I’ve heard many times that, while academics is definitely a priority of the college student, a student cannot fully have “the TRUE college experience” without hobbies, friends, and time left aside for devotionals to keep their academic schedule company. By this time (almost halfway through the first semester of freshman year), a student has either developed that healthy balance or found themselves dangling on either side of the fence.

What’s nice about living on campus at CBU…  well, that’s an understatement. What’s great about living on campus at CBU is that opportunities to excel academically, invest socially, and thrive spiritually literally polka dot the everyday life of a Lancer.

I am a graphic design major with a concentration in photography – in other words, I’m involved the “art” program here (otherwise known as CAVAD – College of Architecture, Visual Arts, and Design). This essentially means that my classes consist of observing a lot of photographs and vector graphics, learning computer tricks, and exercising my ability to think like a designer… which is pretty fun, I might add.

This past week was a busy one for sure, but I was definitely immersed as a student into the understanding of a balanced academic, social, and spiritual life. I found myself succeeding in this not because I intended to, but because of the many opportunities offered for me to do so.

For me, a very fine line divides homework and hobbies. When my homework consists of photo shoots and designing, I can hardly call it “work” at all. Over the past two weeks I prepared 400 photos to submit for my first photo shoot assignment. I used what knowledge I have gained so far this year every step of the way – I brainstormed, I sketched ideas, I found a model, I gathered props, I set up scenes for the shots, and then I programmed the camera to the proper settings. While it felt like a hobby, the shoot was actually about eight or nine hours total of academic pursuit… yet, I enjoyed every moment of it.

As Monday evening approached, I tugged a sweatshirt on and grabbed a blanket, looking back to double check that my roommate was still coming with me. With big smiles on our faces and a “Go Lydia!” sign in hand, we headed out for the field to support our other roommate in her big flag football game against the leading

The Lydia Support Group :)

team. We knew there wasn’t much hope for them in this game (no offense, Tower Power! We love you!) but regardless, we were excited to support our fellow freshman girls out there. After a refreshing walk across campus, we were welcomed to the field with blaring music, whistling fans, and lots of adrenaline.

As Wednesday morning approached, we girls began to feel the pressure that midweek always brings with it. With our first college midterm the following afternoon, three projects underway, and work hours looming over our heads, it’s no surprise that we were feeling a little drowned when the Wednesday sun rose. But with the weariness of a Wednesday morning also comes the consistent reassurance of a CBU chapel. Nothing refreshes the weary college soul like worshipping the Lord with fellow students.

This week I was able to excel academically, invest myself socially, and also thrive spiritually as a college student. Sometimes, it honestly feels as though accomplishing all three of those is an impossible feat. But by whole-heartedly taking advantage of the academic, social, and spiritual activities that CBU has offered me, I’ve been inspired to try even harder in following weeks… because I’m confident that this week I felt what it means to have “the TRUE college experience,” and I enjoyed every moment.