10. Get a life.
Seminary is a rollercoaster. It is high-paced and full of ups and downs and curves that nobody expects. It is the spiritual, social, and work (yes, work) life that will sustain you. Without that, you will wither and spiritually die.
9. No matter what you expect seminary to be, it probably won’t be what you expected.
There’s more to seminary than chapel and Bible reading. It’s a place of spiritual and personal formation unlike any other. It is one of the few places where it is possible to talk about God and sports in the same conversation without any irony at all.
8. Absolutely nobody will understand what it is you’re doing…except other people doing the same thing.
It’s true. Try explaining to someone who is not a Christian what seminary is sometime; you’ll see what I mean. And, as a point of fact, people have been tossed into mental institutions for saying they were called by God to do things. Saint Joan of Arc was burned at the stake for something remarkably similar.
7. (for those coming straight out of college) Friendship will not look the same as it did in college.
Odds are, some people have gotten married or moved away. Maybe you just don’t talk as much as you used to. It doesn’t always mean you’re not friends; it just means your friendship is changing. Now that everybody isn’t in constant contact, you have to be more intentional about staying in touch. It also means you have to choose what relationships to put effort in.
6. Time management is more like juggling than stacking blocks.
I could list all the things that take up time, but that would take entirely too long. There’s something to it, though: how is it possible to decide when to do what and for how long and oh my stars. There’s so much, particularly when deadlines pile up. It’s not as much about regulating every hour, though that’s certainly part of it. It’s much more important to prioritize well. Establish a set of priorities and then do whatever tasks are before you according to those priorities. Do not be afraid of re-evaluating, however. Circumstances change. Think of them as more like guidelines than set in stone rules.
5. Sports are not about the game.
Well, they are, but then, they’re not. Sports are about bonding and having something small to talk about besides the weather. In certain communities, a sports team can be a rallying point for the community. For example, in the Washington, DC, area, it’s almost a sin to not be a fan of Washington Nationals baseball. It’s about community. It’s about gathering to watch the game, either in the stadium or in the living room. The game is secondary.
4. Only some people grow up. Others just get older.
Side note: this does not just apply to other people.
3. Cliques exist for a reason.
Birds of a feather tend to flock together, as trite as the proverb is. If a group is too closed off to allow new members, then it is probably not one that you want to be a part of anyway. It is okay to be a trendsetter. Start a new one.
2. Find what nourishes your soul and don’t ever give it up.
In seminary, the soul will be beaten and battered and bruised. There will be dry times. You will need something that will reconnect you with yourself. It does not have to be lofty, but it does have to be something fun and refueling.
1. Seminary will seem to break the foundation of your faith, force you to sift through the pieces, and then rebuild it.
This would be why you will need to refuel. The process of demolition, sifting, and rebuilding will not be fun. At times, it will feel like soul-torture. There will have to be something to keep you spiritually sustained in these times. Ultimately, though, it is worth it. The process of demolition and rebuilding will knock out any loose bricks and make your faith stronger and better articulated. It will make you better fit for ministry in any capacity and prepare you for a deeper life in God.