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Katie Linsey

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January 2, 2016

2016: A Year of Digging Deeper

January 2, 2016 | By | No Comments

At the beginning of every year, I ask God to reveal a word for me to focus on throughout the year.

I spent hours praying for a word for 2016, but wasn’t feeling a decisive “yes” from God to any of the words that popped in my head. As I was worshipping at church tonight, it was clearly revealed to me that my word for the year should be “deeper.”

In 2015, a lot was brought to my attention about my relationship with God. Growing up, my Christian friends and mentors would always talk about having a “personal relationship with Jesus Christ,” but I didn’t fully understand what that meant.

For most of my life, I think my relationship with God was comparable to a relationship I have with a celebrity. I may know a lot about Taylor Swift. I may know who she’s dating, all the lyrics to her songs, and when she’s going to be on tour, but that doesn’t mean I have a relationship with her. If I saw her in public and started talking to her like I knew her, she would probably think I was weird because she’s never met me before. I think that’s how I was with Jesus. I knew all the stories in the Bible, I’d memorized some of the words He’s said, and I talked like I knew Him… but I’m not sure I had that personal relationship I heard about so many times.

2015 consisted of asking myself a lot of questions about my faith. It included figuring out what I believe, and how those beliefs should change the way I think and live. It’s not enough that I believe the words of Jesus. They must transform me in some way. After all, even demons believe in Jesus.

With all of that said, I believe in Jesus and I have a personal relationship with Him. But He continues to draw me deeper still. You can never have enough of Jesus. You can never be too close to Him.

In all the hustle and bustle of life, it’s easy to make quick decisions without taking God’s will into consideration. There have been times when I’ve been offered jobs and took them without even asking what God wants. I’ve dated people in the past without praying about it. It’s easy to leave God out of small and big decisions in life, but that’s not how Christ followers are meant to live.

Toward the end of 2015, I started praying about nearly every detail of my life. I started noticing drastic changes in my priorities and attitude. I’ve chosen to invite God into my relationships, my finances, the way I spend my time, where I serve, etc… and it’s clear to me that this is how it’s supposed to be.

The word “deeper” sums up everything I want 2016 to be. I want to dig deeper in my relationship with God and my relationship with others.

I encourage you to pray that God would reveal a word for your 2016. If you choose to do that, let me know what He says. :)

-KT

Renee DeVault

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January 2, 2016

Fo Shizzle Winter Break Update, Yo!

January 2, 2016 | By | No Comments

I kicked off winter break with STAR WARS!!!!! I was insanely excited. I went with Gabe, Josh, Quinn, and Kory to the B&B Theater in Overland Park (My current favorite movie theater) and we sat on the second row of their huge theater. Every few minutes before the movie started I would turn to one of them and excitedly whisper “STAR WARS!” probably driving them nuts, but they still talk to me so it’s cool.

 

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I asked Josh to take a picture of Quinn and I in front of the Star Wars poster sign thing and ended up with about a dozen of these beauties.

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They eventually took our picture and it makes me so happy. I grew up watching borrowed copies of the original three movies on VHS and I once had a Star Wars party where everyone came dressed up and we had a marathon (Thirteen year old me was pretty cool) and I went to Comicon two years ago dressed as a Jedi. I really enjoy Star Wars.

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I was really glad I got to see Star Wars with Quinn because just a few days later I had to drive him to the airport to drop him off for his three week adventure to Nairobi, Kenya. His mother is the Chaplin at Africa Nazarene University there. I was thrilled that he got to see his family but it was still sad dropping him off. I get to go pick him up in less than a week though!

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The time change makes communicating a little crazy. Lucky for me he has Wifi and we can face time but only early in the day or late at night. Midnight on New Years was 3:00PM my time so for a while he was communicating with me from a different year. We made many a time traveler and Doctor Who joke.

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I joked that with Quinn gone I would finally have some time to work on things like my blog, my lines for Mousetrap (February 25-27th in the Black Box theater in Bell Center), edit my book, and write Quinn a one act play for his directing class…but man, it’s hard to be productive when friends and family are so much fun.

I have spent many a day at coffee shops sitting with my laptop writing though. I put in my headphones, listen to the Twenty One Pilots Blurryface album on repeat, drink coffee, and generally feel very connected to my introverted and creative sides.

By the way, Black Dog coffee shop in Lenexa (20 minutes from MNU) will let you purchase a “bottomless coffee” for around $4 which allows for unlimited refills on their brew coffee while you’re in the shop. This is very important know if you decide to spend eight hours editing your book and talking to cool people like Josh who show up to keep you from going insane.

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My Christmas was awesome. My Grandparents came up for about a week. It was wonderful to get to just sit around the house and enjoy being with family. My mom and I got to take fun Christmas pictures together and it was just generally very relaxing and fun.

I very much needed a holiday. It was also great to get to go to my home church for Christmas Eve service.

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It snowed a bit after Christmas here in Olathe. I then just got to sit around with my puppy, read mystery novels, and drink tea and dairy free hot chocolate. Life is good. I very much needed a break.

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Olathe is still snowy but we go about our regular business. I’m setting up a bunch of plans to hang out with old High School friends as well as MNU friends who live in town.

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Enjoy break cool cats.

 

Lynsie Petersen

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December 17, 2015

Action Pact…Not Your Usual Team

December 17, 2015 | By | No Comments

MNU is lucky enough to have an improv team that performs on campus as well as a SERVEteam. We’re called Action Pact. In terms of SERVEteam, several of us go to area churches and perform either improv skits or a one-act play titled “The Complete History of the Old Testament in Twenty Minutes” and of course, recruit for MNU. I’ve been on the team for 3 years and I absolutely adore it.

This year’s team includes: (SERVEteam) Blake Holden, Renee DeVault (check out her blog posts!), Justin Collins, Sara Eigsti, Aubri Krosschell, (On-Campus team) Kat Stone, Sarah (Rose) Christianson, Quinn North, and Joshua Brisco. And I can’t forget our fearless leader, Heather Tinker!

You may not have heard of us, but we’re making waves. I know we aren’t as popular as the sports teams, but you’ve probably seen our posters. And while I believe our sports teams are great, there’s no way they’re funnier than we are.

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This is our audition poster from the beginning of the semester. I, unfortunately, didn’t have a picture of the poster for our last show.

Our last show was on December 5th and it was a Christmas themed show. I always want to get video of the shows, but it’s hard to do when you’re also in the show. But the team did decide to take “Awkward Family Photos” beforehand. Below you will find a majority of the photos we took, definitely not all of them, as I am only allowed to post the “pre-approved” photos. (Our director/coach decides which photos are approved for postage on any social media site.)

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Improv Group

And those were only the pre-show photos! After a VERY successful show, we decided that we were hungry and no one wanted to go do their homework, so we all went to Perkins. We were all very slap-happy and some interesting things happened.

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Aside from performing monthly on-campus shows and being a SERVEteam, Action Pact sometimes gets asked to perform favors, like perform at a friend/former cast mate’s Sweet Sixteen. Ally had her Sweet Sixteen on December 11th, which was a wonderful way to procrastinate studying for finals. I was able to get a few photos of the team during the night.

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A majority of the team in the photo booth after our performance.

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Sara was the “bar maid” for the party. I promise, everything was alcohol-free and appropriate. I quite enjoyed myself a few “Fizzy Flappers” and “Tinkers”.

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We always have a great time when we’re together, both on and off-stage, and I love my crazy teammates. It’s just an added bonus that I’m getting paid to do what I love (on the SERVEteam side of things), and this is just the foundation to what I hope to be doing for the rest of my life.

