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Renee DeVault

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February 8, 2016

When School sets your eyes on Jesus

February 8, 2016 | By | One Comment

One thing that I absolutely love about MidAmerica is that my professors will lead devotions before class or tie the material that we are learning that day into faith.

This has really helped me to see how faith can be applied really everywhere in life.

I remember sitting in a Communications Class and discussing how the theory of Cognitive Dissonance relates to the Holy Spirit and personal conviction of sin. It caused me to think about how God uses human psychology at times and how he goes against at other times causing us to know it has to be from him.

Dr. Flemming, my professor for my Book of Acts class, lights a candle on his desk before every class as a reminder that the Holy Spirit is in the room and working on our hearts. It is hard to watch him teach without seeing the candle in the corner of your eye and being reminded. He also takes praise reports and prayer requests before class and we pray together.

Our faculty advisor for the Trailblazer does the same thing. She always asks for prayers and praises and she prays for us before we start every class. She also likes to recite a memory verse to us.

This practice from my professors is not only good for my own thoughts, which I get to return to God more often than I probably would have otherwise, but it is also good to see the faith in action of my professors.

It helps me to relate to them because while I am a nineteen year old undergraduate college student and they have their doctorates and live lives very different from my own, I can relate to them through shared faith. It makes the professors seem less distant or so far above me that I can’t talk to them on a personal level.

Quinn has been focusing a lot on discipleship after learning about stages of development and methods of teaching in his Lifespan Development class and since I happen to talk to him a lot I have been thinking about it too.

I think one of the reasons why I love the professors being able to share devotionals and pray with their classes is that I feel discipled in a way from them. I am learning not only about the subject they are teaching, but how that subject relates to my faith and how I can weave my faith into every aspect of my life. Having mentors like that has been an incredible experience and something I don’t believe MNU students should take lightly.

Mackenzie Theiler

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January 19, 2016

It Has Only Been the 1st Week of School

January 19, 2016 | By | No Comments

I love how, on the first day of fall semester, everyone is so excited to start school. Students arrive 3+ days early, setting up their dorm rooms, if they are living on campus. Then fall break comes and everyone is so happy the semester is over! Now, spring semester has began. Everyone is coming back as late as possible. Some students are even arriving on campus a few days after their classes have started. I find this, quite, hilarious.

It has only been the first week back, and I am counting down the days, till spring break. It has only been one week, and I am already bogged down with a ton of homework. I understand the difficulty of my major, but I would not change it for the world. The only thing that is stresses me out more than anything, is the cost to buy text books. The majority of students, only need a text book for that one semester. If they are taking science classes or math, generally, they only need it for 2 to 3 semesters, max. There are tons of sites that you can get books for cheep, and even, rent for very little cost. When I first started off going to college, I did not know anything about these websites. Being the first in my family to go to college, I was completely on my own. So I was this kid…

#collegebookcomic

I spent close to $1,000 just on text books for school. Do not be that kid. I have some sites listed below, that I have used, ¬†to get cheaper text books. Hopefully, this will help you through your semester, when the professor makes you get the text book, even if it is just for “one page.”

 

bigword.com
(This website shows how much your book costs & compares it to tons of prices and places you can receive your text for less than half the cost.)
chegg.com
(This website is also good if you have questions or need a tutor for one of your tougher classes.)
amazon.com
(This is my favorite website to get my textbooks. Also, if you have Amazon prime, and need your books the next day they are really fast at delivery.)

Renee DeVault

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January 18, 2016

The Awkward Dinosaur Tries New Things

January 18, 2016 | By | No Comments

It’s a new semester, a new year, with new classes, a new job, and a time to try new things and start new habits.

This week I have begun all sorts of new things.

First of all I began my new job as Managing Editor and News Editor of the Trailblazer. I have a new office on campus and brand new coworkers.

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I got to decorate my office which was awesome and it’s really nice to have a place of my own to get some work done during the day.

I’ve been loving my new classes but probably my favorite so far is Hebrew. I have been missing learning languages. In High School I took French and American Sign Language but neither were nearly as challenging as I predict Hebrew is going to be.

First of all, it reads right to left and the written version has no vowels. I’ve been kind of obsessive about learning the alphabet and it’s one of the most fun things I’ve had to do for a class in a while. It sounds crazy but I love languages and writing. Learning how to write in completely new characters has been awesome.

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It’s good to take on new challenges. Isn’t that what college is for? Learning new things and challenging ourselves in order to grow? Hard classes are some of my favorite things. Next to raindrops on roses of course.

