by jaradarmstrong

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:

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!!!

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.

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!!!

Party like a Lancer!

Recently, CBU sponsored a trip to see the Los Angeles Clippers play at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. For those of you who aren’t fans, the L.A. Clippers are that other basketball team L.A. has. Our school is always giving back to students in various ways throughout the semester. Considering the fact that I’ve never been to a professional sporting event, I had to take advantage of this. Of course the trip wasn’t free but where else can you get tickets for $35? The tickets included admission, transportation and a meal, which was awesome!

A group of us met here at the school on Saturday afternoon to be transported to the Staples Center. While waiting for the bus I fellowshipped and made some new friends. As with all CBU events, we prayed before we began our journey. Once the bus picked us up, it was like we had an invisible police escort on the freeway. We had no problem navigating through traffic on the way to the game.

We arrived at the Staples Center early and had plenty of time to take pictures, eat and find our seats. We had our own section in the nose bleed seats! During the game a camera man from a local television station filmed us for a short period of time. The game was exciting and very eventful and it “went down to the wire,” or was close. I had a wonderful experience at my first NBA basketball game with CBU. This is another example of why I love being a Lancer and around such great group of people. I can hardly wait for my next BIG adventure with CBU. By the way, the Clippers won the game by four.

Round Two

This summer will be a busy one thanks to California Baptist University. CBU is always having a career fair here on campus. This week it hosted one March 20 for business and communication studies majors. I am done with classes fairly early on Wednesdays so I went check it out.

There were many employers looking for new hires and interns. Even the FBI had a representative present. I picked up a lot of great information that will help me in the future. The fair even helped me line up a possible internship for this summer.

I suggest going to at least one career fair before leaving CBU. I see the fairs as another way CBU gives back the students.  It only takes about an hour out of the day, and it is well worth it.

I also will be taking summer classes here at CBU, which will keep me on track to graduate on time and a step ahead of the game. Registration for the two summer sessions will begin soon so if you have not already, you should sign up before classes are full. It looks like I will have an eventful summer here at CBU. Have a great week and don’t forget to “Live your Purpose.”

A Penny for My Thoughts

It’s refund check time! Let’s not get carried away with buying Chuck Norris t-shirts or that new iPad. Many of us see dollar signs whenever money is mentioned and not the true task at hand.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t splurge every once and a while on ourselves, but we need to see the bigger picture. Luxuries aren’t what we should strive for. We as Christians should serve God and spread his word. For us students, that means sticking to the business of being students learning to live our purpose.

Hebrews 11: 13-16 says “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” I love this passage simply because it shows the strong faith of followers. They were not worried about worldly items or amenities. These people knew what God had promised them, and they could care less about what they had here on earth. Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for us, and we should do the same for Him.

Looking like a million bucks isn’t everything, guys. I’ll settle for looking like a grand and smelling like a dime, if that makes sense. So before we head to the mall, we might want to look at our priorities. My own prayer is that I can keep my goals in mind and not be sidetracked by distractions so that I can truly live the way that God wants me to live. I challenge everyone to spend wisely and look toward our higher calling.

A Little Relief

Intramural sports are just one of the ways to release built-up tension from the hustle and bustle of the semester. Basketball, flag football, soccer, volleyball and more are available at CBU throughout the year. These sports are always competitive and fun.

My favorites happen to be basketball and flag football. Every sport at CBU starts off with group prayer, and then my competitive nature takes over. I can run up and down field or court all game long and battle my opponent until the final whistle. I think team sports build comradery and are a great way to stay in shape.

This is my first season of intramural basketball at CBU, and I am enjoying every minute of it.

Another way to relieve stress is by working out. If you haven’t already, you should make your way down to the new Recreation Center in Adams Plaza. It is a great facility with new equipment and plenty of room. The center has cardio machines, weights, a basketball court, racquet ball courts, and even indoor rock climbing. It also has personal trainers who give various workouts and classes throughout the week.

These are just two of the ways to relieve stress on campus, but I’m sure you have your own favorites. If you’re ever at the Rec Center working out, look for me. I’ll probably be the guy standing around running his mouth.

