Monthly Archives: April 2013

The End

“Abigail! I saw you on the CBU page for Lancer Diaries! I didn’t know you wrote for them!”

Since Lancer Diaries has been on the CBU webpage as one of the banners, I’ve gotten this statement at least once a week. The flush of my cheeks could testify to the humility I feel upon receiving the acknowledgement. Who would’ve known that professors and friends of mine would take interest in a blog I write, some of them reading my blogs weekly! I would never have guessed. When my boyfriend, Chris, told me about the position during the summer before Fall ’12, he and I both thought it would be a great position for me to apply for, considering my love for writing. I had no clue, though, that in being hired, people would actually read something I had written. It has been humbling knowing that prospective students, current students, and professors have been reading my writing, much that has been personal and sometimes quite raw, and actually enjoying it. Talk about exceeding my expectations.

I’m not a journaler. I haven’t kept a diary since I was in 7th grade when I was so in love with Whatshisname. Still, though, I like to say to my friends and family that for me, the thoughts, ideas, dreams, and worries I have in my head every day don’t become concrete until I say them out loud, or even become tangible until I write them. I must admit, though, that writing out what’s on my heart in this humble blog of mine has been most gratifying. I was able to express my thoughts on education and my own life events, sharing pieces of who I am, and also think of helpful hints for fellow students experiencing stress. In doing so, I was able to externally process my heartfelt emotions as well as write a personal prescription for the stresses in my own schedule. Sometimes, my heart was grievous and heavy, and others it was joyful, always rejoicing in God’s sovereignty. In all of it, I have learned a little bit more of who I am – the light with the dark, beautiful with the ugly. Keeping this little blog for CBU exceeded my expectations not only in the humility factor, but also in the area of self-discovery.

Each time an acquaintance, friend, or professor acknowledged this Lancer’s diary, my heart fluttered in flattery and bashfulness, but isn’t that how we Christ-followers should respond to our responsibilities – out of humility and heartfelt joy? That we are dedicating our utmost focus and ability to glorifying our Lord through our work, incorporating bits of who we are as individuals into creating something beautiful in the sight of God? Being made in God’s image, our Creator, we have been given an air of creativity to express into everything we do. What an honor and privilege! This blog has been just that… a responsibility that has enabled me to communicate the creativity the Creator continues to bless me with. I’ve enjoyed it!

Friends, thank you for reading – for the humility it has caused me to feel, for letting me delve into the depths of my heart to share with you, and for allowing me to express God’s hand in my life through creativity.

Final Thoughts

During my short time as a student blogger here at CBU, I have explained a few of my ideas. Recently, I wrote about self -acceptance. I believe that one must accept themselves as an individual and be comfortable with who they are.

Too many times young people get caught up in the glamour that is hollywierd. Today’s society tells us that you have to be a certain way to be accepted in life. Men are to be at least 6 feet tall with washboard abs and a strong jaw line. Women should be tall, thin, with long hair and plump lips. These ideas are concepts that the media and pop culture have made popular.

In my blog, I explained that most of the people we see pictured in the media and often held up as role models don’t really look like they are portrayed. A lot of digital editing and airbrushing goes into the final appearance that we see online and in person.

I watched a film on the subject in one of my classes last year. I was surprised to learn that most of the models we see in magazines or on television look like normal people with normal bodies. The point I tried to get across was that we have to be ourselves and accept ourselves as God intended us. I also asked why it is that so many people stress themselves out trying to fit into what society views as the norm. Young Americans are constantly going out of their way or comfort zones to be someone they’re not. Too many people alter themselves to please others and not themselves.

To see an example of what I’m talking about, click on this link and watch the video: http://youtu.be/7rSjh52fGTg

As we go into the summer months, I challenge you to remember the motto we have at CBU: “Live Your Purpose.” Remember that no one can live your purpose but you—and no one else can be you, either. This summer, work on being yourself and the person God intended you to be. I’ll bet you’ll be happier for it.

Have a blessed summer CBU!!!

Thanks for Sticking Around!

Friends, we are coming amazingly close to the end of yet another fabulous year in school. What does it feel like, you ask? I’m still caught between euphoria and disbelief. On one hand, I am ecstatic to complete another semester and spend some quality homework-free time with friends and family. On the other hand, I am dazed at how quickly my sophomore year has flown by. So much has been packed into this year that I had convinced myself that it will never end, and now I am trying to get used to calling myself a soon-to-be junior in college.

While I am in the midst of finals week, I am immensely thankful for a few moments I get to spare spending time on my couch, listening to Simon and Garfunkel, and reflecting on how richly I have been blessed over the course of my second year at CBU. While I have encountered difficulties as well as triumphs, I can honestly say that I have learned so much this year and am so thankful for each new experience.

In summary, I would like to point out some of my greatest highlights over the course of the past year.

  • Living in an apartment was an entirely new experience. For the first time in my young adult life, I felt like a grown up with a place away from home to share with roommates. Living in the Colony on campus meant community, a kitchen, and more room to decorate. While there were these perks to apartment life, it also meant needing to buy our own cleaning supplies and toiletries, but that is something we all have to learn sooner rather than later. Overall, I have adored living in the on-campus apartments and with three wonderful women I am proud to call roommates. We studied together and burned cookies together, and those are moments I will not easily forget. Roomies, I will miss you so much over the summer, but there will be visits, I promise! I love you all and thank you so much for adding so much to the goodness of this year.
  • I really dove into my major classes this past year, and learned so much from each of them. I did not think that it was possible for me to become more passionate about literature than I already was, but after learning from some incredible professors, my passion has increased tenfold. My professors have even helped to awaken new passions in me, as I have recently declared a minor in film studies, which I am ecstatic to dive into. The classes offered at CBU and the caring, intelligent professors heighten the university’s integrity, and provide students with opportunities to grow so much in their academic abilities. I am so excited to continue my education here next year and in the years beyond.
  • As always, I have to express my gratitude for the people I have met at CBU who have provided me with incredibly edifying friendships and have pushed me constantly closer to the God we serve. I have made priceless friendships with like-minded people who are all passionate about learning and growing together, and I know that this year would not have been nearly as wonderful without them. My friends are responsible for countless great conversations over many a cup of coffee, and for side-splitting laughs that helped us to relieve stress and remind ourselves that life is a beautiful, enjoyable endeavor. Over the summer I will miss the concerts, the trips to Late Night Briscos, the movies, and the constant companionship, but I cannot wait for more to come. Next year, I know I can continue to grow, laugh, and learn with all of my wonderful friends, and I know that together we will continue to make the most of our experience as students at CBU.

This past year at CBU has been extraordinarily wonderful, and as eventful as I could have hoped for. God continues to bless me with opportunities to serve, learn, and experience life here, and I have really adored the wonderful ride that my sophomore year has been. Readers and friends, you are so valued and I pray that the end of this year brings with it as much blessing as was brought throughout. Thank you for enjoying this beautiful life at CBU with me!

Living in a Pinterest World

Today’s world is a place full of technology, information, and endless resources.  If a person wanted to build a castle out of glow sticks, they could most likely find a tutorial for it.  It is a wonderful thing for poor college students, because with websites like Pinterest and Youtube, there are endless opportunities for fun and creativity.

Pinterest is a website that allows its users to virtually “pin” the things and ideas that they like to their personal “boards”. This gives them the opportunity to get ideas that they like, purchase gifts they have found online, and many other things.

When I was a resident advisor in The Cottages at CBU last year, I spent the entire summer beforehand planning and preparing for the decoration project. I ended up decorating my cottage for almost no cost at all because I used the resources around my house to make all the things I needed. A tutorial for cute wallflowers taught me how to make cute, bright flowers out of old toilet paper rolls for the walls. Some of my favorite things that summer were the fabric flowers I created from my old choir dresses. It took eight straight hours a day and made my fingers hurt for a while, but it was worth it, and my cottage ended up looking so bright and fun.

