After working retail most of my adolescent life, I talk about what Thanksgiving has meant to me and what I’m truly thankful for this year; while challenging you all to count your blessings, as we come upon the holiday season.
It has its perks, but it also, has its downsides. Being a freshman, it can be super exciting coming in, fresh out of high school, excited to be on your own and have a roommate. You get to meet new people and make new friendships. You get to experience, what it means, to be a true college kid. On this campus, for both, men and women, there are three styles of dorm living. The first style, is the freshman and sophomore dorms. In them, there are one to two roommates per room. They share a community shower with the rest of the hall. The second and third style are both, considered, upper class-men dorms, but are two different styles. In them, there are six roommates, with three bedrooms (two roommates to a room). The differences between the two upper class-men dorms are, one is an apartment style dorm (upstairs/downstairs, two bathrooms, and a kitchen); and the other dorm just has three rooms and a bathroom. Being a transfer student, I am used to living in an apartment. I was lucky enough, to live in an apartment style dorm. Living in the dorms is not always pleasant. A lot of the times it is hard for students to adjust to a dorm life. Especially, if they are not used to living with new/random people. With that being said, not everyone gets along all the time. People are human, meaning they are not perfect. Living with five or even one to two roommates, peoples personality can create conflict. This could cause roommates to have arguments and disagreements. Also, with going to a school that has a small campus, a lot of people try to know your business, when you live on campus. The school is very on campus living, oriented. They like the idea of a community. Living on campus is not all that bad, the school tries to do a good job with having different dorm activities to make it fun and feel at home.
Living OFF Campus:
You have to be 22 or older to live off campus. You can also, live off campus, if you are living at home, with your parents. Every college has their own set of rules, and not all of them have the same rules. They very, when students can and cannot live off campus. This school has a lot of diversity, from international students to students all over the USA. The majority of the population on campus, are student athletes. The reason for student athletes staying on campus, instead of off campus, is because a lot of these athletes are here on scholarship. This means, depending on the size of the scholarship, there living expenses are paid for. If they live off of campus, the school does not provide them with off campus housing coverage. Most students wish they could live off campus, but they are a college student and/or student athlete; and most cannot afford to live off campus. If you decide to live off campus, a lot of them say, they like living off better, than living on. They feel as though, they have more privacy in their life and people tend to be less in there business. Living off campus does not exclude them getting to enjoy the fun activities that the school hosts, throughout the year.
I would say your first year here wether a freshman or a transfer, feel out both, living on campus vs. living off campus. Everyone is different and has their own acquired taste, of what they like. I know, next year, I will be living off campus, once I turn 22. Being from California, where everything is so expensive, things out here are much cheaper. Figure out what floats your boat and offers you the best experience; because everyone has a different experience, wether it is living off or on campus.
A few days ago, all the Phonathon team gathered in our call center for one last time to celebrate our successful year and say goodbye to the nights of calling alumni while playing hangman with each other and coloring with crayons.
My second year of working at Phonathon was very different from my first year. This year, instead of calling for the whole campaign, I coached new callers for the first half.
Coaching new callers put me in a kind of supervisory role that I’ve been in before in other situations, but never for Phonathon. It was a really great experience and it helped me learn more about how to help people based on their unique strengths and weaknesses. It also helped me figure out more about what it means to lead a group of people. It was fun helping people improve their skills based on my own experience the previous year.
Coaching the team also gave me the opportunity to get to know most of the student workers, which was a huge blessing. Phonathon is such a special job because it gives students the opportunity to meet other students that they usually wouldn’t meet. I can honestly say I met so many cool people that I want to continue hanging out with outside of Phonathon.
Looking back to last year’s Phonathon, I remember meeting a few awesome people that I still consider good friends today. That’s what happens when you spend almost every evening with the same people for a few months. (Shout-out to Marisa Schmidt and Kory Gilmore.)
