What an amazing ride these last two semesters have been. Exploring Greece with LU Send, finding hidden places to study, vlogging, and creating videos for Liberty Social Media. Also, as of this week, I will be graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science in Cinematic Arts. Wow… I can’t believe I’m finally done. Am I excited to graduate? Yes! However, I (as with most grads) am nervous about what the future holds. See, I’m very comfortable here in Lynchburg. I have friends to hang out with, I know where the best coffee shop is, the best place to run or bike, and I’m finally settled into my cozy apartment. But that’s just the thing… it’s too comfortable. Have you ever sat on a couch that completely envelops you with its plush cushions? You sit down and never want to get up… it’s basically a black hole. That is college. College is that dangerous couch. The longer you sit in that couch the more you don’t ever want to leave. Now college is not a bad thing by any means, in fact I credit my success (so far) in filmmaking to my education. But what is a bad thing is to never apply the information you learned in college because you’ve fallen into the trap of being comfortable or are afraid of failure. College is the place to learn and grow academically, spiritually, and emotionally. You get grades in class for a reason… grades tell you what you did wrong, what you failed in, and how you can improve. Unless you get a perfect score… you failed an assignment by a certain percentage. However, failures are not bad. They tell you how to improve. Without failures you won’t learn. College is the only place where it is acceptable to fail. In life after college, failures ostensibly could cost you your job. That is what makes life after college uncomfortable. Most would agree that being uncomfortable is defined as being outside your comfort zone. Most of us (including me) find it difficult to try things outside our comfort zone. But the thing is, once you graduate you already outside your comfort zone so there is no excuse to try things that are already in that zone; things that make you uncomfortable. Examples include: Moving to a new city, starting a new job, finding a new church, and making new friends. Graduation shoves you outside your comfort zone for a reason… embrace the discomfort and thrive.
So, what am I doing after college? Well, I am moving to Los Angeles to start a full-time internship at Disney’s Yellow Shoes, the advertising department of The Walt Disney Company, to create commercials and social media content for the brand. I am also going to be making new friends, finding a church to get plugged into, and overall starting a new chapter of my life. I have no idea what the next year is going to behold but I can only trust that God has a plan for me just as He had a plan for Luke in Acts 20:22, “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there.”
It’s April. Finals are coming. I’m stressed. You’re stressed. Everyone’s stressed. The library is a ruckus and the bookstore is equally chaotic. Sigh. If only there was a place on campus where one could study in peace or just, unwind… oh wait, there is! Actually, there are a couple places where I like to relax or study uninterrupted by the bustle of campus.
Medical grad students know this place very well but for those who are not in that major, you might have never been there. It is an awesome place to enjoy the amazing views or play a game of basketball on the court!
This beautiful treed paradise in the middle campus with benches and shade is an awesome place to escape from the stress of class.
The Welcome Center
The Welcome Center is not just for visitors! The ground floor of this beautiful building has comfy couches, a plethora of tables, and a spacious patio that overlooks the majestic Blue Ridge mountains.
LU Shepherd Kitchen
This is the most instagramable kitchen on campus. There is also a very homey living space adjacent.
Liberty Mountain Trails
I mountain bike here all the time. Exercise is necessary to keep your mind sharp and memory fresh. Not only are the trails fresh but the views are fine. Here is a photo of me on one of my favorite trails, "Psycho Path."
This Spring Break I traveled to Greece with LU Send to experience the culture and history of the oldest civilization in the world. The people I met, the food I savored, and Greek sights are memories that will never be forgotten. Traveling with 14 other students, we visited historical sites such as the Parthenon and Mars Hill. All the sightseeing aside, our group partnered with Word of Life Ministries to help bring the message of hope to the people of this great country on the streets of Greece. In an interview with Peter Hughes (Word of Life), we discussed the challenges of evangelism in the country of Greece.
Me: How long have you lived in Greece for?
Peter: I’ve been here for three and a half months.
Me: How has your experience been with street evangelism as we are doing today? What about the language barrier?
Peter: Yes, the language barrier makes it difficult. But I was surprised at the number of people who speak English. However, it is mostly the kids and the younger generations that know English because they teach it in schools. The older generations, not so much. So, I’ve been able to talk to many people and share the gospel and generally they are very receptive and open as that is a part of their culture.
Me: How has the Greek Orthodox church impacted your evangelism?
Peter: It has been very hard. There is a lot of ritualism and legalism and the people here believe that Greek Orthodoxy is the “purest form of Christianity.” Preaching the non-denominational gospel, we are familiar with in America is quite hard because once you mention that you are not Greek Orthodox you are labeled a heretic and they walk away. The younger generation is, however, more open. They pick up a Bible, read it, and interpret it on their own without the interpretation of a Greek Orthodox bishop.
The culture in Greece is very unique and it is awesome that LU Send provides students the opportunity to help spread the gospel throughout the nations. Here are some photos from our afternoon spreading the gospel on the streets of Athens.
Late night common area jam sessions? Waking up in the morning? Studying? A good speaker is your friend. And, depending on your taste in music, might also help you make friends! Cue the post-hardstyle jazz-step fusion-core!
2. A fold-out comfy chair
Many times a semester there just won't be anywhere to sit in the common area. But that's alright because you bought a portable chair to sit where you please in comfort and style.
3. A water kettle
Coffee is a must but having no money for Starbucks is a bust. All you need for your entire life is a water kettle, a pour over, and some coffee grounds. It's cheap, brews awesome coffee, and cuts down on plastic waste from k-cups and lids.
4. A mattress topper
Yes, it's true. Sadly, you will probably only get around 5 hours of sleep in college so make those 5 hours count and get yourself a comfy foam mattress topper.
5. A Dunkin Cup
Okay… so making a cup of coffee in the morning takes too much time? Yeah, I get that. That's why there is a Dunkin Donuts at Liberty. "But Alex, that's still $4.00 for a cup of coffee???" Ahh yes, it is, but if you get a refillable Coffee mug from Dunkin you will be able to consume 24oz of that caramel swirl dark roast with cream and sugar for 99¢!
6. A red morph suit
"Wait... what? A red morph suit???" Okay, so you are going to a football game and don't know what to wear to support your favorite football team (that beat Baylor btw). The red morph suit is perfect for any sporting event to show your school spirit and support the flames. It is also a great thing to wear if you are out of clean clothes, have a bad hair day, or simply want to appear on everyone's Instagram story for the next 24 hours.
Longboarding is a very efficient way to travel around the campus and down the long hallways in your dorm. You don't longboard? Well nor did I until I went to college and learned how to on my friend's board. In the end, I found a new hobby that brought a new dynamic into my life. So do yourself a favor, learn how to board. You won't regret it.
One of the newest buildings at Liberty University, the School of Music has programs for all types of musicians, singers, composers, and engineers. The School of Music is one of the most beautiful buildings at Liberty and has a concert hall that rivals all. In this vlog, Alexander Patterson, a film scoring major shows us around and talks a little bit about his major. Click the link below to watch!