One of the things I like about Pinterest is that it has something for everyone. Even guys can use the site, though it definitely leans more toward females. Whenever I have a problem that needs solving, Pinterest is somehow the first place I look for finding a solution. Granted, there are times when Pinterest is not always the best place to turn, especially if you are really hungry, because there are always hundreds of pictures of delicious recipes to cook up on that website.

But in my eyes, it is the golden website for all college students. I also have found websites that have taught me how to better manage my finances, improve my photography, and have a better relationship with my boyfriend. While Pinterest can take over your free time, like many social media sites, it is a most beneficial site.

At CBU, student leaders have even taken advantage of Pinterest and held Pinterest-themed events to help residents get crafty together. If you look at my apartment, you would think that Pinterest just exploded all over it, because my roommates and I have created so many fun things from these events and from our own crafting. We have yarn bottles, homemade body scrub, whiteboard wall calendars, and many other things attributable to just being creative.

So friends, if you have a creativity problem that needs solving, there is a solution out there.  Even if you just have some free time or need some inspiration, Pinterest is the place for you!

Moving Forward

We all know summer is quickly approaching, which means freedom for the most part. While summer is a time for us all to relax and enjoy ourselves, it doesn’t mean that we should regress.

CBU will be operating during the summer months, and there are a few important classes being offered. The summer sessions are great opportunity for students to get ahead or catch up on their studies. One class in particular is Overview of the Bible. I have registered for this class, and I am actually looking forward to it. The class briefly goes over the Old Testament but mainly focuses on the New Testament. It breaks down the New Testament with special emphasis to the religious and national life of the Hebrew people, the life of Jesus and the development of the early church. I am in no way, shape or form an expert on the Bible. Therefore, this class will help me better understand the Bible.

I signed up for 12 credit hours throughout the summer, and I can’t wait to begin. Regardless of what class or classes you chose to take this summer, make sure it will broaden your views and education. Studies show that over the summer a majority of students lose up to 35 percent of what they learned during the school year.

Having the opportunity to take summer courses will not only help your goal of graduating on time or early, but also help you maintain what you are learning throughout your college career.

The Inevitable

We are under the two-week mark, friends. Spring 2013 is almost complete.

I am at the point in my education where a great number of my friends are graduating, beginning their careers, continuing on to higher education and moving away. Many people I have looked up to as an underclassman or befriended during choir tours. In three Saturdays, as they walk across the stage as a symbol of their dedication and completion, other fellow juniors and I will be filling in the spots our dear friends vacated.

In two weeks, I am going to be a senior in college. A senior. I do not understand how. Where have my days of beginners’ bliss gone?

At the beginning of each school term, the individual schools within California Baptist University yearn for the leadership the previous class of students provided. It is up to the remaining classes to the occasion. With over 10 ensembles performing hundreds of concerts per year, the Collinsworth School of Music is known for its hands-on learning. Our professors and dean delegate jobs and tasks to some of the older and younger students to make the duties of each group inclusive, more manageable and to also keep the students accountable for their own responsibilities. That means that during fall 2013 and spring 2014, many of my senior friends and I will take on leadership roles to continue the withstanding standard and tradition of excellence for our school. I can hardly believe that I have made it to the end of my junior year let alone that I am becoming a “responsible” senior with graduation, senior Recitals and a future careers peeking around the corner!

To be honest, I’m anxious – anxious to do my best, that my best might be good enough and to learn what is necessary to begin pursuing my career after graduation. This next coming year is what I have been looking forward to since the day I left home to come to CBU. It is like waiting to finally be allowed to have a puppy, and when you pick one out and name it, you don’t really know what to do with it! Here it is, senior year, sitting in my lap, and I have no idea how to handle it! But this is the endless cycle of the educational world.