Phonathon has taught me so many practical skills too, like how to connect with people you just met. It was genuinely so fun to call donors and talk to them about their experience at MNU and what they’re up to now. I don’t know exactly what I want to do after college, so when I called someone that studied the same thing that I am, it was good to talk to them about what they decided to use their degree for.
Long story short, Phonathon is a great job and I’m really thankful that I had another opportunity to be a part of the team this year.
So… if you’re reading this and you plan on being at MNU next school year, make sure to apply for Phonathon for a chance to be hired for the best job on campus. 😉
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.
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.
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 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?
Twirp: Whaaaaaat? This is the girls-ask-the-guys out dance. That’s right ladies, go get your men!
Legends 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.
Liz Lemon is a pretty strange woman from the hit TV series 30 Rock. I think that she perfectly and strangely captures the college experience here at MNU. I am sure that everyone here has experienced at least one of these Liz Lemon moments.
When you can’t figure out how to hook up the cable in your dorm room.
2. When you are looking forward to Glow With The Flow at the end of next semester because you know this year is going to wreck you.
3. When you walk into Campus Center the first time and and realize it is a buffet…
4. When you stay in your dorm instead of going out with your friends to do “homework”.
5. When you are trying to look on the bright side of things when school is trying to bring you down.
6. When you make new goals at the start of every semester to try and make better grades.
7. When you leave Kingdom Come feeling extra #blessed.
8. When you are in your dorm at night and see on Snapchat your friends are hanging out with out you.
9. When it is time to graduate and get your life together.
10. But then you realize you still don’t know what you want to do with your life…
This is my second year at MNU, and although I’m going to the same school and studying the same thing, it seems vastly different from my freshman year. There are quite a few things that have changed, small and big. Here’s my personal list of things that have changed since freshman year. I hope this can apply to other students besides myself.
1. The amount of times you eat at Campus Center
It’s not necessarily that I eat out more, but I get real tired of the having the same thing for dinner every day. Maybe that’s my fault for being picky about what I put into my body. All I can say is I’m real thankful for the stacks of soup and protein bars in my suite.
2. The amount of studying you do
I study a lot more than I did my freshman year. It’s quite ridiculous, actually. It was easy to get away with cramming the night before and pretending I knew what I was writing about in essays last year, but not this year. Not at all. As I’m getting into upper level classes, I’m having to put a lot more effort into my assignments, tests, and projects.
3. Your relationships
So many of my relationships have changed this year… including with friends, family, and faculty. I’ve lost and gained friends this year, but the friendships I’m investing in this year have a more real sense of permanence than last year. Freshman year, it’s easy to befriend everyone and go on coffee dates with many people, but after that, there comes a point when you don’t have time for everyone you’ve befriended. Following that realization is a choice to invest in people that will become your closest friends. My relationship with my parents has also changed as I become one step closer to entering the “adult world.” I rely on them a lot more to get me on my feet and teach my practical things. I also appreciate their presence in my life a lot more than I did freshman year. My relationships with faculty have become more deep and meaningful, as I’m beginning to have the same professors for multiple classes. It’s incredible to realize how much my professors really care about me beyond my abilities in their particular class. It’s been fun getting to know them personally and continuing to learn from them.
4. Dorm life
Freshman year dorm life is an amazing thing, but it doesn’t last forever. I don’t think I have the energy to live in the freshman dorm for all of my college career. After freshman year, dorm life becomes a lot more chill (at least in Spindle). People have so much going on that it’s harder to just pop into someone’s dorm and hang out for hours. Everything has to be planned, it seems like.
5. The amount of time it takes you to get ready in the morning
Last year, I tried a lot harder than I do this year. It was probably because I was new to the community and cared what people thought. This year, however, I care very little about what people think about my appearance. And even if I did care, I definitely care about an extra 30 minutes of sleep more. Less make-up, less nice clothes, and less heat on my hair… that’s how it goes.
6. The amount of fruit you steal from Campus Center
Like I said, Campus Center doesn’t see me quite as much as it did last year. Because of that, the amount of fruit I steal has to increase so that I have an apple to eat every day (and a banana in case I want to mix it up). Remember, folks: The bigger the backpack or the coat, the more fruit for your room.
7. Your wardrobe
This goes along with taking less time to get ready in the morning. The amount of crewneck sweatshirts has increased and the amount of jewelry has decreased. It’s all about the fuzzy socks and the baggy sweatshirts.
8. The amount of times you walk to class
Campus Security has been sure to teach me which parking lots I can’t park in, unfortunately, since I was never taught that in Freshman Seminar. It’s all about finding the parking lot that’s closest to your class and leaving 5 minutes before it starts, right?
9. You don’t have time for every single event on campus
I have gone to significantly less ASG and sporting events compared to freshman year, but that’s not because I don’t want to go. It’s because I don’t have enough time in my life to do everything. There’s always something going on, and that’s great, but it’s not gonna happen every time. And that’s okay.
10. The amount of times you check how many Spiritual Formation credits you have
It’s not that I don’t love chapel, it’s that I have 37 assignments due tomorrow and that extra hour in the morning would be really handy. As long as I get exactly 40 points, it’ll all be okay.
So… there you have it. 10 things that have changed since freshman year. Although there are a lot of changes with sophomore year, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’ve had a pretty good school year so far.
For those who don’t know, I have a boyfriend that doesn’t go to MNU. Austin attends Saint Mary’s in Leavenworth, KS (the polar opposite direction of Olathe.)
Even though I get to see all these happy couples together on campus, sometimes I’m happy that he doesn’t go to the same university as me. One reason being that he is incredibly competitive with me; the other is that “Ring by Spring” is so real it’s scary.
Here at MNU, if you sit with a member of the opposite sex 3 or more times, you are automatically considered dating. Oh my. I hear you all gasping now.
One of my friends, Caleb, decided to make a video about the dating culture at MNU…featuring yours truly.
A lot of things can happen during a show week. When you’re forced to spend almost thirty hours in one week with the same group of people, crazy things are bound to happen.
Brigadoon was last week and, like most of the “fun” things I try to do on campus, God managed to wrangle his way into it.
I’m not going to talk about the show its self–although it was totally awesome, everybody in the cast did a fantastic job, the crew rocked as did the pit, and the male lead was absolutely wonderful (I think he’s super cute too. For anyone who doesn’t know, Quinn, my boyfriend, was the lead).
The really cool stuff was what happened with my friend group back stage, after the show, exhausted, and just hanging out.
I don’t know if you have ever gotten a verse stuck in your head, but the whole week I had the same one.
John 13:35 states, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
This verse is right after Jesus has washed his disciple’s feet, had the Passover meal, and called out Judas for his future betrayal. Not to make an understatement, but these disciples were going through or about to go through some pretty serious stress: a lot of it in their relationships with one another.
When Jesus was crucified, I wonder how many of them thought their whole group would separate forever. I mean, in all logical reality, the twelve of them never should have been together to begin with. They were an odd group to say the least.
However, when I think about the church of Acts it talks about them eating meals together, meeting at each others’ houses every night, praying for one another, and confessing their sins to one another. Later on it is obvious how much Paul loves everybody in the church and how much they loved Paul.
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” right after Jesus told them to love one another as he loves them.
This whole idea had been bouncing around in my brain while I did this show. I was spending more time with these people then ever before. With my closest friends, I was even choosing to stay up late: sitting with them and listening to problems they were having.
Why don’t people talk anymore? Really, really, talk?
What evidence is there that we really love one another? Posting “I love you!” on somebody’s Facebook or just saying it in passing just doesn’t seem real, not when compared to the kind of biblical brotherly and sisterly love we see as part of the early church.
I know my friends and I aren’t perfect. I am a self diagnosed freak and no offence to my friends but they are far from being relationally perfect as well.