So keep your eyes peeled for our next performance, after break of course! You don’t want to miss out! If you’re been to one of our shows, what’s your favorite memory or favorite moment? The team LOVES audience feedback, so make your voice heard in the comment section below! :)

Katie Linsey

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December 16, 2015

My Favorite Memories From This Semester

December 16, 2015 | By | No Comments

As the semester comes to a close, I’ve been reflecting on my favorite memories of sophomore year so far.

The first thing that comes to mind is the trip I took to Colorado over fall break. I went with my friend Christen and we stayed with an amazing family while we were there. Christen and I explored Colorado Springs, hung out with horses, watched some Royals baseball, and went to New Life Church.

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Speaking of Royals baseball, another one of my favorite memories is when the Royal’s won the World Series… and every game leading up to that. My friends and I changed the building “Metz” to “Royalz” during the postseason, which was a fun prank that even landed me some extra credit in a class. 😉

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Photo courtesy of Haley Adams

Another memory that I definitely won’t forget is the semester long project I had to do in Promotion Management. I was paired with Britney, Brandon, and Kacie. We had to create an Integrated Marketing Communications plan for the MNU Admissions Department. Specifically, we re-designed SCOUT. After that project, I was offered an internship with the Admissions Department to help launch the new SCOUT idea and also help plan other events.

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This semester, I joined the newspaper editorial staff as Video Editor. I will always remember my time with the people who have become some of my closest friends this semester: Morgan, Sydney, Wyatt, Josh, and Robbie. I will also remember when I showed up to the first meeting, not knowing anyone, and the first thing the editor-in-chief said to me was, “You post too many selfies on your Facebook with Sonic cups.” I’m gonna miss ya, dad.

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Photo courtesy of Joshua Brisco

Relating to newspaper, I enjoyed Josh Meme Thursdays, because that meant I had an excuse to find a strange picture of Josh and post it on his timeline.

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The sweetest memories I’ll have from this semester are the ones that I shared with my suite mates in Spindle 306. We did a lot of weird things this semester… like buy a Ken doll and name him Chad. And buy a furreal friend cat since we can’t have a real one (his name is Murray… yes, after Chad Michael Murray). We also drink sparkling grape juice out of wine glasses while watching One Tree Hill. And ride Razor scooters around the parking lot at midnight. We love big blankets, Chick-fil-a, HGTV, and each other.

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So, that’s my semester in a nutshell. I’ve been blessed with incredible co-workers, professors, roommates, and friends. I’m so thankful for all of the opportunities that MNU has provided me.

Here’s to hoping next semester is even better. :)

-KT

 

Renee DeVault

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December 15, 2015

Is there life after finals?

December 15, 2015 | By | No Comments

Yes.

Let’s just clear that up.

Finals, for all the bad mojo we attribute them, do at least one really good thing. They help us to realize how much we have learned over the semester.

I just want to do a quick review of what I’ve learned this semester. I had to shorten it by quite a bit because life happened this semester and life is hard to summarize.

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Don’t be afraid to be busy.

I was incredibly busy this semester but looking back, I wouldn’t have changed any of it. I had incredible experiences in the Honors Program, on Trailblazer staff, being a track/cross country manager, being in the musical, blogging, being on improv team, and doing classes for two majors.

I loved it.

I learned not to be afraid of being busy. Being busy meant I got to meet an incredible amount of people on this campus and when I look back on the semester I know that I got a lot done.

Coach Wiens, the track/cross country coach, said to me this semester that God gave us our bodies and our minds so that we could use them. That really stuck with me.

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Don’t be afraid to have a little school spirit.

“We’re all in this together,” the elementary school girl who was secretly in love with High School Musical in side of me chants.

I love loving this school. I love investing in our community.

When we are proud of this place and show support it is showing support for not only our athletes but for everyone who works to make the school what we know it to be.

We show pride in our coffee shop workers, library staff, the people who make our food, people who make our campus beautiful, professors, student  and professional workers of all kinds who invest their lives in this school.

I have invested my life into this school and I love others who have invested their lives. So yes, I will be MNU’s super fan and actually enjoy every minute of it.

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Don’t be afraid to date an awesome, hilarious, fun-loving, supportive and generally incredible person.

If you find one you happen to like and they happen to like you as well…well then enjoy it. Go through life with another person who makes you smile and who isn’t afraid to tell you what you don’t want to hear.

Find somebody who is willing to fight with you in order to make a relationship work and somebody who is willing to go through life with you desperately seeking God’s help for every step because neither of you have life quite figured out yet and that’s ok.

Don’t be afraid to have a best friend like that. Don’t be afraid to have a romantic relationship like that. People are awesome and letting them into your life can bring out a part of you that you would have never seen on your own.

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Don’t be afraid of things going wrong.

Stuff happens.

The dumb stuff that you do doesn’t define who you are it just explains a moment of time which shaped you. Little things, big things, it doesn’t matter. Our identity is in Christ and a sea of stupid choices is not even a drop compared to the great grace and love of the God we define ourselves by.

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Don’t be afraid to explore.

My friends and I explored down town Kansas City and it led to a huge passion for ministry in that area being awakened.

Exploring new things, ideas, or places can be a bit un-nerving but it’s something we have to do if we ever want anything new to happen in our lives.

Also just explore Kansas City, it’s really cool down there. Be proud of where we are.

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Don’t be afraid to depend on other people.

We were created in the image of a God who by definition is in community with himself. We were thus created to be in a community, created to need one another and when we operate in a way in which we were created to operate God is glorified.

When doing theater, you have to depend on everybody- actors, costumers, light technicians, sound technicians, back stage crew members, the set designer, the set builders, the director, the stage manager, and anybody else whose work went into the show. In the end, the product is something that was previously impossible individually but made possible by working together and depending on each other.

So I will try to make the most of life after finals by remembering what was learned, what relationships were gained this semester. My prayer for this week is that I will be profoundly thankful for the gift of education and what life I have lived.

 

Isaac Walker

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December 11, 2015

It’s OK To Feel Down Sometimes

December 11, 2015 | By | No Comments

Hey friends!

So I wanted to talk about this during mental health awareness week but I obviously missed that chance, but I think that I can tie the subject in pretty well to this upcoming week.

“But Isaac!  What are you even talking about?!”

I’m glad you asked!  I am talking about depression.

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“But Isaac!  How does this subject tie into this upcoming week?!”

Ok, calm down I’ll tell you.

Finals week is stressful.  For some people, probably more than you think, it is a make it or break it time.  For some people, these tests are a matter of pass or fail.  This can put a ton of pressure on one person.  This school is a pricey place and failing a class means you have to take it again, and that means paying again.

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This kind of pressure can mess with a person’s emotions for the worse.  Especially someone who is more prone and susceptible to depressive tendencies.  There are lots of things that can cause or poke at someones depression.

There can be biological or genetic things.  It can run in the family or someone can be on a certain medication that can worsen things.  There can be psychological factors or even environmental things.  And that is how this ties in.  The things I mentioned above are definitely environmental factors.

Something else that can be an external trigger is the work load that tends to pile up on students. I am sure you all know that things can pile up fast.  Especially if you are  a procrastinator like me!  For someone with depression or depressive tendencies, this can cause them to shut down.

Depression is the most common mental disorder in the United States.  Females are more likely to suffer from depression than males are.  As of now, the average age of diagnosis is about thirty two years old, but youth are definitely known to suffer from it.  And I think that as mental health is becoming something more and more people talk about, more people are going to be diagnosed and helped at a sooner age now.

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That leads me on to my next point.

“But Isaac!  How do I know if someone I am close to is suffering from this?!”

Good question.  There are signs you can be aware of.

A lot of the information I am presenting can be found in the website for the Nation Institute of Mental Health.