CBU Crazies

Recently, while on my way to history class, I spotted a long spiraling line in the court yard. I asked one of the students in line what all the fuss was about. “Commuter lunch,” he replied with a puzzled look on his face. Being that this was my first semester at CBU, I had never heard of such a thing. I politely joined the back of the line, and within five minutes, I was first in line. I timidly walked up to the table and handed the guy wearing the “CBU Crazies” shirt my ID. He asked if I was a commuter, which I confidently replied “yes”. He scanned my ID and handed it back to me. The girl next to him handed me a paper bag with a Chic-fil-A chicken sandwich, condiments, chips, and a bottle of water inside. “Thank you,” I belted out, with a huge grin on my face as I strolled to class.

This is one of my first memorable impressions from CBU. College can be expensive and time consuming to attend. Since day one, I have been overwhelmed by the way CBU “gives back” to each student. CBU is constantly holding free events and special promotions which are geared at building morale and improving student life.

Last semester one of the students here left their iPhone in the restroom, not once, but twice. Some honest students found the phone and turned it in to lost and found twice. This is the type of environment and people I have grown to love while attending CBU. I enjoy walking to and from classes because there is always a smiling face walking by with a perfect greeting. I look forward to the “good mornings, hellos, and “how are you’s” that I receive throughout the day. Good manners, and friendliness are contagious here at CBU, and that is all right with me.

Also, what better way to start a class than with prayer? Many of my instructors lead the class in prayer before classes begin. This is always a plus in my book–I can always use a little help

Take Heed

Midterms are already upon us! That could mean a number of things: spring break is soon to follow, now’s the time to redeem yourself, or summer is that much closer.

There are a few things to keep in mind when preparing for midterms. The first thing is that most professors let us know ahead of time what will be on the exam. Professors tend to take pieces from every chapter or section covered so far and compile it into one test. You may have already noticed that when your professor emphasizes something in class, it probably will be on an exam.

Next, get plenty of sleep! I know that it’s customary to stay up late studying the night before an exam, but this is bad, people! It doesn’t make sense to know the information but not be able to stay awake during the exam. (Trust me, I know these things.) Also, drinking coffee to stay up studying the night before will cause you to crash like the stock market. It’s not worth it. Relax and take a load off. Don’t stress yourself out during midterms. Have you ever heard the phrase “pressure bursts pipes?” No one needs to have a nervous break down over midterms. If you go to class, take good notes, and pay attention, you should be fine. Study your notes periodically leading up to the exam so that the information will be fresh on your mind.

Last but not least, take time out to talk with God. Put your trust in the Lord, continue to study, and you’ll be fine. Don’t ask for miracles because you haven’t studied, and don’t wait until the last minute. This process is called cramming, which can lead to failing, which could lead to a string of unfortunate events.

Happy testing…

The Straight and Narrow

Busy, busy, busy. The semester seems to be really flying by right about now. Midterms are quickly approaching, not to mention spring break

With that being said, professors are not messing around. Many are pushing out work assignments as fast as they can think of them. It can be a challenge just to keep up with all the papers and other assignments due. I often find myself going to bed late and rising early to meet deadlines; having a part-time job and other extracurricular activities does not help the situation.

I try to set short term goals in order to motivate me. For example, NBA All Star weekend will be here soon—and that’s only a few weeks from spring break. That’s one hump I have to get over.

If I can just make it to that point in one piece, I’m golden.

To prepare myself for the strenuous days ahead I keep some simple rules in mind: plenty of rest (where possible), exercise, and stay focused. During the semester I get very little sleep at night. To counter this, I take a short nap whenever I can. Also, I try to eat healthy every day to give me the energy I need to drive on. When I have time, which seems to be early in the morning or between classes, I work out. This keeps me in shape and ready to tackle the many tasks ahead from day to day. Finally, I stay focused. I never lose sight of my goals. I am here for a reason. The more I prepare for life and its many challenges, the more adept I will be to overcome.

All in all, I try to always remember California Baptist University’s motto, “Live your purpose.” Failure is not an option for me, and it should not be for you. Always remember that God put each and every one of us here for a reason.

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