Liberty is always very willing to host different organizations when they need a place to hold an event. One of those incredible events is the Relay for Life, which is held all over the United States by the American Cancer Society. The Relay goes from 5:00 p.m to 5:00 a.m and one person from your team has to be on the track at all times. I had never heard of it until I came to Liberty and decided to sign up at the last minute to support my friend Josh. This event was so amazing and I am going to share with you “Why I Relay”!
Cancer is something horrible that has affected the lives of so many people. Some have battled with it themselves, seen a family member or even close friend struggle with it. Some have won the cancer battle and others haven’t. For me personally, I lost one of my grandmothers to Pancreatic Cancer on January 19th 2011. My other grandmother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer 15 years ago and was declared cancer-free 5 years later after having a mastectomy, 4 treatments of Chemo and 5 years of taking Tamoxifen and Arimidex.
My friend Josh Isaacson was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, which was a tumor behind his right eye when he was 6 years old. The doctors told his parents that he had a 20-40% chance of surviving and if he did, due to the radiation to the head, he would be at best a C student in school. He went through 6 weeks of radiation to the head and 10 months of chemotherapy. After those treatments, Josh was declared cancer free on February 28th 1999. He is also a straight A student studying Computer Engineering and if you ask any of his friends, you know that they all ask HIM for help with Math! Josh has been really involved with the Relay for Life and this year he personally raised $430. Josh has such an incredible heart and knows that the Lord healed him, which he shares very openly! If you ever get the opportunity to be a part of the Relay for Life event, I would highly recommend it!
As the semester comes near to an end here at Liberty, I find myself having a tough time fighting senioritis even though I’m only a sophomore! At the end of every semester it’s really hard to stay focused and keep the end in sight when you are so tired and worn out. So I thought I would give some “Big Sister” advice to all the High School students out there who have lost motivation and are just so desperate to leave and start a new chapter. So here are my top 5 pieces of advice for you as the semester is ending.
- Keep your GPA up- As we can see the end of the semester in sight, it is so easy to just “get by” with our grades. A lot of people say that second semester of senior year isn’t that important because by that point you’ve already gotten college acceptance letters. The one thing they don’t keep in mind is that your GPA still is affected by your grades. Even if you’ve already been accepted into a University you want to maintain a good GPA to put on a resume! And a high GPA equals more scholarships!
- Enjoy every moment at home with your family- I remember when I came to Liberty, I was pretty excited to be on my own away from my family, as any 18 year old would be. However, when I got here, I realized a lot of things that I missed from home. I wasn’t homesick but there are just things that you will miss about having your family around you all the time. I do think that my relationship with my parents was strengthened when I moved out because I grew up a lot and was able to have more adult conversations with them! The times that we do talk on the phone are very important and are not spent arguing (usually!)
- Get off your computer and spend time with friends- I know that this may sound like strange advice from someone who blogs a lot and loves social media, but hear me out! I remember being in high school and spending excessive amounts of time on Facebook and Twitter. I wasn’t spending enough actual quality time with my friends before we all went our separate ways. When you go off to college, Facebook will be a great tool to stay in contact but when your friends are 5 minutes away from you, GO hangout with them! During your first semester of college having those distant friendships will be essential while you are still figuring out your group of friends where you’re at.
- Take as many CLEP tests/AP tests as possible- When I was a senior a lot of my friends who had graduated kept telling me to take as many CLEP tests as possible. In my head I was thinking I don’t want to pay $70 to take a test and I don’t want to take another test! When I came to college, I then realized that to take a 3 credit hour class costst approximately $1500. I took one CLEP test for English and got 3 credits for it and I am so glad that I did that to save a lot of money.
- Start connecting with you Future University and Classmates- When I came to Liberty I really didn’t know that much about it and I wish I would have been more educated about it. It is a really good idea to begin this process the summer before you arrive at a University. One way you can do this is to search the University’s website and see what kinds of activities they offer or clubs to become a part of when you get there. One way to get connected with Liberty specifically is to like Liberty University’s Facebook page and your class page (Class of 2016).
During Christmas time I blogged about an event called Christmas Coffeehouse which is basically a talent show in front of the entire school. Every Spring we have a very similar event except there is a theme to the event. This year the theme was 80’s Coffeehouse! Now even though I was a 90’s baby, my mom played 80’s music around the house constantly when I was growing up (and even still does to this day!). I could often be found trying to learn a Michael Jackson move or belting Whitney Houston, all to my family’s dismay! I definitely appreciate the 80’s and their love for bright neon colors!
Spring Coffeehouse this year was really great because we got a good well rounded mix of talent. There were bands with incredible musical ability, creative videos and great dance crews. I hate picking favorites for these events, however, I really enjoyed the Michael Jackson dance troop and the Whitney Houston tribute performed by Ray Jones and his band called The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I also really enjoyed the different videos in between acts that Liberty students compiled. Overall, this was a very successful Coffeehouse and I was entertained from start to finish!
For those of you who live in North Carolina or have ever been to North Carolina, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of the restaurant Cook-Out. Just this past weekend Lynchburg got it’s first Cook-out and its been packed all hours of the day since opening. I am a huge Cook-out fan and whenever I go back to Greensboro for the weekend, a trip to cook-out is a must! Now I can go whenever I want, and I’ve already been for the past three days straight! Cook-out is famous specifically for their milkshakes and everytime I go I get an Oreo-Mint milkshake!
Everyone has been really excited anticipating the arrival of Cook-out and Chipotle (a restaurant opening sometime in the near future). Something I’ve noticed about Liberty students is that we really do love food! Hopefully Cook-out will soon start taking Flames Cash so that we all don’t go broke! On Wednesday night Caitlin (one of the other student bloggers) and I went for a late night snack/dinner for her to experience Cook-out for the first time and she LOVED it! It was still packed at 9:00pm and when we left it didn’t look like it was slowing down anytime soon!
Last year during spring break I didn’t go anywhere special or far away but this year I decided to go somewhere tropical! Over Christmas break my friend Kasey and I were looking into places to go that were warm and eventually we decided to go to Key West, Fl and stay with her cousin! Spring Break comes right in the middle of the semester and when I left this year, I was in great need to just get away and relax! I didn’t exactly get a huge week of relaxation because we were constantly busy seeing things in the Keys!
We spent lots of time on the beach, in the pool, and eating incredible food! We met so many awesome people there and I just loved experiencing a new place! We were walking on a dock one day and got to see a manatee. One evening we got to go out on a sailboat for a sunset cruise and it was definitely one of the highlights of the trip. One big tourist attraction we got to see was the southernmost point on continental USA. On my way back to Liberty I flew to Jacksonville, FL for 2 days to see my uncle's family and my mom visiting from Sweden! It was so great being with family and hang out with my young cousins.
Spring break was great but now we have come back to the reality of school. This week I started two new online classes and looks like things are about to get really busy but I know with God’s strength I will finish this semester strong. I’m sure there’s a lot of high school seniors out there that are feeling the effects of “senioritis” and it’s hard to put a lot of effort into your work. Remember to give it your best the last few months, you won’t regret it!