Hey guys! I hope everyone passed midterms! It’s another week down, and this week I’m skipping the video entry to write out my thoughts for y’all! Whaaaaaat
So college has been one heck of an adventure so far and we’re only three months in. I wanted to provide future, and current students, with some helpful advice -academic and otherwise- that will help you get through your first year and years to come. So without further ado, here are some lessons that might last a lifetime.
Create new networks! Make connections with friends, reach out to new people…don’t be afraid! By doing this you can meet so many new people and also build excellent mentors for your professional life.
Figure out if you like coffee; and if you do, get GOOD at making it!
Understand that you can take action! Want to make a new club? Want to improve your school or community? You, as a young adult, have that power; take it and run with it.
Take advantage of your professors extra credit assignments and make appointments with them when you have questions. This could make or break your GPA.
Just because you can skip class and get your notes online, doesn’t mean that you should. (Personally, I broke down how much I’m paying -about $36 per class, per day- who wants to lose that money?)
Get involved. Get an internship. Get a job. Require as much experience as you can in what you want to do to benefit your future.
Highlighters and index cards are your new best friends.
Straight A’s aren’t what is most important. Remember my last vlog? I mentioned that you’re in college to earn an education for you, not an A for your professor.
Find a work-life balance. It is NOT easy, but it is important.
Accept the fact that your student ID photo is going to be awful. Join the club, buddy.
Who’s your academic advisor? Figure that out, quickly.
Find the best place for you to study. Set yourself up for success, not failure. My place is upstairs in the library. It’s quiet and allows me to focus.
Learn how to do your own laundry. Nobody wants the “Mom, what’s the difference between darks and whites?” phone call.
Know the dining hall hours like the back of your hand. Let’s be honest, we all love food.
Call your parents, often. This will help prevent homesickness and more importantly, that relationship is changing, you need to work hard at maintaining it and all it’s new glory.
You can eat whatever you want now! But it doesn’t mean you should have ice cream for breakfast.
Be studious… and then be spontaneous.
Purchase a decent hard drive. Save your files often, and ALWAYS double save your papers/projects.
As important as going home is and maintaining ties with people you love, don’t let that stop you from building new relationships on campus every now and then.
Expect to grow and change. I promise it’s okay. Scary, but okay.
Hey! So, last week was Homecoming Week here at MNU… which means every night is filled with fun, friends, and free food.
Here’s a quick recap of the events that I attended.
Thursday night: Hoedown
The Hoedown is something I look forward to every year. It’s basically a bunch of fun dancing, donuts from the Louisburg Cider Mill, root beer, and the crowning of the class princes and princesses!
Friday night: Bonfire/Buck Night
This year, ASG decided to do a giant bonfire at one of the football practice fields and then gave every student free food at the Buck Night. The Buck Night is a place where alumni gather and have the opportunity to make food and sell samples of it to friends. There was also live music and the Royals game playing… it’s a fun evening with fellow students and graduates of MNU!
Saturday afternoon: Homecoming Football Game
I went to the game with a few of my suite mates… Christen and Tori. It was a perfect afternoon for a football game and WE WON. Also, the Homecoming king and queen were crowned, which is always fun to watch.
Saturday evening: Homecoming Banquet
No, I didn’t have a date… but I did have my wonderful suite mate, Christen, to go with! It was a wonderful meal that left me stuffed, followed by a candy bar that I visited even though I was stuffed. There was lots of fun dancing and good conversations with friends that I don’t see often. And everyone looked stunning! It’s always fun to dress up.
Sunday (after church of course): Sleep.
So… there ya have it. MNU Homecoming Week is always something to look forward to.
“God blesses you to become a blessing. When he gives you a gift, it is because he trusts you with it. He hopes you turn around and do something powerful with it.”
Throughout life God blesses us. These blessings are gifts. These gifts can be a wide variety of many things, from a challenge we have to overcome, learn from, start over, accept, appreciate, be thankful for, etc. He gives us these gifts to help make us into the person we are today. He would not bless us, if he was unsure we could handle them. A lot of us have dealt with some type of challenge or challenges, that we either had to overcome, learn from, start over, or accept. I know I have. This is why I am, who I am today. Does he still challenge me? Yes, I am not perfect . . . I am always changing and bettering myself to become the powerful blessing he created me to become.