Juniors, senior friends are leaving us with their example and now empty positions. It’s our time to refill them and continue our learning.

Batter up!

 

 

Looking Forward and Living Now

Looking toward the future is something young adults encounter often, especially while in college. We question “Is this the right major?” “What career do I want to aim for?” “What should I do with my summer time off?” “How is what I’m doing now contributing to the life I hope to live after school?”

These questions seem to pop up increasingly toward the end of every jam-packed semester, leading to several late-night discussions with friends and roommates.

I am well aware of the weight of these questions. While they help set goals to aim for, they can also add unnecessary amounts of stress. It is best to address these appropriately, then use the time given in college to explore them while focusing on how to be your best in this present moment.

I demonstrated a practical depiction of what has been going on in my head earlier this week. Thankfully, it alerted me to my need to be aware and serve my God with all that I have in each day I’m given.

Okay, here’s the story: As I have said before, mornings are not my friend. However, a couple mornings ago, I muddled my way to class, coffee mug in hand, and concentrated my efforts on making it where I needed to be. I gazed directly ahead of me as I plotted my route to class and eventually succeeded in making it there.

It wasn’t until later that same day when I bumped into some friends of mine that I realized I had walked past at least two of them without waving on my trek to class. Apparently, my friends had waved emphatically and called after me to say good morning, and I had absolutely no clue they had done so. I continued on my merry way, totally oblivious.

After this happened, I realized exactly how much I have let my thoughts take over. Even though it was a groggy morning for me, I couldn’t get out of my head and notice what was right in front of me. This made me realize that I really must pay more attention.

While I become single-minded in accomplishing simple goals, such as making it to a morning class, I also tend to be very futuristic. This does come in handy when it comes to studying for finals, writing research papers and making summer plans. However, I am once again realizing the importance of focusing on the present time and making the most of it.

As all CBU students are well aware, the end of the semester is nigh and summer rapidly approaches. In these final weeks, try to use the time to strive for excellence in each class, tell your roommates you appreciate them and invest time in your friends. We all know exactly where each other are at, and we can serve each other in love until we meet the end of another wonderful year at this university.

God is Faithful

The theme of my week has been that God is faithful and will always provide for me.

Like many college graduates at CBU, I have been worrying and wondering what to do after graduation.  There are so many things to consider when you leave college.

Where are you going to live? Where are you going to work? What are you going to do with your major? Will you continue on to get your masters? The list goes on and on, and it can get a little stressful if you let your mind wander with negative possibilities.

I knew I had to find a job for after graduation. However, I had been told that finding a job took six to nine months in today’s economy. It was making me increasingly stressed. I had been applying everywhere, but there was no solid option yet. But this week, God came through and provided me with a fun job with a Christian employer in a secular company.

Even with a job secured, I was still facing sleepless nights trying to find a place to live after I leave CBU.  It required constant prayer and encouragement from friends to keep peace in my heart.  But of course, the Lord has provided for me like he always has.  Even though I had a difficult time trusting, God brought about a way that my best friend and I could live together in a beautiful place near where we both will be working.

With the few days left before graduation, my friend and I have been scrambling to find the things we need in order to have a livable home. We have been searching Craigslist like madwomen, checking every hour to see what has come up online.  It has created some fun adventures though! Through pure happenstance (meaning, God’s provision), we found a really inexpensive bed frame, mattress and box spring online.

 

After driving to pick it up, we loaded the bed as best as two girls who have never moved furniture in their life can. However, we had not even thought to bring a rope to secure it.  God provided even the little things, though. An older gentleman passing by saw us loading the bed and asked if we had rope to tie it down. After we told him we did not, he offered us the rope he had in his car.  So we precariously headed down the highway at a turtle’s pace, and brought it to a friend’s house.

