February 18, 2019
The headphones slipped over my head like a glove; I palmed the iPhone in my hand and followed the chalk arrows to the entrance of the exhibit labeled “Jey.” I waited, standing next to a volunteer starting her shift by walking through the story too. When given my cue, I stepped through the makeshift door, immediately transported to the slums of Kenya contained within a semi-truck trailer. A child’s voice echoed through my headphones, telling Jey’s story of his rough upbringing, his mom’s moonshine business, and his stint in prison. I walked through five rooms, each with a different audio narrative continuing his story. Halfway through I found myself gazing around a classroom with brightly colored walls. Crayon-scrawled pictures littered the desks and workbooks lay open to pie charts and Bible verses. I could literally feel hope ricocheting off the walls. Jey’s Compassion school.
At the end of the trailer tour I stepped into a second tent. Child sponsorship folders hung by clothespins and twine created a prayer wall, beckoning students to pray and consider providing for one of the children in the same way that Jey’s sponsor provided for him. I left the Compassion Experience deeply touched, and I found myself back at the front door again, asking to walk through the second story. Donning a new pair of headphones and palming yet another device, I approached a second door marked “Yannely.” Five new rooms and a different story, but the same message shone crystal-clear. These impoverished kids crave hope. They have incredible potential; they just need a chance. I – yes me, a college student with a part-time job – could give a child that chance. What holds me back? What holds you back?
Global Focus Week is one of my favorite events every semester. The Parade of Nations gives me chill bumps, and I love hearing from all of the mission organizations visiting campus. It’s easy to spend the semester with my nose in my textbooks and my eyes on the upcoming weekend with friends, but there’s so much more to life than a presentation and a Saturday road trip. Every semester I finish Global Focus Week refreshed and challenged to view the world around me (both here in Lynchburg and the globe) through Jesus’ eyes. What would He have me do with my time here on earth? What would He have you do?
See ya around campus soon,
February 18, 2019
Every college student wonders what he or she will do during the summer. Some travel and some sleep, but most students get that infamous summer job you hear about as a kid (Don't worry, I promise there are fun summer jobs out there!). If you don't know where you want to work, take my quiz to discover your perfect summer job!
February 8, 2019
Have you ever had one of those nights where words just can’t seem to paint a vivid enough picture of just how amazing the night was? Last night was one of those moments for me.
1000 college students flooded the sanctuary of my church to raise awareness for the End It Movement, a social good campaign designed to combat modern-day slavery. Around the world, commoners and celebrities alike drew a red X on their hands yesterday, signifying that human trafficking must end. Ascent, TRBC’s college ministry, hosted a prayer and praise service last night and invited students to gather together to worship God and beg Him to end the evil of slavery in our world.
The band and prayer team squeezed in a back room to pray before the service began, and the Holy Spirit started moving before we even made it to the stage. Everything that happened during the service was an overflow from our private prayer time, and I couldn’t help but marvel at the overwhelming joy we all felt. Yes, slavery is awful, and yes, it often feels like darkness threatens to overtake our world. HOWEVER, because Christ has already conquered death, we know that darkness will NEVER overcome the Light. Not now. Not ever. That’s good news, friends.
Since my words can’t do this night justice, I’ve attached my favorite photos from the service. If you’re interested in serving with local human trafficking organizations in Lynchburg, please visit the websites of Freedom 4/24 and the Remade Campaign, or check out the Instagram of the LU Freedom 4/24 club!
January 25, 2019
I’ve done it all: 6:30 a.m. opening shifts, working lunches at the office, late days at the preschool, and weekends with the high school marching band. I’ve donned aprons, dresses, slacks, and shorts throughout my three years of various college jobs, and I’d recommend the sacrifice to anybody and everybody.
I love working a job during college; I enjoy checking off to-do lists, handling responsibilities, talking to people, and getting my own paycheck. In high school I treated extracurriculars as my workplace; I played drums in the drumline, served as an officer of the SGA, and participated in NHS. In college, however, I got my first “real” job.
For two years I worked at a local preschool as an afternoon teacher, supervising my class and assisting in the front office. I spent one fall working with my high school marching band, attending rehearsals and traveling with them to compete on the weekends. For a while I even worked as a barista, serving coffee in between classes and chatting with professors and students who stopped by for a steaming cup of caffeine. During this past year, I’ve worked on Liberty’s social media team doing what I do now, blogging and vlogging about my experiences here as a student.
Working a job during college has taught me to be responsible, to manage my time well, and to own my finances. I’ve made life-long friendships through my jobs, and I’ve picked up skills and habits that’ll help me in my future. If you’re interested in working while attending Liberty University, check out these resources!
1. Student Jobs on Campus
If you’d like to work on campus, find available jobs through LU’s HR page. There are TONS of options, and you might even find one in your field of study! LU also has several student positions that don’t require you to be part of the work-study program; use the search engine to narrow your search to the meet the criteria that fit you. PRO TIP: After you submit an application through the HR Portal, send an email to the contact person on the job listing. It never hurts to reach out and say hello!
Liberty’s dining service is always hiring students, and they are super flexible with your schedule! Dining locations are scattered all throughout campus, and Sodexo has a catering team as well. Visit Liberty dining's employment website to find the right opportunity for you.
3. Career Center
The Career Center is specifically designed to help students find jobs both during and after college, so set up an appointment (it’s free)! LU’s Career Counselors can assist you in choosing a degree, finding internships, and exploring employment opportunities. They also can review resumes and share interview tips too! Visit the Career Center Website for more information.
January 25, 2019
Have you ever thought about how you communicate? When you say hello, do you wave, offer a fist bump, stretch out your hand for a handshake, or go straight for the bear hug? Do you have a catch phrase that everyone expects to hear when you get excited? What is your go-to behavior when you enter an unfamiliar situation? Do you dive in and demonstrate dominance, or do you wait to see how everyone else acts?
I may be a COMS major, but sometimes I really stink at communicating (don’t we all?). My friends say that I’m the queen of indirect communication; I’ll infer all kinds of details just based on someone’s nonverbals and body language. I hate risking confrontation, so I will ALWAYS wait to see what the other person does and then adjust my response accordingly. Usually my hunches are correct, but sometimes I’m wayyyy off.
I’ve been challenged to practice intentional, direct communication throughout these past few months, and after trying (and failing and trying again), I’ve discovered that the following three questions best help me to understand the expectations of others, and they also help me set clear expectations too!
1. What is expected of me?
Believe it or not, people are really pleased when you ask this question genuinely. It allows your professor, your boss, your roommate, etc. the chance to clearly outline what they are looking for you to do (and not to do!). If there are things you don’t agree on, it’s also a chance to strike a compromise when needed. If you initiate this conversation, it opens the door for the other person to reciprocate and ask you what you expect of him or her. This question builds healthy relationships and boundaries with the people around you!
2. Am I fulfilling my role?
If you ask this question, you’ll demonstrate a drive for success and reveal your willingness to work hard. If you’re trying to put your best foot forward in your group project or take responsibility for your share of the quad chores, ask your classmates and roommates if you’re fulfilling your role! Chances are you’ll receive positive feedback in return. However, be prepared to implement any ways they suggest you could improve! Knowledge without application is useless.
3. How can I best help you?
Kindness and intentional listening go a looooong way when having conversations. Sometimes your friend doesn’t really want or need your advice; he or she is just looking for a listener. Take the time to ask how you can help. Maybe he or she will ask for prayer, advice, or even a hug. Asking how you can help creates an opportunity for the other individual to think through what he or she really needs in that moment, and they’ll appreciate that kindness from you!