81 million Americans went back to school this week. 17.5 million of them are in post-secondary education, and most of them are already feeling that the summer was last century. The first assignment is already due, the first demerits have already been handed out, the exercise program is already growing fat, and 6am already feels like 3am. Does it need to be like this? Am I managing myself and my time in the best way? Am I going to look back on this time with deep regret?

stressed student

Maybe you need to read What do you wish you’d known when you were at college? in which Lifehacker compiles its top ten of reader responses to this question. In summary:

Focus on Academics
1. Go to class.
2. Go to office hours.

Work on Discovering Your Calling or Developing Career Skills
3. Do internships.
4. Learn job-relevant skills.

Mind Your Finances
5. Go for the free money.
6. Avoid debt.

Get Social
7. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

Make the Most of This Unique Time
8. Don’t be in a rush to get out early.
9. Get involved with a club or association.
10. Study abroad.

Although there are some helpful tips for everyone here, it’s obviously not a distinctively Christian list. For example, I doubt #10 would be a good choice for most young Christians. So, what would a Christian list look like? As a Christian, what do you wish you’d known in college?

I’ll compile your answers, add some of my own, and post the result tomorrow.

PS: And while we’re on the subject of avoiding regrets in school or college, here’s 10 Privacy Tips for the Connected Student.

  • http://asmallwork.posterous.com Ryan

    I became a Christian in college, so one answer I’d give is that Christian students should seize the immense opportunity to form friendships and speak the gospel to those friends. The time in college is far and away the most fertile ground for relational evangelism. (I actually wrote a post on this myself: link here.)

  • http://headhearthand.org/blog/ David Murray

    Thanks Ryan. Great point.

  • Richard

    I’m puzzled. Why is studying abroad not a good option for most Christian students?

    • http://headhearthand.org/blog/ David Murray

      From what I’ve seen, Richard, many still lack the Christian maturity and stability to thrive away from parental and local church oversight. It can be great for some, but for many it’s a disaster that their lives never recover from.

  • pete

    This is a really good start, even for a believer. I would change “club or association” to college campus ministry. Being able to “flee temptations” is most important, especially when hanging with non-Christian friends. Daily devotions (quiet time)is also most recommended. Also, its not “just who you know’ but what you know (or what you have learned) also.

  • http://www.se7en.org.za Se7en

    A great time to get into the lifelong habit of Daily Bible Reading…

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  • http://headhearthand.org/blog/ David Murray

    Thanks for your contributions. Here’s the “Christian” version of 10 things I wish I’d known in college: http://headhearthand.org/blog/2011/09/09/10-more-things-i-wish-id-known-at-college/