Monthly Archives: May 2013

15 Things you need to know if you are a future SBU student

Hey friends! I know that I am posting twice in a day, but I still haven’t put together a routine for this yet. I had an idea: since I am a graduate of SBU now, I thought I would impart some of my “infinite” knowledge about college and my experiences on you. I hope that even if this doesn’t seem relevant, hopefully you might catch a laugh or two from these tidbits.

Here we go!

  1. Go to Welcome Week! SBU has an orientation week that is spectacular. The committee in charge does a fantastic job in planning (I should know, I was on it for a while), and friendships you make at your Welcome Week or Orientation Week will be some of the best connections in your college career.
  2. Please, PLEASE do not wear your lanyard around your neck after your first month at any college. We understand the usefulness of having a lanyard and all of your keys and ID handy, but after a while, when your turn your head and hit me with a lanyard, it becomes a tad annoying. It may or may not be a little goofy looking as well. No offense.
  3. Don’t be afraid of your academic advisor. These people are great. Their job is to help you succeed as a college student, and they really are helpful if you ask them to be. 
  4. Get involved! The best way to make friends and learn alot is by getting involved in any of the infinite amount of activities offered at a university. I know personally at SBU that UAC and SA are doing great things for campus life, and there seems to be a crop of new clubs popping up every year. Involvement is great, but be careful to remember that you are a student first, and if you get over-involved, you could hurt your grades alot. So just get involved within reason. 
  5. Find a church family! Religion may not be your thing. I understand. But let me say this: there is no group of people more loving and more accepting than a church family. Its their job to love you and welcome you. Being at a church will also keep you on the straight and narrow. I know for me, I was held accountable alot, and it really helped me to stay on the straight road and to really become a respectable person.
  6. Don’t freak out if the people behind the desk in the cafeteria know your name not a week into school. For me as an SBU student specifically, it was a little odd that a little old lady knew my name by the end of Welcome Week. It is okay though. Its great, in fact. I became very close to Miss Kay this year especially, and it became a really nice connection to have, especially when I lost my ID and she let me eat without it for the last week of school. That connection means alot.
  7. To SBU students: look at the sidewalk when you walk. And don’t be mad if someone else doesn’t notice you because they are doing the same. They aren’t looking down to ignore you, for the most part, they are trying to keep their footing. Here and there, the sidewalks on campus get a little weird, and you need to be ready. 
  8. Enjoy the student-led events on campus! Usually every University has some very talented people who are in charge of event planning, and the events that come out of those meetings are really fun. Some examples that occur on the reg at SBU are the Zombie Run, the Amazing Race, and Mini Golf in the Library. These events draw alot of people, but they are always worth the wait. I’ve never gone to an event I didn’t enjoy. 
  9. Do your best to hear your teachers out. It is hard sometimes, I’ve had some professors that I really didn’t agree with. The concept that you as a student will have to realize is that if you don’t do the assignment to your professor’s liking, then you may not get a good grade. I will say that even in my worst classes, listening to my professors has proven to be worthwhile when I least expected it. 
  10. Safety and Security will be your best friend, or your worst nightmare. Be respectable, and follow University policies. That’s how you avoid the ire of the security crew. Its really not that hard guys. If you decide that doing something questionable is something you want to try, just be careful. I understand the need for fun too. Just remember, if you get caught, they have tasers. 
  11. Get to know the people on your hall! These are usually a collection of people from all sorts of walks of life, and it will benefit you to have a diverse friend group. For SBU especially, getting to know your dorm and your hallmates will help you when it comes to homecoming week. Spend time with the guys or girls that live with you, it will prove to be valuable to you during your college career. 
  12. Don’t quit when it gets hard. College has moments where it is extremely difficult. Don’t worry, its going to happen. I can think of a Physics test I took this past Spring that nearly killed me, and I studied pretty well. Don’t be afraid, you will get through it. College takes alot of effort and perseverance, and it is a really sweet moment to shake C. Pat’s hand and take your diploma on stage in front of several thousand people. Just keep pushing. 
  13. You will find anything you want to find if you spend time looking for it. People do alot of things on and off campus, and there is a different group of people and events for every taste. Be careful, however, that you don’t look for things you don’t want to find. I don’t mean to be foreboding, but here and there, some not so great things occur. Just don’t get into that. 
  14. KNOW YOUR MISSION STATEMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you go to SBU, know it. Say it in front of a mirror. Lord forbid, you will be caught on your heels by the president and asked to recite it (it will happen). Just know it guys. “Southwest Baptist University is a Christ-centered caring academic community preparing students to be servant leaders in a global society.” Its not that hard, and you’ll need it to pass your first Seminar test anyways. Just know it. You will live and die by that mission statement for as long as you attend there. 
  15. If there is anything you do at SBU, you need to do this: have fun! It is vitally important to spend time with friends and enjoy your college experience. These are the last few years of total freedom, so get out of your dorm every day and do something! Enjoy people, and make moments and memories. When you walk across the graduation stage, you want to be able to say that you milked SBU for all it was worth. Graduating with regrets is not a good feeling. 