Choosing a difficult major and a collegiate athlete, let alone, is a lot of time, effort, and hard work. Trying to juggle that, with a social life, family, and friendships, is a lot to take on! With last week and this week, there has been so much that has gone on. Since, I have arrived at MNU, I feel as though God has been challenging me. To see if I am capable of over coming the obstacles he has placed in front of me.
For those of you who haven’t started college, in college, or even out of college, we are already half way through the semester. God has thrown a lot at me, just in these last few weeks. This is about the time when students start getting sick (strep throat) and tired (late nights studying) because classes have started to pick up with exams, homework, projects, etc. Besides school life, to be a top athlete you always have to be preforming at your highest level every practice. Being so far away from home, students start to get home sick. Realizing you cannot talk to your friends every day or plan a get away weekend, just to relax. Students may start to feel overwhelmed and feel as though there is to much to do and not enough time, in the day, to do it all. This is what people experience in everyday life. A coach told me, “Life keeps going. It does not care about your feelings or what is going on in your life. Deal with life as it comes at you, and no matter what, you, keep going.”
What God has taught me to overcome from these last few weeks is how to time manage, stay disciplined with my life, and focus on what it is that I want to accomplish.
As we make our way through this hectic, fun, adventurous, stressful, tiring, vivacious, and energetic life . . . maybe, currently dealing with a challenge God has placed in front of you, know that you are not alone. Be thankful for the opportunities he has blessed us with. If it is rough, it too shall pass . . . and . . . if it is gratifying, enjoy every moment of it.
Don’t say yes out of pity. Spare the other person the embarrassment and yourself the uncomfortable feeling and just say no thanks.
Don’t spend a ridiculous amount of money on the night. We’re all college students trying to pay off loans. There’s no need to impress anyone.
Don’t ask a guy or girl that you just met the week of homecoming. Don’t get me wrong I’m all for spontaneity, but do you really want homecoming to be your make it or break it? (too soon, my friend, too soon)
Don’t sit in the corner and not dance. You are in college! The Church Of Nazarene is finally letting us dance! What a time to be alive! Take advantage of it! (Bust a move!)
Don’t let the stress ruin the fun. Don’t forget why you spent all that time on your hair, or all those hours shopping for that one dress that caught your eye the first moment you walked into the store, but still spent three hours, trying on twelve more dresses, to only settle on the first one you saw. Have a fun night; your 15+ hours in the library studying agrees with me.
The guy has to ask the girl! I’m a firm believer of chivalry, AND WHEN YOU ASK HER OUT, GO BIG or- well just go big. You never know it might get you out of the friend zone. (Too far?)
Ladies! I got this one from a lady, so hold your fire. Apparently, ladies don’t have the best track record when it comes to dancing, so YouTube some dance lessons. It won’t hurt anyone; it might even save someone from getting smacked across the face (coordination is key.)
Go to the Hoedown. For two reasons: 1. Ron Jackson and the ASG team host the best parties around. 2. If you don’t have a
date by Thursday then DON’T GO! No, I’m kidding you should still go, because you might meet a last minute date who might turn out to be your special someone that you’ll live happily ever after with. (You’re welcome.)
Guy’s compliment your date even if you’re just going as friends, if she doesn’t show it she’ll still be wondering if she did it right. Ladies fix your guy’s tie even if it’s already fixed, because we love it when you do.
Plan out your night, but don’t over-plan so much that you miss out on the great moments. Homecoming is more than just a dance, or an opportunity to find your Mr. or Mrs. Ring by spring. Homecoming is a moment of freedom, freedom to make memories that you will forever remember.
Being a transfer student gives me a whole new perspective on things, here at MNU. I’m a new student, but at the same time I have been in college for two years! Here are just a few things I have noticed about being a transfer student from a community college.
You walk around with your headphones in all the time.
People at community college aren’t the most social. Almost everyone there walks around with headphones in and alone. It’s almost a social taboo to have a conversation with someone else in the hall.
2. You do not mind eating alone in the cafeteria.
It is an everyday, normal thing to eat alone at community college. It isn’t the easiest place to make friends honestly. It also doesn’t help when everyone looks like they want to eat alone too.
3. You are not use to paying this much for college…
Community college is significantly less compared to every other college really. I wont give you the exact numbers I had to pay, but I will say I did not have to take out a loan for community college…I am not use to having no money!
