO GOOD, it’s made with maple syrup and cinnamon) on Thursday.

I was slipping. My heart raced, my brain leapt from thought to thought, and my eyes were closing – sleep was so close, yet so far away.

Then, I heard a voice speak. It came, cool like water, raining down on me.

“Slow down,” it whispered. “Rest. I delight in you, and all that you have accomplished. You have done so much, and are about to do so much more.”

I looked around the empty room. There was so much space. So much air flowing, waiting, floating around me. I had been suffocating in a room of oxygen.

I drew in a breath and my shoulders relaxed. I blinked twice, adjusting to the dim florescent light of the room.

My heart was full, my brain steadied, and my eyes were opened. At once, I knew. I knew that I would be okay. Instead of being overwhelmed, I was overflowing with grace.

“He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” -Psalm 18:19

I was no longer trapped in the prison I had made for myself, but instead welcomed into a space without borders. It is true, we have much to accomplish, and little time to do so. But He knows that. And when we stand in the presence of the Author of Time, there is no need to rush. He rescues in His delight. He brings the dead back to life.

He Brought Me into a Spacious Place
[Centennial Park, October 2013] I remember when this picture was taken during my FYS. As I looked at the trees, I knew there was real peace in the world, and it was there, it was everywhere, I just had to call upon it.
And we know that He works for our good.

How is your week before finals treating you? Give me a heads up @hopesophie17. Questions or Comments? Post below or send me an email at