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Can I Ask You a Question?

November 16, 2018

Can I Ask You a Question?

I met two girls in LING 301 during my first semester of college, and after a couple of class periods the three of us decided to grab coffee one afternoon. We set a date; I was nervous. Coffee at Starbucks at 2:30… safe enough, right? I got there early, picked a perfect table, and let the butterflies in my stomach practice their acrobatic routines while I pretended to read a book. Totally nonchalant, and totally hiding my nerves.

Will the conversation flow?

What do I do if there’s silence?

How funny should I try to be?

What if we run out of topics?

Surely meeting new friends for coffee shouldn’t be this terrifying, yet there I sat, wondering if my classmates would still like me after this hangout and count me as their friend. Am I the only one who wonders how a conversation will go?

I think we’d all agree that the best conversations are when both participants are equally involved in asking questions and sharing thoughts. No one likes to be interrogated, and no one wants to be the one creating all the questions either.  Whether it’s a new friend, a first date, or a coworker, we all want to be liked and understood, so here’s two ways to conquer your next conversation!

1. Invite & Inspire.

                I’ve done a little research on how to have good conversations (nerdy, I know, but hey- I gotta keep you guys informed somehow), and my favorite article from David Wendler breaks down good conversations into two parts: inviting & inspiring. Everything we say should either invite the other person to speak or inspire him or her to want to share. The best conversations are a mix of quality questions and thoughtful responses that encourage further dialogue. If you focus your participation in a conversation around these two ideas, you’ll find it easy to keep the talking going!

2. Good Questions Matter.

                My buddy Voltaire puts it best when he says to “judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.” To me, the secret to a good conversation lies in the questions you choose to ask. Whenever I meet with girls from my Life Group, I always think of 2-3 questions to ask ahead of time. I try to remember what they last told me about their jobs, their classes, and their friends. I plan to follow up on prayer requests and big exams, and I make sure to intentionally inquire about their relationship with God. The best questions are specific, open-ended, and genuine. After all, who wants to share when no one is there to listen? If you ask a question, make sure you’re ready to listen to the response as well.

How do you approach conversations? Does talking to people make you nervous, or do you thrive in new discussions? Either way, I think we can always improve our intentionality in our conversations. Let’s use our words to show that we care today!

((First pic is from Fall 2016; second pic is from Fall 2018!))

Abby with Angie and Megan in 2016Abby with Megan and Angie in 2018

Finding Friends in College

November 12, 2018

Finding Friends in College: 3 Ways to Meet New People

I have some of the greatest friends in the whole wide world, but can I be honest with you today? The weekend before I moved into my freshman dorm at Liberty I was incredibly nervous about making new friends. My stomach churned, and my thoughts ran around frantically like a hamster scrambling to keep up on its spinning wheel. Have you ever wondered about any of these questions before?

Will I enjoy living with a roommate?

Will I miss my family?

Will I be successful in college?

Will dorm life be fun?

Will I have friends to eat meals with, or will I have to eat alone?

Congratulations- you’re officially normal. If you weren’t nervous about college I’d be wondering if you were really invested in your college experience, haha. College is intimidating! Harder classes, independent living, and a new city are all crazy things to navigate, and you’re having to get used to all three at once. Because good friends are an important part of your college experience, here are three ways to help you make friends in college!

1. OPEN your dorm room door.

No joke, a bright blue door stop was the first item I purchased for my dorm room. Whenever I wanted to meet new people, I’d prop my dorm room door open and work on homework or read a book while I waved to the girls passing by. Usually the girls would stop for a minute, and we’d catch up on life before they went on to their rooms. Sometimes girls would even bring their homework and join me in my room or in the hallway. I made many friends just by opening my door!

2. ASK good questions.

Asking questions is the best-kept secret of building friendships. The next time you meet a girl or guy from your hall for a meal, ask them about their family, their high school experience, and their degree choice. Ask about their hobbies, their interests, and their spiritual walk. By asking good questions (and actually listening to the response), you’ll find yourself building meaningful friendships with your hallmates and classmates alike!

3. JOIN a club.

Liberty has soooo many fun clubs and chapters of various organizations to join. To see a full list of clubs at LU, visit the SGA website here. One of my roommates has been involved in the Pre-OT club for several years, and she has loved meeting other Pre-OT students, networking with professionals, and connecting with classmates outside of the classroom through her involvement in the club. Finding people with similar interests is a fantastic way to make new friends here on campus!

 

Abby and several friends

Is Busy Your Best?

November 2, 2018

Is Busy Your Best? 3 Ways to Slow Down Your Life

You know that satisfied (but slightly panicked) feeling you get when you’re wading through the pile of relatives in your grandmother’s kitchen on Thanksgiving Day and your heaping paper plate of turkey and trimmings starts bending in the middle because it’s a little too full and you begin to wonder if maybe you should’ve put your salad and roll on a separate dish?

Me too. ((Pro tip- double up your plates and your stuffing won’t seep through)).

Sometimes my life as a college student feels a lot like that plate- everything I’ve got going on is piled to the brim and I can barely make it through to the weekend. I’ve got a hefty helping of upper-level classes and work shifts, a tasty side of church and small group, a dash of volunteering here and there, a sprinkle of social events and Saturday afternoon adventures, and I continually find myself rolling from one thing to the next, wondering if I’m really able to enjoy any of it because I feel so stuffed by the end of each semester.

Busyness- it keeps life full and exciting, but sometimes it’s a little overwhelming. Can you relate?