Speaking of a challenge, I have been looking for new things to do with friends on campus. Just because we live in Olathe, Kansas and attend a smaller private school doesn’t mean we can’t have wild and crazy times.

So naturally we have taken to starting fires, setting up hammocks, and playing Dungeons and Dragons.

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Fire is fun.

Contained and mostly safe fire is probably the best for our uses. It’s a really good winter activity, especially if one has a craving for marshmallows and allergy friendly hot dogs.

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Gabe hung a hammock in his suit in Uphaus. It is incredibly fun and added some much needed extra seating to the suit for watching movies, and Youtube, and Netflix, and really anything. It’s like camping…but with air conditioning and a bathroom with running water.

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Dungeons and Dragons is awesome. I very much enjoy it much more than I thought that I would. It reminds me of pretend games that I would play when I was a little kid, except for with dice…and five other nerds on the same quest.

Basically Alex wrote a game for us and helped us create characters and we all learned how to play. I’ve played twice now and have absolutely loved it so far. it’s something I never would have tried before but I very much enjoyed it.

Try new things, especially when it’s harmless fun like using fictional characters to explore magical elf scholar caves and fight skeletons.

Another new thing I’m trying this semester is being more intentional about date nights.

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There are lots of great places to go on cheapish dates around MNU. Quinn and I went to Black Dog Coffee house in Lenexa on Thursday. They have some awesome specialty latte’s and the atmosphere is just so cute. Quinn and I sat in the bakery next door.

I really want to make sure that in this semester I take care of things that are really important to me. One of those things is definitely Quinn. Setting aside a date night out of our weeks keeps our schedules from getting too busy to make time for each other.

This semester is going to be full of new challenges and new things to enjoy, but I want to always have time in my life for my friends, Quinn, my family, and God.

Oh…and messing with Jordan.

I want to always have time to mess with Jordan.

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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.

mountains

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. ūüėČ

royalz

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.

trailblazer

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.

josh

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.

suite

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

 

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.

depression

“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.

money-stress

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.

man in bed with eyes opened suffering insomnia sleep disorder

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

depression-title-image_tcm7-188201

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!

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. ūüėČ

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. ūüėČ

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.

Mackenzie Theiler

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December 5, 2015

Fall Semester Is Almost Over ūüďö

December 5, 2015 | By | No Comments

There are only two weeks left of our fall semester. We call this period of the semester “crunch time.” This is where a lot of students are trying to do anything and everything to get their letter grade from a B to an A; or for those students struggling to pass that tough class, with a C or better. This is when, students start asking their professors for extra credit, or if there is anything else they can do to get their grade up.

A biology professor of mine, ounce said . . .

“Why would I trust and spend my hard earned money on someone who ‘half-worked’ their way through class and cheated on exams, just to get by? This student who, half-work’s their way through their degree only, ‘half-knows’ their field of study. Would you have faith in that person to be able to preform at the highest level of their job?”

An example this professor used, was a doctor . . .

“Lets say, you need surgery or medical attention of some kind, and the doctor YOU receive, ‘half-worked’ his way through school. As he examines you, he has to google, what it is that could possibly be wrong with you; or he has to look up, what and how much medication, he should give you. This doctor probably did not try very hard in his undergraduate and/or graduate classes. Two, he probably only majored in this field of study for the good pay.”

He is simply stating that the field of study you are majoring in, you should known like the back of your hand, without having to look it up. It should be second nature to you. Find something that is exciting to you, that you can wake up every morning 9 times out of 10, and be excited about what you are studying/majoring in, and one day do for work. If you are majoring in something that doesn’t excite you, then, maybe you should find something that does. At the end of the day, your grades really do matter.

Most internships look at your grades, to see what kind of student you are. They want to know how serious you are about your field and if you truly want to preform well in this field. Your grades reflect that. I understand not everyone is perfect, but if it looks like you are giving it your all, it will show.

After you receive your degree and have worked internships, you are now ready, to be hired by the company or facility you want to work for. They look more at your internships, rather than your grades, because they want to see if you have work experience, in that field or in fields related to that. Most students do not realize, and I believe this is the point, my professor was trying to make, if you have good grades, you have a good work ethic, if you have good work ethic, then the your employer can count on you to get things done. If you have okay, but not good grades, you may have a good work ethic, but just not try as hard; so, you may do well but it is harder for you to get things done.

With all this being said, YOUR GRADES are important. The amount of effort and care you put into them reflect, your determination and dedication to your major and field of study. Find something exciting and interesting to learn, that you can be proud about!