As I typed this, I came up with a few more, but I will roll with this for now. Feel free to add your thoughts as well! I would love to know of other current students’ opinions and experiences. I hope that you will read these and see both the humor and importance of some of these ideas. Get excited! I hope you will come to SBU and love your experience. Do your best to have an amazing time in college, and I hope you learn alot while attending. 

Go Bearcats!

 

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Toward the Unknown Region…sounds pretty exciting, huh?

Sorry. I really am. I know its been a while since I started doing this and I’m only posting for the second time. I really do apologize. Forgive me? Anyways: life has been a bit crazy and its taken a while to format my thoughts on my last three weeks. Do you want to hear about my adventure? Sure, I’d be happy to tell you about it! 

Well, I’ll start at the beginning. Kind of. Over Thanksgiving break, myself and my family began the process of praying through our options about school. I am officially a Junior in college now, this was during my Sophomore year. At the time, I was attending an amazing school, which also happened to be very VERY expensive. I’ll get into that later. But yeah. We began to pray, and try to consider all options for schooling in regards to cost-efficiency and major, and I had the idea that I would go to school with my girlfriend, Tori. (By the way, she has a blog called “The Pastor’s Daughter,” and its pretty good.) This sounded like a great idea, so we ran with it. 

I brought the idea up to her, and she loved it! In discussion, we decided that it would be a good idea for me to look at getting an Associate’s Degree, and it ended up working out to where I had all the classes I needed to succeed. 

This is all well and good, and I felt right about the decision, but I had a few problems. I had a great job on campus, I was extremely plugged in, and there just so happened to be some insanely difficult classes in between me and my degree. 

I took a deep breath, and started trying to make dents in the issues at hand. I stepped down (Which was really hard, I loved the people I worked for, and I miss them alot already), and I really began to pray about what I could do and what I needed to do to get through. 

After a semester of scares about Science grades and chapel credits, I am proud to tell you all that I graduated! I finished my Associate’s Degree in General Studies, and I now can consider myself somewhat of a college graduate! I am not done, I will be headed to East Central University in the Fall to pursue a degree in English Education. I am aware that this is only a small victory, but with how hard I had to work to get to this point, I feel the need to relish this moment in my super comfy gown. (Not really, but I thought you would enjoy the picture of me dancing in a gown.) 

This has been a crazy few weeks, but as I sit here and think about the bright future, I also consider some of my great friend and memories made at SBU. I will really miss my first University. 

SBU is a small school in southern Missouri, only about 1,600 attendees at the Bolivar Campus. When I found out my college was smaller than my high school (Go Seckman), I was a little disturbed. Thoughts like ” is this going to be a farm town,” or “why am I doing this, I am a city boy and I don’t like little places,” came to mind when I was on campus visiting SBU. I was really worried, until I arrived at Welcome Week and all of my misconceptions were changed entirely. I fell in love with SBU from the outset. Seeing students who seemed to genuinely care about each other, and being at a school where Christlike community was stressed really became selling points in my decision to go to and really get involved at SBU.

I think about my time there, and I see moments where I really learned about myself and my work ethic. I think of times in Honors Composition where I had to work as hard as I could to pass, and when I did pass, I celebrated with my parents. I still have friends from that class today, that became my friends because of a mutual distaste for a teacher’s style. I remember moments in my dorm where friends on my hall would help me get through tough homework assignments, and the success I felt when I got good grades and brought them to those friends. I also remember moments in my job on the Welcome Week Steering Committee where I would be challenged on an idea that I had, and I needed to learn how to rework the idea to make it fit into the overall idea of Welcome Week, and not just what I wanted. These ideas and moments in themselves did not change me, but when I put them together on a timeline of my life, I came to the realization that each of those moments and many others really shaped me as a student and as a man. 

The major moments in my life at SBU are not the only things that affected me. I would say that the most vital part of my time at SBU was getting to know the group of friends that I still am in contact with. These people are too many to mention, so I won’t say any names, but as a group, these friends really helped me to understand some challenging life lessons, and I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am without their help. 

I am sorry if I am rambling, I realize now as I type that I had more thoughts than planned for. I will miss one other aspect of SBU, and that is choir. I sang in two choirs at SBU, and the music made in each ensemble was not even the best part. Yes, I know that I’m saying I didn’t do choir for the music, but please bear with me. I loved choir for the beauty of the words sung and the friendships made. I spent alot of time with the people in the ensembles, and I would venture to say that we became one big, dysfunctional family. We grew so close and sang so well together: I really feel like that was the difference. Spending time learning about the music in cultural and historical context makes the music more meaningful. 