So back to the signs.  It can be a little tricky because there really are not universal signs.  It affects everyone differently.  But there are some common signs/symptoms.  They include:

  • Feelings of anxiety, sadness, or a hollow feeling that won’t leave.
  • Eating a ton, or losing your appetite.
  • Sleeping a ton, or not being able to sleep.

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  • Having a bad memory, and not being able to concentrate.
  • Losing interest in the things you once enjoyed.

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You can view the full list on their website.  But as you can see there, there is a wide range of signs.  Some that are even the opposite of each other.

Well friends!  I am glad I could share this with you.  This is something, for whatever reason, I have been wanting to talk about for a while.

Until next time friends!

Div Tosinglo

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December 11, 2015

Finals is Like

December 11, 2015 | By | No Comments

This week I walked around- Okay I’m lying, I texted a few friends and I asked them to describe what Finals meant for them. Here are some of the answers I got.

Haley Adams

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“Finals is like eating at campus center…. for the rest of your life.”

Carly Blosser

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“Finals week is like getting picked up by the struggle bus at 8 am, dropped off at 9 pm, and ran over 3 times.”

Lexie North

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“Let’s be honest though, finals week is the same as always, because when am I not confused?”

Peyton Sassaman

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“Finals week is like forgetting it’s Sunday and driving to Chick-Fil-a.”

Katie Linsey

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‘Finals week means spending hours at coffee shops.”

Asher George

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“Finals is proof of everything I’ve learned this semester.”

Avery SunnarBorg

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“Finals week means reliving what I just learned for 16 weeks all at once.”

Michael Mendoza

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“Finals is like medicine, you hate taking them, but feel better when it’s over.”

David Luna and Ashtynn Burns

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“Finals week is when I cry the most,” Ashtynn started, “No, Finals week is more like everything I haven’t learned this semester.”

Hannah Bostic

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“Finals week is crying whilst spilling the contents of our brain onto a paper or project.”

Bethany Bletterman

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“Finals week is easy because I’m perfect.”

Jonathan Green

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“Finals is like the joker and you have to be batman and save your grade.”

Jojo Bones (Aka BONE CRUSHER)

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“Finals is like stubbing your toe on the edge of the fridge, you know because it hurts.”

Amanda Gauer

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“Finals means driving to Taco Bell…. at midnight.”

Leah Messamer

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“Finals week makes a person rethink their life.”

Jonathan Bledsoe

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“Finals is like eating a bucket of nails.”

” Yo, Div what does finals mean to you?”

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“Finals week makes me think the whole rapper dream doesn’t even sound that bad anymore. #Mixtapedroppingsoon.”

Katie Linsey

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December 11, 2015

Creating an Integrated Marketing Communications Plan

December 11, 2015 | By | No Comments

For the past few months, I’ve been working on a semester long project for my Promotion Management class with a few teammates.

The assignment consisted of creating an Integrated Marketing Plan for the MNU Admissions Department. Specifically, we were supposed to create a plan to market the current SCOUT events that MNU holds.

It was crazy. We had to conduct our own research and think of every possible way to market high school students for SCOUT.

I say that it was crazy, and it definitely was, but it was also super fun and interesting. That was my first time doing a Marketing Plan, and the fact that it was going to be presented to an actual client made it even more real. Doing this project gave me affirmation that marketing is something that I’m passionate about. I could totally see myself in a marketing career someday, thanks to this project.

There were 7 teams that were “competing” to be chosen by the client as the plan that is actually used for SCOUT in the future. While I say we were “competing,” it didn’t really feel like that, because every team brought great ideas to the table. In that sense, everyone was a winner. :)

My team was chosen to present to the client, along with another team, which was so nerve-wracking but also exciting. After both teams presented great research and recommendations, the client chose my team as the one that they implement starting next semester.