 

Facebook: /kenzie.theiler
Twitter: @kenzietheiler
Instagram: @kenzie_theiler

Renee DeVault

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November 23, 2015

Success Mushroom

November 23, 2015 | By | No Comments

I can’t sing. I am not a musical person. My friends are musical people but I was not given that gift.

I can art…sometimes. People tell me I can art but I won’t attempt to draw something that I’ve never drawn before because people might look at it and realize I’m not very good at arting after all.

I am as good of a Christian as I am ever going to be. I have a certain ability to understand and experience God and I should be content with where I am.

These were statements that I believed about myself about a week ago which I am currently being forced to question due to Dr. Hayse’s annoying habit of actually making his students think.

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In Honors Seminar we are reading Mindset by Dr. Carol Dweck in which she asserts that qualities such as intelligence, artistic ability, athletic ability, leadership, and relational ability are not fixed, something one has a certain amount of or none of, but are rather able to grow and develop in a person.

She calls this the Growth Mindset.

Basically if I believe that I am fixed with a certain amount of smart then I will back away from anything that would be challenging because failure would mean a forced identity redefinition. However, in my growth mindset, I see my intelligence as something I can grow by challenging myself, seeking to collaborate with others, and working my butt off.

The book helped me to realize that in the area of intelligence, I was following right along with the growth mindset. If I had read only the first three chapters I would have been totally fine.

But Dr. Hayse made us read the whole book.

The rest of it went on to say that the idea of seeking new challenges, collaborating, and having a good work ethic could be applied to sports, art, music, management, parenting, and teaching.

I was caught in my “I’m not good at music” mindset and despite having a beautiful guitar and a love of music, have stopped trying because I believed the amount of musical talent I had was all I will ever have. If I believe I can grow this ability by challenging myself, asking my musical friends for help, and working at it, perhaps I can enjoy playing again.

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Probably the most fascinating aspect was her thoughts on relationships. I’ll use Quinn (Quinndonesia, Quinnifer Aniston, Bi-Quinning, Quinntervention, To inQuinnity and beyond, the Quinncredible Hulk) as my example.

If I believe that relationships are either good or bad then the moment Quinn and I have a fight I would think that our relationship was inherently bad and thus would avoid any and every possible disagreement for fear of proving our relationship wasn’t as “good” as I had thought.

She called out fairy tales for making “good” relationships look like if they weren’t “meant to be” then they were bad. While I believe that it is true that God has people planned for us to marry, I don’t want to get trapped into thinking that¬†the relationship with my God ordained man will be perfect.

With a growth mindset for relationships, disagreements and fights are seen as opportunities for improvement.

If I have a fixed mindset I may think that some annoying habit Quinn has is unfixable and thus a deal breaker while a growth mindset would refuse to define Quinn by this hypothetical habit and be willing to communicate my feelings about it.

I can’t¬†cognitively imagine having a relationship with anybody without this mindset yet I’ve fallen into the trap of it several times. Luckily by the grace of God and Quinn a fixed mindset has not prevailed.

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The book did not address spirituality but I feel as though I must because it is the area in which it hit me the hardest. I was raised in a Christian house, went to every Sunday school, every VBS, interned at my church three times, and now am a Theology major. Despite all of this I catch myself feeling so depressed about my spiritual life sometimes.

After reading this book, I began to wonder if I think of my Christianity as something fixed. “I can only experience God so much” or¬†“I can only understand so much of the Bible”. If I start letting myself think “I’m about as good as I can get” then I stop trying to get better, stop digging, stop looking for challenging material and stop asking God to come into my life.

I don’t want to get stuck in that mindset.

I want to want to grow. I want to seek new ideas and a deeper experience. I¬†don’t want to be¬†afraid to dive into difficult ideas in the Old Testament or spend hours of my day in prayer.

I don’t want to view others as judging if I am a good Christian or not. I want to view people as allies, fellow travelers in mutually helpful relationships.

I think that is the point of me being in the Honors Program: to grow an intellectual passion for learning, not only in academics but in all areas of life.

To relate it to video games: you have to actively seek the growth mindset mushroom in order to grow to your full potential, and even when you fail and feel small again, be willing to keep seeking again.

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What I’m praying for this week:

That a growth mindset will be fostered in both my own life and in the lives of others in regards to passionate intentionality in walking with Christ. We can decide to give all we can to growth in Christ with the knowledge that where we are not isn’t where we are condemned to always be.

 

Hailey Kendrick

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November 20, 2015

Terms You Learn in College

November 20, 2015 | By | No Comments

Last week it dawned on me that my vocabulary has recently expanded. Upon coming to college, there are several new terms that I’ve had to learn and use in my every day vocabulary. I wanted to share those with you all in hopes that you don’t have to stare blankly back at those would use them on you in your years to come.

Love Language: This is the verbal and nonverbal communication between you and your significant other in which you express how you feel.¬†I’d never heard anyone say this until this year…and now everyone does.¬†The hard part is everyone has a different way of expressing that they love you. For some it’s time, others it’s gifts…so on and so forth.

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Final Exam Schedule:¬†You actually have a set schedule for when you take each final AND this is decided by the university AND it’s probably not the normal class time.¬†This is new to highschoolers. When finals come, there will be a totally different schedule for when you’re allowed to take them.

 

 

Chapel Points: Spiritual formation credits that you have to complete. You must have 40 points each semester. Period.

Mark Hamilton is my academic advisor.

Mark Hamilton is my academic advisor.

Academic Advisor: This is basically your new best friend. Get to know them so they can best help you in your academic needs. This is the person in charge of your major and you will meet with each other to help plan your schedule.

kingdom com

 

Kingdom Come:¬†Once a month, on a Tuesday, there is another chapel opportunity. It’s a late night chapel service that serves as a communion service for anyone and everyone. It can be more hype than regular chapel and is a blast to attend.

 

No, but really?

No, but really?

 

 

Twirp:¬†Whaaaaaat? This is the girls-ask-the-guys out dance. That’s right ladies, go get your men!

 

 

 

 

legendsLegends Village West:¬†If you’re from the area, then you know. If you’re not from here, you might be confused. Legends is the outdoor mall in Kansas City. I worked there for 3-4 years…so don’t expect parking on weekends. It’s fun and has lots of things to do!

Registrar: These are the college officials that are responsible for your schedule. Their office is located in Lunn (then take a right).

CLEP Tests: It’s this magical thing where if you’re smart, have an extra $100, you can pay to take a test. If you obtain a certain grade, then BANG, you get the credit for that course and DO NOT need to actually take the course. Magic.

Isaac Walker

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November 6, 2015

Stress Is Stressful

November 6, 2015 | By | 2 Comments

Hey friends! ¬†So school is stressful…That is just a part of being a student! ¬†Deadlines, group projects, sports, work, and trying to maintain a social life can be next to impossible to balance. ¬†All of those things are very important in the life of a student and at times, one has the highest priority. ¬†When they start to conflict, that is when life gets stressful. ¬†Remember though! ¬†Everything will be alright! ¬†I have some tips to ease your stress when things get hectic.

Go on a walk

Walk in the fall

The weather is starting to get very beautiful.  It is not too hot outside or too cold.  The temperature is perfect and relaxing.  Go out side and walk around for 10-20 minutes.  There are some nice walking paths around campus.  There is even a nature, prayer walk here on campus.  Even go out and do your homework outside!

 

Read a book

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Reading can be a great escape.  It momentarily takes you to another place in your mind.  The book I am reading currently is authored by my favorite YouTuber at the moment.  It is a compilation of hilarious stories from her life.  This definitely works for me.

 

Listen to music

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My favorite music to listen to when I am stressed out and am looking to relax is instrumental music.  Bethel music has two instrumental albums out that are amazing.  I also like to listen to movie soundtracks.  It Follows and Her have very good instrumental soundtracks.  Spotify also has some great playlists for instrumental songs.

 

There are also a few things you can do that can lessen the amount of stress that builds up.

Stay on top of your tasks

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Use a daily planner. ¬†They can be very useful. ¬†They help you remember what your assignment is and also when it is due. ¬†But if you are anything like me, you use your planner like a boss at the beginning of the semester and by the end of the semester, you forget you even have a planner! ¬†Don’t do that! ¬†Learn form my mistakes.

 

Prioritize your tasks.

Priorite

Along with using a planner, prioritizing what you have and want to do is very helpful.  What is due sooner obviously has top priority, but be sure to make time for friends, family, and fun things!  You are only in college for so long.  These are the best years of our lives!

 

I guess what I am trying to say is that you are going to be alright and everything is going to work out just fine! ¬†I gave you some tips on how to destress yourself and how to lessen the amount of stress that builds up. ¬†People are there for you if needed! ¬†Come find me too if you need someone to talk to! ¬†College is a great time! ¬†Enjoy it while it lasts! ¬†Don’t let stress ruin it for you.

Until next time friends!