In discussing choir, I come to explaining my title: To the Unknown Region. This is the name of one of the pieces we performed in choir this year, and the lyrics come from poetry titled “Darest Thou now, O Soul,” by Walt Whitman. If you read carefully, the words present a journey, a story of a life moving on from the familiar into a place of newness. Here it is:

DAREST thou now, O Soul,

 

Walk out with me toward the Unknown Region,

 

Where neither ground is for the feet, nor any path to follow?

 

No map, there, nor guide,

 

Nor voice sounding, nor touch of human hand,

         5

Nor face with blooming flesh, nor lips, nor eyes, are in that land.

I know it not, O Soul;

 

Nor dost thou—all is a blank before us;

 

All waits, undream’d of, in that region—that inaccessible land.

 

Till, when the ties loosen,

  10

All but the ties eternal, Time and Space,

 

Nor darkness, gravitation, sense, nor any bounds, bound us.

 

Then we burst forth—we float, 

In Time and Space, O Soul—prepared for them; 

Equal, equipt at last—(O joy! O fruit of all!) them to fulfil, O Soul.  15

 

The words in this bit of poetry really struck me, especially in the period of transition I am in. It is hard, sometimes, to see the bright light at the end of the tunnel when the tunnel seems so bleak. With help from friends, family, and God, I think I am rolling through, and moving on to that bright end of the tunnel. 

If you are in a period of transition, do not fret. It will be okay! Change isn’t a bad thing, and you will get through it. Don’t be afraid to seek help, because sometimes, the destination is not nearly as great as the journey. Be excited, the future is ahead, and the path will bring lessons you never thought you’d learn. Don’t be afraid to step into the Unknown Region, knowing that your friends will be there to go on adventure by your side.

Thanks for reading. I appreciate you. 

 
 

Hi.

As the title ever so succinctly states, hi. This is me, this is my little experiment. I’m doing my best to find a new way of expression, and I figure since my new pursuit is in the field of English, I will start with writing. I’m not sure what all I will write about, but I suspect this will just contain alot of my musings and daily thoughts as I pass through my college years.

Do you want to know about me? Sure you do! I’m 19. 19 years full of life. Travelling, exploring myself and culture, and learning alot about being a man along the way. I’m also happily in love. I am a hopeless romantic, and hopefully my girlfriend doesn’t hate me too much for it. Her name is Tori, and she’s pretty great. I have a great family. I have a set of parents who are doing their best to love each other and show us the model for a Biblical marriage, and I respect them for that. I also have a little (but extremely tall) brother who is as of today, a junior in high school. (I really feel old when I ride in a car that he drives.) There are many more people in my life who influence me, and at some point, I’ll mention them too. All of the people I’ve come in contact with have affected me in some way, and hopefully I can adequately portray those thoughts in these posts.

I will warn you in advance, I am a Bible-believing, Gospel-centered, and passionate Christ follower. I do not see this as a bad thing, and I am of the personal belief that deciding to follow Jesus was the best decision of my life. Jesus is a pretty cool dude, and you’ll hear alot about him in my future posts. The reason I bring this forward is because it needs to be obvious from the start that the Gospel and Christ are the lenses through which I see the world. I’ve found that some people are so very brutally offended by beliefs other than their own (which is bigoted in a whole different sense and I won’t discuss that today), so I thought it best to make you aware of the overarching theme of my life before you delve into my mind and my musings. Its a belief very close to me, and hopefully my words and thoughts are permeated by the Gospel.

Also. I like reading, music, art, and just about a million other things. I’ll probably spend lots of time writing reviews and thoughts on books, movies, and just about anything else I think is worth me writing on or you reading about. Is that okay? Let me know. I’m flexible. I just like expression in any form. Just another random thought, when I expressed my worldview in a previous paragraph, I did not seek to say that no one was welcome to read or comment on this blog. I welcome people who disagree with me, I hope that all enjoy reading these thoughts. If good conversation and critical thinking on today’s events can’t occur, then we as a country really are failing, arent we?

Friends, Romans, countrymen, or whoever ends up deciding to read this, I hope you enjoy it. I will do my absolute best to be clear and concise in my thoughts, and hopefully my grammar will not prove to be offensive or egregious in any way. I hope we can get to know each other fairly well, and maybe these posts will be uplifting, encouraging, and maybe even a little bit humorous. I hope that those of you who read these will hang on with me, because I think this is going to be one exciting ride.

Welcome to my thoughts. Welcome to my beliefs, my stories, my dreams, and my life.
Welcome to my blog.