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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.)

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!

Mackenzie Theiler

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December 5, 2015

Fall Semester Is Almost Over 📚

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
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Isaac Walker

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December 4, 2015

The Space Between

December 4, 2015 | By | No Comments

Hey friends!

We are in the home stretch. These next few weeks are going to be tough and stressful for a lot of us.  I know they definitely will be for me!  For me, it’s been a little rough getting back in the groove coming back from Thanksgiving break.  It was like a strange teaser for the moment we all are waiting for…Winter break!   The end of the semester!

All the anticipation and excitement isn’t really helping with trying to study for finals and finish all those long term assignments that have been put off to the very last minute.  And I literally mean the last minute.   I may have turned a paper in at 11:59 that was due at 12:00am…But at least it was on time!

This post kind of relates to my post earlier about stress management.  This is about keeping the motivation strong though.  Wanting to give up and drop out of school is a common thought that runs through my head on the daily.  Remember the end goal.  What you want to do after college.

Set goals when you are studying.  Every hour you can take a break.  Eat a snack!  If you are reading, put little candies on the page that make you want to read more.  I use Junior Mints because I’m a chocolate/mint eating fiend.

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If you’re into a certain show, let’s say the new Netflix series Jessica Jones, after you have reached your goal of reading take a break and watch half of the show then go back to studying when your brain has recovered.  I do this with YouTube videos because they are short and I have no self control when it comes to my favorite shows on Netflix…

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Keep one evening free during the week!  Go out with your friends and do something fun.  Don’t lock yourself up!  Get out and get some social interaction other than the weirdos in the library that are silently sobbing into their textbooks.  Don’t be a textbook sobber.

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Just know that we will make it through this stressful time together!  Christmas is right around the corner.

Until next time friends!  Merry finals week!

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.

20151122_000326000_iOS

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.

 

Isaac Walker

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November 13, 2015

10 Times Liz Lemon Embodied The MNU College Experience

November 13, 2015 | By | No Comments

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.

  1. When you can’t figure out how to hook up the cable in your dorm room.Liz-Lemon-Cable

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.                                    30-rock-i-need-to-dance-this-out

3.  When you walk into Campus Center the first time and and realize it is a buffet…

I-Can-Have-It-All

4.  When you stay in your dorm instead of going out with your friends to do “homework”.

WOrking-On-My-Night-Cheese

5.  When you are trying to look on the bright side of things when school is trying to bring you down.

Liz-Lemon-Crying

6.  When you make new goals at the start of every semester to try and make better grades.yes-to-staying-in-more-30-rock

7.  When you leave Kingdom Come feeling extra #blessed.

liz-lemon-high-five

8.  When you are in your dorm at night and see on Snapchat your friends are hanging out with out you.

Liz-Lemon-Party

9.  When it is time to graduate and get your life together.

richpeopledo

10.  But then you realize you still don’t know what you want to do with your life…

liz+lemon+Life

Katie Linsey

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November 11, 2015

10 Things That Change After Freshman Year

November 11, 2015 | By | No Comments

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.

Thanks for reading!

-KT

 

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

open-book-1378562978Vki

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

bethelwords

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

Daily_Planner1

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!

Hailey Kendrick

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November 3, 2015

What’s a day in college look like?

November 3, 2015 | By | No Comments

college life

It’s November? It’s November!

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.)

Morning Routine:

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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.

Classes:

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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.

Night Routine:

 

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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!

and with that, I will see you tonight.

Div Tosinglo

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October 16, 2015

Wonderin’ If it’s even worth the chase

October 16, 2015 | By | No Comments

Well I’m wonderin’ bout the road ahead of me,

Wonderin’ bout the things you said to me,

Wonderin’ if these dreams will ever do.

And I’m wonderin’ bout the way I spend my days,

Wonderin’ if it’s even worth the chase,

Wonderin’ if there’s still a need from you.”

These lyrics are from a old song by TobyMac called Wonderin’. Lately, I’ve not only found myself listening to it constantly, but relating to the idea of wonderin. A point most of us find themselves in more often than we would like to admit.

As college students we come in knowing about the debts, homesickness, hard work, and the rest of the adversities that come with attending college. But we still do it, because we believe all of the hard work has purpose, and meaning. That purpose drives us on the hardest days of school. The days we crave for an easier lifestyle. A lifestyle where finances ins’t a constant struggle. A lifestyle where everything and everyone is demanding not a piece, but all of you at the same time. But our purpose drives us through all of those hard times.

I came into college knowing that fulfilling God’s will for my life was my purpose. I was going to deal with the financial dilemma, the challenging courses, the work load, the jobs. I was going to take all of it head on, because at the end of all of that I will have gotten an education that will equip me to serve God effectively.

The hardest day for a college student is the day they wake up, and forget their purpose in being here. Their attitude about classes, homework, work, tuition is all apathetic. They stop loving it. They stop being grateful for the opportunities. Every waking second is a second stress holds their mind captive. They find themselves not trying to fix new-born attitude, but they find themselves pondering the idea of quitting.

Recently, I have been reminded that though

I want to do this for God; I shouldn’t  forget I can’t do this without him.

Without him classes are just classes and homework is just homework. Without him the college experience would be empty and dreadful one that I would be trying to survive. But college isn’t about surviving, but it’s about thriving and growing. God has reminded me that here at MidAmerica I’m learning how to serve and love a hurting world. I’m learning how to be an active christian.

God is more than my purpose; he is my strength. College is hard there is no doubt about it. The day will come where you’ll wonder if this degree is worth the chase. You’ll wonder if you’re wasting your time.  I pray that you’d bring your wondrein mind to God. I hope you come to see that these are the years he’s equipping you, so one day you can be used as an instrument in restoring the brokenness in our world.