Next semester, I’ll be working as an intern in the MNU Admissions Department to help plan the changes happening with SCOUT, and also do some general event planning.

I’ve loved the “real world” experience that MNU offers in the classroom. I’ve learned so many practical things, and also built up my resume pretty well with all these projects I’ve had to do. 😉

The countless hours I spent with my teammates, Brandon Gaines and Britney Lewis, were not wasted. I believe that project helped me understand what marketing is all about. There’s so much that goes into it, and now whenever I see an advertisement, I can’t help but analyze it. 😉

If you’re considering majoring or minoring in any part of business, I totally recommend it. Especially at MNU, the professors are incredible and know what they’re talking about. They do a fantastic job of being relevant and preparing you for the “real world.”

-KT

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My teammates and I after we found out we won.

Lynsie Petersen

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December 9, 2015

Procrastin…I’ll Get Back to it Later…

December 9, 2015 | By | One Comment

T’was the night before finals week and all through the dorms, not a creature was stirring.. except for you because you spent too much time procrastinating and now you have to cram all night.

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I’m not here to judge, I’ve been doing the same thing all week. And now, I’m here to give you some ideas about what not to do before Monday, just like all your fellow MNU students.

1. Watch Netflix — Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, ChromeCast, whatever you use to watch your favorite reality series or rewatch classics like Friends and Parks and Rec, use it wisely this week! I find that one episode of Parks and Rec really helps me to refocus on that big project — the Pawnee Commons! I literally can’t get out of Pawnee and, like Lesile Knope would say, why would I want to?

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2. Take Walmart Runs For Absolutely No Reason — This also includes trips to McDonald’s, Burger King, and Starbucks. Let’s be real, you don’t need to go any of these places at 2 AM (or PM), you just don’t want to keep studying and going to bed just seems wrong.

3. Stress Eat — Did you avoid that Freshman 15? Well good thing the semester isn’t over. This is the one time that eating your feelings is completely okay. That whole cake won’t judge you for eating the whole thing. It also won’t ask you to find X2-9x+20=0 (the answer is X=4,5, by the way. #NerdLife).

4. Take a Nap or 2 or 3. Finals are hard and you know you aren’t sleeping at night.

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5. Watch YouTube videos of cats or babies, or whatever you enjoy. Check out this adorable video of babies eating lemons I found instead of studying!

6. Spend Hours on Pinterest or Facebook or Tumblr or BuzzFeed. Whatever social media you partake in, use it wisely! You might accidentally end up “liking” a photo of your crush from 3 years ago and they definitely can’t know that you’ve been stalking them for 6 straight hours…

Hours on Pinterest lead to amazing things like this...

Hours on Pinterest lead to amazing things like this…

7. Read Something Not School-Related — When was the last time you picked up a book for fun? Maybe you need to read the Divergent series for a fourth time or there’s a new fanfiction you haven’t had the time to read. Go do it!

8. Pick Up Extra Shifts at Work — Okay, it’s not the most fun thing, but hey, if you aren’t going to study anyway, you might as well make some extra cash.

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9. Think to Yourself, “At Least I Made it to Class Today” Enough said…

I snapped this pic in Intro to Human Communication of my fellow MNU Bloggers, Hailey, Steffi, and Renee. Steffi was giving an example about the topic and we were all listening intently.

I snapped this pic in Intro to Human Communication of my fellow MNU Bloggers, Hailey, Steffi, and Renee. Steffi was giving an example about the topic and we were all listening intently.

10. Complain About How Much You’ve Procrastinated. Then just keep going. You’ll study eventually and everyone knows you do better when you cram the night before, right?

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***DISCLAIMER*** Please know that this blog post is all in good fun. I highly recommend studying way before, avoiding cram sessions, and getting plenty of sleep the night before.

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No matter how hard your finals may be, just remember that once they’re over, it’s Christmas.

