rebelling against low expectations

How To Embrace Peace (Not Stress or Fear) This School Year


Summer is coming to an end.

The start of school is approaching fast. Stores across America are “helpfully” reminding us of that. With sales on backpacks, binders, and pencils, how could we forget?

This coming school year is an important one for me because it’s my senior year of high school.

I can’t believe I’m going to be a college freshman next fall. It’s unreal. I remember previous graduation banquets at my church and the seniors who were preparing for their futures.

Now I’m one of them.

This year is going to be bittersweet. I’ll be getting my high school diploma, but I’ll also be preparing to leave my family and friends to attend college out of state next fall.

So it will mostly be bitter.

While my heart wants to worry, the Holy Spirit whispers that everything will be okay. Actually, it will be better than okay; it will be God’s perfect will coming to pass.

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

My heart wants to be troubled. My heart wants to be afraid. There are so many what-ifs about my future. What if I get an awful roommate? What if I don’t adjust well to living far from my family? What if I can’t handle all the homework?

Asking every “what-if?” question isn’t going to help anyone.

But it will hurt my heart.

Jesus gives us the peace and assurance that He’s always with us. We can choose to cling to that peace or let our hearts get crushed with worry.

Jesus was getting ready to ascend to heaven when He spoke about this peace. His disciples didn’t want Him to leave them on earth.

But He didn’t leave them. He gave them His Holy Spirit. They weren’t alone.

And neither are we.

Instead of automatically worrying when a scary event draws near (like the start of the school year), we need to train ourselves to automatically turn to Christ.

There are many ways to stop yourself from going into panic mode:

1. Read God’s promises over and over and over.

Cement them in your mind. Write them on your mirror, your hand, or your notebook. His peace can calm you if you let it.

2. Always talk to God.

You can let go of your worries by telling them to Christ. Pray for His strength and direction.

3. Surround yourself with those who are older and wiser than you.

Older Christians have been through a lot more of life’s battles than you have. They know how to fight them and how to help you when you’re tempted to worry.

4. Find some encouraging, worshipful music that reminds you of who God is.

Try Hillsong United, Lauren Daigle, or Moriah Peters.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

We get so bogged down with worries that we forget what’s real.

So what is real?

1. God will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).

2. God has amazing plans for His children (Jeremiah 29:11).

3. You belong to God, and no one can take you away from Him (John 10:28-29).

4. God works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called by Him (Romans 8:28).

5. Nothing can separate us from God’s incredible love (Romans 8:38-39).

These are the basics, but sadly, in our times of stress and worry, we forget about them.

Don’t forget about them.

Everything can turn into a problem if we let it.

Don’t let it.

Yes, I’m scared about college. It makes me sad to think about leaving my family and living far from home, but God will take care of me. If I don’t hang on to that fact, it will be a miserable year.

School is starting soon. (Sorry—I know you don’t want to think about it.) This can be a fresh start for you. Instead of freaking out every time you have a test, why not read a Psalm, talk to your Savior, and listen to Hillsong United for a while? Then start studying.

The work won’t go away, but it will help you if you don’t try to carry the burden alone.

Blessings for the new school year!

Photo courtesy of CollegeDegrees360 and Flickr Creative Commons.

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About the author

Grace M.

is a college student, a blogger, and a writer. She enjoys spending time with her family, chatting with friends, and eating cookie dough. She writes about the Christian life at Tizzie's Tidbits.


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  • I needed this so much! After what had already been a rotten day, last night I had to go through the school I would be starting the next day and I got really overwhelmed and upset. Reading this today was really comforting for me. Right before I read your suggestion of listening to music, I had just turned on Hillsong Worship! XD Thanks so much for writing this. I’m sure it’ll be helpful to a lot more people too!

    • Thank you for your kind words! God really is Who we need to cling to. I understand how you feel. 🙂 God bless you!

  • Thank you so much! What I needed to hear today, since it was the first day of school for me. I have been really stressed out about my (possibly) overloaded schedule, but then I was reminded today in a devotional that everything we do, we do in excellence for Christ.

  • I’m a senior too, and the other day I was reading college packing lists (spoiler alert–bad idea) and really freaking out. Thank you so much for this article! I would also suggest I Am They and Bethel Music;)

  • I’m in my last year of college now. I’ve been thinking about my future lately. I got scared. I have many what if’s. “What if I will not get a well paying job?” What if I cannot meet the expectations of my parents? I worried too much that I forgot that I have a God who’s plans are greater than my plans. This is really encouraging. Thank you. God bless you.

    • Thank you for reading! It’s easy to fear the future, but He is with us. He will take care of the what-ifs.

  • Thank you, Grace! I’m starting high school this year and i’ve been homeschooled for the last 8 years so this article was helpful while I was working through all the beginning of school struggles. 🙂

  • This was so relaxing. Thank you a lot for sharing this with all of us. I was so scared and stressed about my second year of college, we would get new professor’s who are very strict (everyone says that, it’s annoying me)
    I was scared I won’t make it and so I won’t find a good job. But reading this relaxed me a lot. Thank you. I’ll do my best and I’ll pass this year with the help of God. 🙂

By Grace M.
rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →