“Time just flew by, and before I knew it it was over.”

Sound familiar? If you are like most of us this happens to you too. Sometimes we find ourselves just sitting in on life. But DTS is not like most seasons in life. It can be such a life changing experience! So we have put together some practical steps you can take to make sure you get the most out of your DTS experience:

1: ASK QUESTIONS

Most of us know what it’s like to sit in class sometime with that one nagging question that you just can’t let go of. You’re to scared to ask the question… in fear of sounding stupid. I heard someone say that “If you have a question about something, there’s probably someone else in the room with the same question.” So don’t hesitate!! Ask, and you shall receive. Take the chance. Ask that question, and it might be a turning point in your life. Sometimes all we need is someone to show us a different way of looking at something. Ask your leaders questions. Go for it. Have lunch with people that inspire you and gain from their wisdom. Questions are such a gift and will definitely help you get most out of you DTS lecture phase!

2: GET ENOUGH SLEEP

Perhaps this seems very obvious to you, but with a lot of things going on it’s easy to forget to get enough sleep. It’s common knowledge that we operate better when we’re rested, and that we’re more likely to make mistakes and be less productive when we’re sleepy. God created our amazingly intricate brains in such a way that during a night’s sleep new memories and information are being solidified. Our brain actually strengthens connections between brain cells and transfers information to other brain regions that are more permanent and efficient. And this helps us perform better the next day! So if you want all the insight and new wisdom you’ve gained through a day of lecture to actually stick and become a part of you; then what are you waiting for? Go to bed!!

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3: JOURNAL

I know what you’re thinking… “Dear diary, today he looked at me when we passed each other in the cafeteria.”

But before you discard the idea of journaling, and are left with those awkward high school memories, hear me out on this one. There are so many benefits to journaling that if you don’t have a habit of doing it yet, you should consider it. Not only does journaling increase your IQ, help to grow your empathy, achieve your goals and awaken your creativity, it also is such a faith filling and life giving tool in your journey with God! During your DTS lecture phase God is going to speak to you. He’s going to challenge some of your thought patterns. He will reveal parts of his character that you needed restored or to just see in the first place.And through writing down these experiences you can unpack the things he’s speaking to you. The insight you got has the potential to just become a cool phrase that you scribbled in your note pad, or it can become a life changing event that got established in your life through writing down your thoughts on the subject and by letting God take you deeper into the matter. If you talk to many of our long term YWAM staff, keeping a journal has been and is an essential tool in their lives. A way to remember God’s promises to you, the prayers that he’s answered, the sermon ideas He gave you, and in general being able to go back and remind yourself again and again of the incredible journey He is taking you on!

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4: INVEST IN YOUR FELLOW CLASS MATES

So many people have formed deep long lasting friendships during DTS. If we believe that God has us at a place for such a time as this, then the people we are with are important too. Maybe there are some people that God has called to the same place as you for a reason. Maybe you’ll end up doing ministry together in the future? Maybe some stereotypes will be broken by you really getting to know people you didn’t think you’d be friends with before? Maybe He want’s to show you his character through some of your fellow students? After all we are the hands and feet of Jesus. And we can see him through others. DTS lecture phase is a perfect time to practice getting to know different kind of people, learn how to ask good questions and encourage others. After all; that’s what you’re going to be doing all the time on your outreach. Let God open up your heart to love deeper and more generously.

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5: GO OUTSIDE YOUR CAMPUS

Let this time in your life and the city you’re in be full of places where you heard from God. Walk by the water and see him in the sunset. Walk to the mall and be reminded of his love for all the faces you pass by. Go eat local food and be reminded that God can not be put in a box. He is bigger than where you grew up. He is colorful and exciting. Go for a hike in the forest and listen to your breath and be reminded of all the details He put into creation, including you. While you stroll, run, watch or eat, God will speak through culture and nature and He will surprise you!

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