My friends laugh whole heartedly at this photo, for example
Ally Tinker (My Phantom gift giver during the show) made me a dinosaur hoodie. They made fun of me about it too like true friends.
I think the key difference is being willing to tell people what needs to be said.
This could be me confessing something about myself that had been eating me up inside, or it could be telling a friend something that I know they need to hear. Both situations make things awkward.
It’s ok sometimes to be awkward.
Jesus washing his disciple’s feet was awkward.
Jesus sharing about his giving of his blood and his body was probably awkward.
Jesus telling Judas he knew he was going to betray him would have definitely been awkward.
Love is weird.
I had to think about it. Why would I want to stay up to all hours of the night/morning talking about personal issues? Why would giving a stressed out friend a back rub, helping them with their makeup, or stopping in the middle of the street to legitimately ask them if they are alright be a normal thing?
It all hit me hard when, at Midnight Thirty (12:30 AM for those who don’t speak Renee), a friend texted me and asked me to bring them soup from Walmart. My gut instinct was to show the text to someone else who I knew loved this person, and before I knew it, I had a car-full of people who had previously been gung-ho ready to call it a night after a long and exhausting week of the show. We love each other.
I want my friends to be able to tell me absolutely anything they need to, and I don’t want to have a drop of judgment for, or resentment towards, them because I know there is a common grace. I want to be a relational freak, that one weird person who will say things that I culturally shouldn’t say to people and drop everything and go to their aid like a total weirdo if need be.
That’s my goal for relationships at MNU. I don’t want to attend a Christian University, have mostly Christian friends, and be able to leave without knowing what it’s like to love people to the point of it reflecting God himself.
Two things I’m praying for this week as rehearsals no longer force me to see certain people every single day…
That I can somehow channel God’s love towards me into the way I relate to my friends. Jesus was radical in how he formed relationships and I need help so why not learn from him.
That students at MNU would refuse to settle for casual. We were designed in the image of a being intimately dependent on three separate persons that all make up one God. It’s beautiful and complicated and engrained in our very being. Faith cannot be purely individual. We need to rediscover our need for each other.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
The adventures have begun . . . . . . Two weeks ago, got a three day weekend! MNU calls it “fall break.” It is really just a Friday off from school, but I was not complaining! So, I made a spontaneous decision, to get away for the three day weekend. I needed to take a break from all the midterm exams and studies.
When people ask, what city I am from in Northern California, I say, Sacramento. Why, because it is the closest city to me, for someone who, does not truly know California. I am actually not from the city, nor am I a city girl! I am actually from the country, and I am a country girl at heart!
What better way, to start exploring new places, than to drive to Nashville, Tennessee. For those of you, who have never been there, you must go. The total drive time from Olathe, Kansas to Nashville, Tennessee, was about 8.5 hours. Fun Fact about how big California is: From my house, I can drive to Eugene, Oregon, in about 8.5 hours. It was the most perfect weekend to be in Nashville. There were so many events going on! The Tennessee Titans had a football game, along with the college team Vanderbilt University. The Nashville Predators (hockey team) played the Pittsburg Penguins; Nashville lost by one. They also held the Ragnar Relay Serious, it was a 200 mile relay race from Chattanooga to Nashville. Multi-team race with 6 people on each team. The last thing Nashville had going on was a Political Meeting. I also got to see the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. They were not lying when they say, “Nashville is lit up in neon lights” at night. Broadway is the main strip where everyone goes in their country boots and cowboy hats to have a great night. On the Broadway strip they have really scrumptious food places. This was an eventful and awesome weekend to be in Nashville, Tennessee!
Mike’s Ice Cream – Voted one of the top three ice cream places to go to in Nashville, TN. Waiting in a block long line was worth it!
Red Velvet Ice Cream 😋🍦
The Stillery – This five cheese layered mac and cheese monstrosity topped with a spicy buffalo chicken breast was the BEST dish I have had in a while.