As I head down the final stretch of my first semester of junior year ((gulp!)), I’m beginning to realize that being super-duper busy may not be my best, and that’s okay. Here are three ways I’ve lightened my load this semester to slow down my busyness! ((also PRAISE HANDS because it’s finally November and that means Thanksgiving and then Christmas!!!))

1. One Night Home is a MUST.

I love getting together with my friends during dinnertime, but since I’ve moved off campus I’ve discovered that I also love coming home to my apartment in the evenings. When I schedule get-togethers, I now leave at least one weeknight completely empty so that I can have a chill night to catch up on homework, listen to a podcast, or get some extra sleep! Also, some nights I’ll invite friends to my place for dinner, because who wants to pay for restaurant food anyway?

2. Airplane Mode is my BEST FRIEND.

When it’s time to get ready for bed, I set my phone on airplane mode. After all, who do I reallllly need to talk to when I’m trying to go to sleep?? ((For all of you rebels who say your phone is your alarm, newsflash- it still works in airplane mode!! Lifesaver.)) I usually turn it off at least 30 minutes before I actually shut my eyes. I also read a chapter of a book every night before I sleep, and it’s such a nice routine! 10/10 recommend.

3. Social Calendars aren’t lame, I PROMISE.

I use the Sticky Notes app on my computer to keep track of my plans. Because I’m a life group leader at my church, I try to get together with my girls several times a semester, so writing down my various coffee dates keeps me on track every week! I usually plan things out by the week instead of the month, but I’m considering moving to a two-week plan soon ((I’ll let you know how that goes!)). Of course, if I need to schedule an emergency meeting, I’ll move things around in a heartbeat, but having a scheduled plan has been such a lifesaver. Now I always know when I’m free!

Believe me, I know college is busy, but if your busy is leaving you overwhelmed and drained, it isn’t your best. Hopefully, these three tips will help you in your journey as a student, and remember, don’t be afraid to tell someone no if you simply can’t swing it!

See ya around campus soon,

Abby

Speed Round with For King & Country!

October 24, 2018

For King & Country with Abby, Bailey, and Ellie

for King & Country visited Liberty University for Convocation during their album release tour, and the student bloggers got to meet them! Check out Joel and Luke's responses to our rapid-fire questions and hear how they feel about being back on campus!

Social Media:

Liberty University's IG: @libertyuniversity

for King & Country's IG: @forkingandcountry

Abby's IG: @abigailbrewer_

Ellie's IG: @ellie__bellie

Bailey's IG: @bailey.rapp

Samaritan's Purse Field Hospital

October 12, 2018

Samaritan's Purse Field Hospital

Global Focus Week draws 50+ global organizations to Liberty’s campus to recruit students for overseas mission trips, internships, and job opportunities. This year, Samaritan’s Purse set up a field hospital for our students to tour! As I walked through the hospital, I learned a lot about the services Samaritan’s Purse offers to people experiencing trauma crises.

1. Triage Unit

The hospital is divided into four sections, with the first tent being the triage unit! The mock hospital here on campus had four tents, but a field hospital deployed to Mosul had eighteen. When a patient enters triage, a nurse assigns him or her a colored band, and each of the four colors signify different needs. If a patient has a green or yellow band, that means that he or she can either wait several hours before receiving care (green) or is sick with some type of illness (yellow). Most patients visiting the field hospital receive red bands, which means they have a severe injury that requires immediate care, whereas black bands signify that the patient isn’t likely to survive regardless of the care they receive. In Mosul, most patients had red bands because they had been injured in a bomb blast or had received gunshot wounds.

Triage Unit with Colored Bands

2. Emergency Room

The second tent functions as the Emergency Room (ER). The nurse stationed in this tent also served in Mosul field hospital, and she said that the hospital served thousands of patients while it was deployed. In Mosul, most of the patients were either women or children. When we looked around the room, we noticed that there were not many supplies in the tent, even though the nurse told us that everything in the tent was an exact replica of an actual field hospital. She said that supplies were hard to transport into the various countries, so it was easier to take as little as possible. Because of the supply shortage, she and the other nurses would often have to use their creativity to craft what they needed to help give their patients the best care possible.

Emergency Room bed and supplies

3. Intensive Care Unit

The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) contains only four beds in its tent. Because ICU patients require so much extensive care, the hospital can only afford to adequately care for four patients at a time. Two nurses are stationed in this tent on day shift and on night shift. Most shifts are twelve hours long unless the field hospital calls an “all-call” in the event of a sudden influx of patients.

ICU Monitor and Gurney

4. Operating Room

The final tent in the field hospital is the Operating Room (OR). In this tent, surgeons operate on patients needing amputations, bullet removals, and more. Generally, surgeries lasted anywhere from one to six hours, and anesthesiologists used equipment just like they would use here in the States. In an adjoining room, other workers sterilized instruments in between procedures. Even though the field hospitals are only deployed temporarily, doctors and nurses work together to keep everything as close as they can to a typical hospital setting.

Operating Room table and utensils with volunteer speaking about the room

Touring the field hospital was such a humbling experience for me. As a kid who has been in and out of a hospital before, I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to receive a traumatic injury and go to a field hospital outside of my war-torn city. I am so thankful for the work of Samaritan’s Purse as they minister to people in Jesus’ Name!

To learn more about the work of Samaritan’s Purse and how you can get involved, click here!

Abby Brewer

Communications


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