 

My pastor always says that God grows your faith little by little, by providing for you in little ways and eventually in bigger ways. I can certainly attest to that, because this whole week has just been a constant testimony of how God has provided and brought people into my life to be a blessing to me.

Kinda Deep

The countdown has begun! Finals will begin in a couple of weeks and summer break is on the horizon! I’ve had a wonderful time this semester, meeting new friends and experiencing new things.

I got the chance to play intramural basketball, which was a blast. I received much needed inspiration from the many guest speakers at chapel and even watched my first live NBA game. Let’s not forget that I received a quality education from quality professors at a quality university.

CBU has done for me just about everything a parent would do for their child, with the exception of disciplining me. CBU has fed me, clothed me, consoled me, entertained me, and sheltered me this semester. I have experienced things here that I would not have attending another school. These are things that cling to hearts and will not be forgotten. I challenge everyone to indulge in the bliss that is “Life @ CBU.” Your time spent at this university only comes once in life, so make the best of it. Friendships and relationships constructed here can and should last a lifetime.

Some of you will be graduating after this semester and will go out into the world. You should share the joy that God and CBU has brought to your life with the rest of the world. Indeed, it will be nice to get a break from studying, long lines and quizzes every week, but the overall environment will be missed. Even though the semester is coming to an end, our lives are just beginning. Live your purpose guys!!!

My Survival Guide

It is that time of the semester once again. Deadlines are looming over us much too close for comfort. Scheduling for next semester’s classes has arrived, and summer approaches must faster than it seemed possible.

However, I am so glad I have experienced all this before. Now I have the opportunity to prepare myself for what lies ahead. I wish I had the opportunity to tip my past self off so that I could have better prepared for the ending of my first spring semester.

Since, unfortunately, I cannot go back in time and share insight with my younger self, I might as well share it here for all who may be interested in a few tips that have worked for me in past experiences.

 

  1. Catch up on sleep on the weekends. The end of the semester is really busy. There is a temptation to power through all of your assignments and skip sleep in the process. However, it is much better to work ahead. If faced with the decision to stay up studying rather than sleep, be sure to sneak some naps in and catch up on sleep over the weekend. It is not worth risking your health and becoming absolutely miserable to take finals while not feeling your best.
  2. Talk to your professors. Our professors are wonderful. They are absolutely the best. If you have any questions about a project or an upcoming exam, go by their office and ask them. Professors would love to talk to you and spend the time helping you succeed. Also, if you find yourself unsure of which classes to take for the next semester, your professors would love to walk you through all of your options and help you decide.
  3. Call home. The summer is coming up quickly, and with it will bring a lot of changes. If, like me, you are planning on moving back home for the summer, your schedule will drastically differ from what it includes now. It is valuable to talk to your family about your plans, goals and expectations for the summer so that you can both plan more easily. Also, contact your friends and begin to make plans. This will give you something to look forward to. Plan on starting a Bible study or accountability group so that your time together will be edifying. Being in constant communication with your family and friends about your summer plans will help all of you to make a smooth transition into summer life.
  4. Send out the troops. If looking for a summer job, your family or friends from back home can send out feelers to let you know might be available. This will allow you to gather options and decide where you might want to apply.
  5. Consider taking summer classes. This is pretty straightforward. Summer classes can propel you closer toward graduation. They are also great ways to fill your time and keep you productive year-round.
  6. Do not panic. The end of the semester should be a time to remain focused and enjoy learning in your area of interest. Do not let stress replace prayer, and take breaks when you are feeling overwhelmed. Remember why you are here, and gather up your energy to finish the semester strong.

 

The end of an academic year need not be a cause for panic. Take the time to enjoy the days that go by, and invest in the company of other students experiencing the same thing. We are here for each other, and we can tackle the upcoming days together.

I hope my checklist will be of some use to you. Just remember: all seasons pass and all are meant to be fully lived. Make it a great week, and let us make this semester go out with a bang.

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