4. You don’t mind having to walk everywhere.
When attending community college, I had to drive 25 minutes from my house to school everyday. Once there, I would have to park extremely far away from the actual campus because it is so large. So now, even walking from Colony to Dobson isn’t that bad!
5. Not knowing what year you actually are.
I get asked all the time what year I am and I never know how to answer. I give a different answer every single time I’m asked. I am as old as a junior, I am on the first year class list, and I voted for homecoming as a sophomore. So that is how I answer that question now.
6. (Bonus) Living with your best friends is an amazing thing!
I am extremely lucky that some of the best people I know live here and go to school here! While I was going to community college, I still lived at home. Now that was not necessarily a bad thing, I would much have rather lived on campus with all my friends!
To sum up, I love it here and there is no place I’d rather be!
Last night, October 4th, about fifty MNU students walked in the cold to the Harvest Prayer statue in the middle of campus and found a team of about fifteen people who were in way over their heads and praying their heart out for God’s will to be done because their human ability was just not enough.
Before I tell the story of last night and the incredible things God did, let me just say hello! My name is Renée DeVault, I am a freshmen Bible and Theology/Communications major at MidAmerica Nazarene University and I am having the time of my life here. I want to tell the story of October 4th as my “introduction” blog because it presents a model for what I hope my life on campus stays like.
Jordan Warren and a group of our friends have been praying about this series of events for about eight months but had only been planning this particular event for a few weeks, ever since meeting with a group of students who all shared a vision for revival on campus. Jordan did most of the planning, he reserved the space and the equipment, recruited the worship team, and recruited me to coordinate the prayer side of this “worship and prayer” event. When he said that he wanted to pull everything together in only a few weeks we were up for the challenge but I admit I was highly skeptical that it would all come together, further proof of why I should not be in charge 😉
But sure enough, posters were made, people recruited, equipment rented, songs practiced, and I found myself walking from my dorm to the campus mall with my prayer team, all bundled up for a cold night and scared out of my mind. We had about fifteen people setting up when I arrived a little after 5:00. I gave a disjointed pep talk to my prayer team, trying to fit four years of tips I’ve gathered from prayer ministry into a four minute crash course before rushing to help the worship team set up.
I am technology ignorant and physically uncoordinated so I generally helped with tasks like “hold this metal bar up”, “hold my phone for me”, “fill this bag with rocks”, and “You should take a picture of this.” I am constantly amazed by the technical “know-how” of my friends, watching them run wires and set up sound systems, it was definitely a very humbling experience.
At 6:00 when the team was scheduled to be practicing, the equipment wasn’t fully set up, the sound wasn’t working, the projector wasn’t working, and we were beginning to feel rain drops. Around 6:30 Jordan called us all together and asked me to pray. The fifteen of us stood in a circle, arms around each other and asked God to show up despite our human limitations, despite the sound not working, with no lyrics on the screen and possible rain. I was struck with the realization that if anything happened that night, it was going to be because of God, not because of anything on our part.
After we all prayed together, Jordan sent me to continue to pray while the rest of the team prepared for an acoustic worship set and the sound team desperately tried to turn on the sound. I began to walk around the area of our event and pray, just calling for God to come and praying for the people who were going to be coming. Fifteen minutes before seven, we found a button that hadn’t been pressed and suddenly the sound was working. There was barely enough time to do a sound check and absolutely no time to rehearse before about fifty students showed up ready to worship.
What these students got was a worship team that had never played together, a prayer team which had never prayed together, a sound system which hadn’t been fully tested, a screen which started working moments before the event, what seemed like the coldest night we’ve had in Olathe so far this year, and an encounter with the living God. It was incredible. That’s almost all I can say about it.
I saw people in tears who I had hardly ever seen show emotion. People I prayed for opened up about pain in their lives, doubts about God, anxiety about life, and generally just stuff they were struggling with. By the end of the night people were huddled in groups of two to five people praying for each other, listening for the voice of God with each other, and putting aside their worries as they discovered the joy that comes with corporate prayer and worship.
While packing up the event we shared stories about what God had done. I thought I had seen a lot but each member of our clean up crew had just as many stories as I did. It was late at night by the time we were done packing up and talking, but it felt like only a few minutes.
