As Thanksgiving Break is fast approaching (yay!), it got me thinking about all of the things I’m thankful for during this stressful time of the semester.
1. Getting lots of sleep- it’s rare at this time of the semester, but getting in a full eight hours still feels wonderful!
2. Fall leaves
3. Classes that challenge and professors that inspire!
4. My debate family - I can’t imagine a semester without the thrill of stressful tournaments and the joy of being together!
5. Learning lessons- I mess up every day, but my God is faithful and forgiving!
6. Fuzzy socks and tall boots when it’s cold and rainy
7. Pumpkin EVERYTHING- I know I’ll get sick of it eventually, but right now, everything smells wonderful!
8. Technology that connects me to the ones I love at home!
9. A warm cup of coffee to go with a long night of studying!
10. My home away from home- campus is gorgeous this time of year, and I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else!
As the semester winds down, I hope you all have some wonderful joys like these to be thankful for, especially the greatest Joy of all - our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
I had the first calm weekend I’ve had practically since school started! I didn’t have a debate tournament and I didn’t have any big assignments due, so I planned on spending the whole weekend just having fun.
After three weeks in a row of long debate tournaments, midterms, and stressful all-nighters, I was thrilled to get a weekend off!
It started on Thursday night, when a bunch of friends and I went to the last College Night of Scaremare! I do not enjoy scary things, to say the least, and I was apprehensive about the whole thing. We had barely gotten in line before clowns with chainsaws were following us, and it was made pretty clear that I was the one to target. (They pick out the scared ones!) The worst part was when my lovely friends decided to tell the “Scarers” my name! It’s bad enough when they’re following you through the line; it’s even worse when they’re screaming your name! I finally overcame my fear, (primarily by hiding in between my tallest friends and running as fast as I could through the house.) Despite the rocky start, Scaremare was a blast!
On Saturday morning, the debate team headed to Sandusky Elementary School to do some Christian Service- we set up games, did nail painting and hair dye, and made popcorn and snow cones for the school’s Fall Festival. We got to spend the day working with adorable kids and hanging out with other Liberty teams that had also volunteered for the festival. It was absolutely freezing in Lynchburg that weekend, and after four hours of scooping snow cones, my hands were frozen solid, but had a great time!
After the festival, I got some much-needed rest - homework, hanging out with friends, and SLEEPING. It may have been a somewhat uneventful weekend, but it was perfect for recuperating from the past few weeks!
Last week, my residence hall had our “Worship Hall Meeting.” Instead of our usual Tuesday Hall Meeting, when RAs give weekly announcements about life on campus and upcoming Student Activities, this week we all went over to the R.C. Worley Prayer Chapel to have a deeper time of fellowship together. We had our regular announcements, but we followed them up with a time of worship, a time of prayer, and a time of testimony. My hectic debate and school schedule has left me very little time this year to get to know the girls on my hall, but this night changed that. Before hall meeting even started, my prayer group went out to ice cream to celebrate Natalie’s birthday, and a few of us stayed together for hall meeting, as well. I have been so blessed to start getting to know these girls, and this hall meeting made me appreciate the community we have even more.
A few weeks ago, we took some pictures in downtown Lynchburg to decorate one of the walls in our hall, and since then I’ve come to an even greater appreciation of these people the Lord has put in my life. I don’t think I thank God often enough that I go to a school where little communities like this exist, and where things like prayer groups are put in place to allow us to grow spiritually together.
Another great example of this was our Worship Hall Meeting. It was really a beautiful example of how God brings together the right people at the right time to glorify Him and fulfill His purposes. None of us could have known going into that night what healing and fellowship it would bring to people on our hall that needed it the most. People shared their testimonies, what struggles they were going through, and we all were reminded that we weren’t alone.
Even now as I think back to that night, I thank the Lord that He lead me to a school that fosters this kind of fellowship and that He is constantly showing Himself in these communities in miraculous ways.
This week got a chance to hang out with a few of my newer friends on campus: some of the freshmen on the debate team. As we talked about things we wish we would have known before coming to Liberty, we kept coming back to one topic: decorating our rooms. If you make the (totally wonderfully awesome) choice to live on campus at Liberty, you’ll get a lot of benefits: a residence hall full of people who love you, fun activities to get involved in, and the underrated proximity to your 7:40 class. But the one element that you might want to change: the appearance of your new little home. Too many people underestimate how much good it can do to liven up the space you’ll be studying in, sleeping in, and laughing in for an entire year. And I have one word for you: color.
That’s how I approached my first room at Liberty. It was colorful and it was loud, and I loved it. Lucky for me, I had two roommates that trusted me enough (I think) to let me start decorating before they arrived. Trust me, I know that when you first open the door to that little room, it can feel….grey. But that’s just because it hasn’t been given life yet! And by life, I mean color.
When I made the final decision to attend Liberty, I started my decorating process. It sounds tedious, or maybe a little bit silly. But when you are going to live in a small space with one or two other people for an entire semester, you want it to be a place you actually like looking at! And while one of my roommates my freshman year had more of a penchant for monotone color schemes, she quickly saw the light: when you have a smaller, white room to work with, color does the trick!
We did a few things that made our space the best it could be:
- Artwork: it doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy. My wonderful mom made us some canvases with Bible verses that brightened up the room and offered inspiration during difficult studying hours.
- Curtains: This is probably the most underrated part of a room: it makes the whole place look more put-together, and if you use a fun print like we did, it can add some interest to the wall.
- Closet curtains: In Liberty’s residence halls on main campus, the rooms have open closets, which is great for storage and making the use of your space. But to hide the occasional mess, use a tension rod and simple curtains.
- Garlands: We used non-electric strings, like mini paper lanterns, to add color and interest.
- Command hooks: I cannot emphasize enough: YOU WILL NEED THESE. They seriously make life so much easier- with three people in one room, you are going to need space to hang towels, bags, or whatever else you need extra room for.
- Comfy chairs: If you can configure your room to allow it, we had a great time with a couple comfy butterfly chairs. They let you entertain more people in your room, and give the people with bunked beds a more comfortable place to study.
- Rug: This one is also severely underrated. Waking up to a cold floor in the morning is no fun, and rugs make your room brighter and more comfy.
- Pictures: Put them everywhere! Having some organization is good, but just having pictures of your friends and family will brighten your day and your room!
- Door sign: It’s definitely not a necessity, but everyone on the residence halls like having the best decoration on their door to invite people in. This one is both cute and functional: it has space for notes to be pinned on the board.
Whatever you do with your space, make sure it’s both functional to your lifestyle and interesting enough to make studying a little more fun.
Have fun making your little space at Liberty the best it can be!
Fall Break is almost here! I am going to a debate tournament this weekend instead of going home, but I think everyone on campus can agree it’s time for a break! So while I’m extremely jealous of everyone spending their weekend at home, I did get a little break this last weekend with a Girls Night! In between the tournaments of our crazy debate schedule, a group of girls on the Debate Team decided to take the night off and have some fun. We started the night off by having a little photo shoot around campus, and I couldn’t help but share some of our favorite results!
After the photo shoot, we headed over to Vinny’s for dinner. After some conversation and too many breadsticks, we went to Meagan’s apartment for some real Girls Night activities: watching What A Girl Wants and baking!
As we near the middle of the semester, a lot of us had homework piling up, those of us on the debate team also had tournaments to prepare for and arguments to research. But taking some time to relax and have fun with the people that make this whole journey worthwhile was so fun and important to maintaining our sanity!