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.
This past weekend was a pretty wild weekend for me, a few other MNU students, and a whole bunch of teens! The youth groups of Grace Community Church of the Nazarene and KC First Church of the Nazarene left Friday evening and came together to have a joint fall retreat in Oklahoma. And I am still exhausted! Also a little sick…But it was totally worth it! We saw God move this weekend and it was awesome!
The theme for the weekend was Christ Like Leadership. The first night, Angie from First Church spoke about dealing with our pride, and as leaders, we should be willing to do whatever we ask of those we are leading.
I went as a sponsor with Grace Community and I also played on the worship team with other students from MNU. There were 8 MNU students total that went on this retreat. Lizzy Atwell, Amanda Lampley, Thomson and Chi Ticum, Blake Owings, Mark Hall, and I were on the band. Maddie Carson came as well and was a sponsor. Lizzy, Blake and I were also sponsors for Grace Community.
MNU gang minus Maddie.
On Saturday, our very own Blake spoke! He told the story of Moses and when we are Christians, we are automatically called to be leaders.
We had a lot of free time Saturday between meals and services just to hang out and get to know each other. There were a few different activities we could do. A lot of people played soccer, some played gaga ball, and others played basket ball. But one of the most fun things we did was the massive zip line. After we all got our harnesses on, we walked over to a suspended bridge. Now I don’t really have a fear of heights but there were a few people there (Mark Hall) who were pretty scared! I almost fell just from how hard I was laughing!
The suspended bridge.
Once we made it across the bridge we had to walk up a massive, rocky hill to the tower. It was about that time I noticed how cold it was. And the farther we went up the tower the windier it got. It was ridiculous how windy it ended up being at the top! It was worth it though because it was so fun!
Walking to the tower.
Our youth group ready for the zip line!
Sunday, we all woke up early, had breakfast, and went over to the chapel for the final service. There Roland, who is the youth pastor for KC First Church spoke. The sermons were all great. We are fortunate to know these gifted people who are passionate for knowing God and delivering His word, but I got the most from a conversation I had with an old friend.
I worked at a summer camp two summers ago in Colorado. When I walked into the mess hall for the first time, I saw someone that looked familiar. Her name was Danielle and she was on my team when I was in Colorado! I was so excited to see her! During free time on Saturday I went over to her room and we drank coffee and caught up on life. I opened up to her about how my life after working in Colorado hasn’t turned out the way I expected and how it was actually a pretty hard time for me and my family. She told me her story, her struggles and how her life before working in Colorado was turned upside down. She said something to me that really resonated. She said “You can tell God you are mad with Him. He already knows, but it is good to get it out on the table.” She then went on to say that when we do that, we allow God to walk with us through these trials. Our conversation really meant a lot to me.
Overall, even though I feel pretty awful now, the retreat was a really good escape from life and school. Even though it was only a few days. I know I’m not the only one that got something good from it.
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.
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.
When I decided to come to MNU, one of the first things I did was grab one of the newspapers from Bell Center when I went to a choir concert. I’m not even sure I read the whole thing, to be honest, but right from the beginning I knew that an element of my life was going to be wrapped up in this paper.
At MNU the paper is called The Trailblazer. The print edition comes out roughly three times a semester, and the online version is usually updated every week.
Over the summer I met with the advisor, Melinda Ablard-Smith, for coffee at Starbucks. Nervous, I told her that, despite having little to no journalism experience, I was wanting to potentially write for the school paper.
Melinda was incredibly helpful in answering all of my questions, and she assured me I would be able to sign up for–and fit into my schedule–the class.
Basically, how the newspaper works is students enroll in a class, called Multimedia Workshop, which is a one credit hour class that meets at 6:30 Monday nights. This semester Melinda is teaching a journalism workshops at 5:30, before class, where we all get together, eat good food, get chocolate thrown at us for answering questions, and just generally have a good time together while learning the nuts and bolts of journalism.
Advertisement last year featuring the modeling talent of Josh Brisco to promote Journalism at MNU.
The actual Multimedia Workshop class splits into students doing Yearbook or Newspaper, and then the Newspaper students further split into three categories: the editors, the reporters, and the video team. This semester I am a reporter.
At the beginning of the actual Trailblazer class session, Melinda sits down with all three groups and goes over a short journalism lesson, recites a bible verse, asks for prayer requests, and then leads the team in a group prayer. Then she dismisses the video team and turns over the class to the Editor-in-Chief, our fearless leader, Robbie Wegley.
Robbie and Josh (Joshua Brisco, Managing/News Editor) usually talk through some specific things the reporters need to work on (like the fact that I keep forgetting to submit pictures with my stories), talk about some current events both in the world and at the school, and then go through story pitches.
Every week the reporters and the editors turn in story pitches–ideas for stories or topics we think the Trailblazer should cover. In class, Robbie reads through the pitches, asks those who pitched them to expand upon their ideas, and decides which stories make the cut. The stories are then assigned to reporters, who usually have the rest of that week to get the story done and sent to their section editor.
I’ve worked mostly with Josh, for news, and Morgan Peiffer, for life stories. Wyatt Stark edits sports, and Sydney Wright edits opinion pieces. Katie Linsey edits the videos, and Hailey Kendrick is the graphic designer.
When I first started writing stories, I was pretty freaked out. I had never conducted an interview, or wrote any sort of news story before, but the editors really helped me out. If anybody is thinking about being a reporter next semester, I would highly encourage it even if you don’t have any journalism experience. The writing is very different than writing for school papers, or almost any other assignment I’ve been given.