Some people may say it’s a small start. Fifty students, two hours of worship, no big deal compared to the huge churches and worship teams which draw thousands into auditoriums and stadiums, but numbers weren’t what we were going for. In the culture of a private Christian school, we wanted to have an event that wasn’t on the original calendar. Worship has become so normal for us that we wanted to move it to a different setting, know that we weren’t going to get spiritual formation credits, and seek God for the sake of God, not for the sake of routine or requirement. This isn’t to say there’s anything wrong with the school scheduled events, we just reached a place where we wanted more of God than the schedule of events allowed for and we had a hunch that other students felt the same way.
So long story short we planned, we failed, but God still showed up. I can deal with that pattern. So we’re going to keep planning events because we want to be proactive in making our faith our own, not depending on what the school or ASG or Res-Life plans. We’re hoping that these events inspire people to plan their own and realize that there’s no pressure in having to perfectly plan something in order to develop their relationship with God and with fellow believers.
For our next “Night of Prayer and Worship” we’re planning on partnering with churches in the area to expand the ministry beyond MNU. For me, that’s the whole spirit of this school. We’re learning how to listen to and serve God here so that we can bring it out from here. Stay tuned, I’m hoping for many more adventures to come.
If you don’t feel like you have time for yourself, others, or even everyone’s favorite friend Netflix; relax friend, you are not alone. There is a gravitational pull drawing us in all sorts of directions. From waking up for classes to then trying to squeeze lunch in between back to back classes. I know you’re probably wondering if it gets better. I think the busyness teaches us that we must either manage our time or our time will manage us. My advice would be to understand that sometimes priorities must change. Sometimes you have to buckle down and read those thirty pages, but other times you have to go on that walk to clear your mind.
2. When freshman 15 hits you hard
No this is not a myth unlike Santa clause ( spoiler alert), the Easter bunny ( spoiler alert the sequel), and bacon Friday goes on untill 10:30 (now I’m just saving you the embarrassment). Freshman 15 is real and it’s here. For those who are hearing of this terminology for the first time; I guess it would be worth my while to explain. Freshman 15 is the belief (that I’m living proof of) that one gains up to 15 pounds during their first year of college. Why? There’s not really one answer to that, you could just be eating because campus center food is on fleek ( delicious), or you could be stress eating, or maybe you eat every time you leave the cashier’s office. Now that you know of this epidemic, eat healthier!
3. When you have to use change to buy some mcdonald’s
It’s 10:30 at night you’re just now leaving the library after hours of studying your brain into a deep headache (yes it is possible). You decide you deserve a treat for your hard work so you drive down to your local Mcdonald’s. ” That’ll be a dollar nine.” The cashier says. So you hand her a quater, two dimes, six nickles and thirty- four pennies. If this hasn’t happen to you yet; don’t worry it’s a coming!
4. When you have to ask someone to sign you into class
This is for the times you know you’re cutting it close with attendance and you won’t make it in. The perks of being in a lecture class of about sixity students is you can find a homie ( a friend) who would be willing to sign you in if you can’t make it.
5. When you have to guard your laundry
Jonathan Green waiting for his load.
When it comes to laundry it’s a dog-eat-dog world. If you leave your clothes and don’t look after it, few things might happen: Either your soaked clothes will be thrown out of the washer, your half dry clothes will be on the ground or you’ll be missing your favorite socks and sometimes underwear (this one I’m still in the process of understanding.) So one thing you must learn how to build is a “I don’t play games when it comes to my laundry” face or my friend college will be a very long socks-less experience.
6. When you have to wake yourself up for class
Our biggest enemy in this college warfare for our degree is our bed. Oh bed how evil are you! You welcome us in after a long day of classes, work, and running around. You are warm or cool whenever we need you to be. But you are so evil when we try to get up for classes you trap us in the warmth of you and the sheets! So we find oursleves creating more than one alarm to get us out of your trap. You! Will! Be! The! Death! Of! ME!
You have arrived, but you are not alone!
Too often I find mysef under the impression that I’m the only one struggling with getting use to this fast pace lifestyle. I think we all feel that way at one point or another, but you’re not alone. Maybe your struggle didn’t make the top six but it’s real and hard. So this is for you my friend, if you’re struggling with adjusting to any of these college lifestyles just know it get’s better, and you are not in this alone.
Welcome, Welcome, Welcome! My name is Hailey and I’m honored to be one of the freshman bloggers at MNU this year. My first video is just a little about me, what I will be posting, and what to expect. Please enjoy