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What’s your favorite way to procrastinate? Obviously, you are right now because you’re reading this, but tell me any “Procrastination Techniques” you have! :)

Stephanie Krohn

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December 9, 2015

Pre-Christmas Time

December 9, 2015 | By | No Comments

I love Christmas! It is my favorite time of the year not only because of the holiday, but also because of my birthday, the winter, and New Year’s Eve. It is the time of happiness, family, love, and starting over. The December brings so much variety even for people that don’t celebrate Christmas. I know that this is only one side of the spectrum because there is so much stress and hectic, too. But I like to remember what it was like for me when I was younger. There is a song called “Through the eyes of a child” by Reamonn, a German group. The lyrics say: “Why did we make it so hard? This life is so complicated until we see it through the eyes of a child.” I have some traditions that help me seeing life “through the eyes of a child.” For Christmas, they are baking, ice-skating, watching Christmas movies, etc. Every year, it gets harder because of the amount of work that needs to be done.

This year – my sophomore year – I thought finals week would be super easy. I thought that it would be easier because I already know what is going to happen because of my experiences from freshmen year. This year is completely different. Even though I have fewer classes, the requirements are way higher. Also, every teacher assigned a project at the end of the semester as if they all want me to fail classes. My expectations that this year is easier were totally wrong.

However, it is not going to kill my Christmas spirit. It started after Thanksgiving. Normally, my mom would start to decorate the house. Since we don’t have that much variety in our dorms, we hang up lights in the living room and turn on Christmas music whenever possible. Additionally, we have cinnamon apple sprays everywhere to fill the room with Christmas smells. We watch movies together, most of them I have never heard about. I was introduced to Christmas with the Kranks and the Mistle tones. It was different than watching the typical fairytales by the brothers Grimm or H.C. Andersen. My mom and I always go to theatres to watch a fairytale before Christmas, but I liked these movies as well.

The Christmas party in Spindle lobby was another interesting, new thing for me. We decorated Christmas Ornaments, made cookies, and ate sweets. It was fun because the crafting really helps to release stress during the last weeks of school. That’s why I like to bake, too. I made tons of cookies for my Interpersonal Communication class. For me, that is such a normal thing to do and I really enjoy it, even when I don’t get to eat the cookies, but many people were surprised that I took that time to make them. A lot of my friends have never made cookies before which was surprising to me. At home, we always bake. We even have a gingerbread house that represents the home of the witch in the fairytale Hansel and Gretel. Nevertheless, I am glad I was able to make those cookies in between my studies.

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The other day, MNU had an ice-skating event at the crown center. It was awesome because there were only MNU students on the ice and I love anything winter related, so it was just the perfect combination for me. We had a lot to laugh about because we constantly fell in the most awkward positions. A highlight was to watch the Chileans walk really carefully over the ice as if they have never touched ice before (which could be true). Right next to the ice-skating is an area with decorated trees that are all lit up with Christmas lights. It is really beautiful, especially at night. After the ice-skating, we went to the Union Station. That place just made me speechless. You go in and it seems like you travelled back in time. The ceiling is over a hundred feet high and the architecture is breathtaking. We found out that it was built in 1914. They had a little area in the back with a model railroad you can walk through. That place was pure magic. The only thing that would be comparable to that place is an opera I went to in Germany where everything was covered in gold. We were the only ones walking around in the huge halls. Eventually, we met a security guard who told us about the ghost stories in Union Station. It was kind of scary and we left soon afterwards. It was a really great day.

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I hope I get to do more fun stuff throughout the next week before I leave to go home although I am going to spend most of my time on studying. My roommates and I have a plan to buy a Christmas tree, decorate it, and put Secret Sister presents under it, so we all have a present when we come back from break. In my opinion, Christmas time is a great time. I know everyone is stressed, but it really depends on the person and what you make out of it. I will never be as excited as I was as a five year old, but I can make it enjoyable and bring joy to other people.

What are your traditions? What makes your Christmas unique?