It’s actually a pretty sweet gig, I just get to talk to people about what they’re passionate about, and I help them communicate that passion to people who may not have otherwise been able to hear about it. That’s my favorite way of looking at articles.
For example, I got to talk to people involved in the LQVE Haiti Passion to Serve project for my first article. I got the article done, but I also got to hear their stories about Quincy, their vision for the future, and their passion for what they are doing. I count it as a great privilege.
And of course not all stories are like that, but I have yet to be assigned story that didn’t require me learning something new in order to write it. Yes, it is a lot of hard work, but I have met so many people I never expected to meet.
How many students have sat down for half of an hour and really talked to the Manager of the IT department or the head of Campus Security? They are incredible people who have a lot of passion for their jobs, and they taught me things about their respective departments that I never knew, ways they are serving the school that I would have otherwise overlooked.
It took me out of my comfort zone in a lot of ways, but I think that is what makes it one of my favorite things I do on campus. I am forced to learn in order to continue, and I’m forced to work closely with people if I want anything to get done. In the end getting the paper out is a team effort, and I’m incredibly proud of it.
I also think that having a completely student led newspaper that is allowed to talk about tough subjects, present opposing sides to issues, and investigate the school itself speaks incredibly highly of MNU. It is hard to brag about The Trailblazer without bragging about this school.
The Forum is one of my favorite sections of the paper where opposing viewpoints about an issue are discussed.
And most of all The Trailblazer is just fun…at least for me it is 😉
The people who work for the paper know how to talk to people, know how to tell a good story, and tend to enjoy being around each other. I love hearing everybody’s opinions about topics in class, and I also enjoy listening to them talk about what is happening in their lives and around campus.
Plus you get to experience the hilarity of Josh after class ends, and that’s always fun.
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…
College is fun. College is hard. College is independent. College sometimes feels lonely. College is change. But one of the thing I didn’t realize college became for me until recently was home.
I was on my annual walk, which is a day I set once a year to go on a walk. I really hate walking hence why I only do it once a year. I rather sit through a weekend long marathon of Pretty Little Liars than to get up and go on a walk. But I digress from my point. I was on my walk through the campus mall when it hit me that this place was my home.
Remember when you were a kid and you moved into a new house? That house was a house until you were convinced it could become a home. Because in a home you could be vulnerable, silly, but most importantly you could be yourself. I think coming into college your heart already has a home and the address isn’t 2030 E college Way.
I don’t blame your heart for not calling this home right away. But just like that house you moved into waited so will college. College will wait for you to lower your guard and make some pretty awesome friends. College will wait for you to allow yourself to join a welcoming community of believers who will love on, and will always be there to hear you out.
Home is assurance that no matter how your day may end up you’ll always have a place and people to come home to. Come home to vent, pray, laugh, cry, and even Netflix binge with. College needs to become home for you. And I hope and pray it does, friend.
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.
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.
Time to schedule classes for next semester… already! Upon planning my new schedule, I realized a typical college daily routine will change semester to semester. So I wanted to illustrate to you all what your schedule MIGHT consist of going day to day. (Now let’s remember that I’m taking 16 credit hours and working full time. This might not be what YOU end up doing.)
I wake up around 7:30am, as a commuter I leave at 8:20am for my 9am class. Depending on the day, I might eat breakfast, spend a solid amount of time looking through news articles on my phone, and maybe print out a last minute assignment before driving to good Ole Olathe; all the while singing in my car.
On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I have public speaking at 9am, followed by freshman seminar at 10am (which is now over), then old testament at 11am, followed by my lunch break. Most of the time I will go buy an over priced salad from Dewey’s Cafe (inside the library) and eat while I study. Finally, I arrive to composition 1 in a food coma at 1pm. Tuesday and Thursday I have introduction to human communications at 12:15pm and digital media following that. BUT! We can’t forget chapel on those mornings as well. This semester I had 16 credit hours (which is how many you really need to take to graduate in four years, most of the time.)
Afternoons: 99.8% of the time, I have work at 2:30pm. This means I leave comp 1, head straight to my car, and go to work until close. I’ll study during my lunch break typically; and if I don’t have work, I’ll go home and write/edit this vlogs/blogs for you all.
Evenings: During the eventful weeks of the Trailblazer, I’ll spend my evenings in Dobson’s computer lab working on the layout. The evening is the typically study time for me and when I prepare my work for the next days classes.
Photo credits to Buzzfeed.
If I closed at work, I’ll get home around 9:30pm. I will probably eat, shower, and simply watch Netflix. Not much homework gets done on the evenings that I close…I’ll be honest.
Semesters to come…I’m the Full Time Assistant at work now! That’s right guys, I officially got promoted yesterday. I tried to make my schedule more accommodating for that. MWF I’ll only have one class and they’re at 6pm. Tues-Thurs, I’ll go to class (and chapel) from 8-1 and then I’m home free! I’ll take 1 online class, but still maintain my 16 credit hours.
Being a smaller university it is important to note that we only have X-amount of opportunities to take each class. It’s typically only going to be offered a few times; especially when you get into the upper level classes of your major. For me, this means taking summer classes, and working split shifts at my job, and working hours in a sorta-kinda flexible schedule with it all together. It is totally possible to get in the classes you need, but you need to be determined.
On a side note, this past weekend the ROYALS became WORLD CHAMPS, it was HALLOWEEN, and I had the weekend OFF! So I combined a series of Snapchat stories to give the opportunity of showing the best 10 second moments throughout the weekend…and I’ll post it later tonight!