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Tauren Wells Deep Dive

September 21, 2023

A talented artist, performer, teacher, and leader, Tauren Wells definitely doesn’t need to fake it to make it. With ten Grammy nominations and many more accomplishments behind him, Wells would still give the glory to God for each one. His music style and presence are even compared to music legends like Bruno Mars, Maroon 5, and Michael Jackson. How did this masterful solo artist get to where he is today?

Wells started his music career way back in 2004 with three friends while they were in college. They called themselves Royal Tailor and became well-known in the Christian contemporary circle, but not until some years later. Their debut album, Black & White, was released in 2011, and their second self-titled album was released two years later. Some of their hits include “Ready Set Go” with Capital Kings, “Remain,” and “Got That Fire,” which I know for me were some of my favorite bangers growing up. The group was a huge success, but God had some new directions for the band members.

In 2015, Wells was the one who initiated the split, but for a different calling God had for his life. As an artist, he was tired and was close to quitting music entirely. Yet, God was faithful to him and guided him to his solo artist career shortly after. The heart of Wells lay rooted in his Savior, his family, his church, and his music, but balancing these things – that was going to take work. I’m sure we can all attest to how hard it is even in college to balance everything. We feel like we’re barely holding on. Nevertheless, God uses that lack of control to lead us somewhere better if we’re willing to listen. Just look at what he’s done in Wells’s life and career!

Wells has a rich ministry in his church and is even planting one in Austin, TX next year with his wife and four young boys. He has such a heart for cultivating a greater love of God in believers and sharing the gospel with the world.

So far in his solo journey he has released three studio albums and one live album, headlined three tours, has consistently stayed on top of Christian charts, and has been nominated for many awards, but most of all, Wells has stayed true to his faith and the journey that God is taking Him on. He has kept on making music that is a blessing to those who hear it and worship to the One who inspired it.

His story should be an encouragement to us in whatever stage of life we’re in. Tauren Wells started his music career as a college kid, not knowing where it would take him. He certainly had moments of indecision, doubt, and fear of the unknown. Yet despite his moments of fear, he was fully known by God, Who would never leave him empty, and is faithful to bring joy in the morning. God will be equally as faithful to any of His children who earnestly seek Him.

No matter what career path you’ve decided on (or are still deciding on), God has already got it figured out. It may come with huge career shifts like Tauren Wells experienced several times. You may not see the results of hard work for a while and go through periods of waiting and wondering, but even when you feel like you want to quit, God’s not done with you! When we pray for God’s direction and guidance, He will see us safely through both the hills and valleys.

You do not want to miss his miraculous show on Friday, September 22nd at 8 p.m. at the Vines Center! Come be a part of the incredible story that God is so famous for writing!


Written by Faith Catanzaro

Faith is a sophomore studying Digital Media & Journalism concentrating in Video Production, and she is also a videographer for Student Activities. She loves watching movies, cooking, blogging on Instagram, graphic design, health, and fitness!

Live Vs. Produced: Which side of music is best?

September 15, 2023

We all know and love the sound of acoustic music. From the nostalgia of remembering how such-and-such Disney character serenaded the female protagonist with just a guitar, an original song, and the picturesque scenery of a lake (Camp Rock anyone?) to Taylor Swift’s famed folklore, acoustic music has captured the hearts of this generation far more than the generations before. And don’t forget how excited people get when they hear that a LIVE version of their favorite worship album will be released… and even better if they can claim that they were a part of the recording! But is acoustic or live music “better” than the studio-produced versions? What really defines “better”? I polled 20 students from Liberty to see what they thought, and though that number is hardly representative of the entire student body, the results surprised me: acoustic and live were preferred over produced but only at 60%.

So why did students pick acoustic and live over produced? A Music Education major, Laura Carey expressed that “there is more attention on the musicians and the piece of music than the added effects” in acoustic and live music. Storm Nickerson, a Music Recording major and staff on Student Activities, brought a fresh perspective to the table: “Live performances remove the masking of editing and postproduction, leaving nothing but the raw talent that the artist is actually capable of bringing to a stage and audience. In a way, I see it as a test of character and professionalism.”

A common thread was woven through the responses of the students who chose live and acoustic recordings – words like raw, emotion, natural, authentic, genuine, and personality. That shouldn’t surprise any of us. After all, isn’t our generation known for craving authenticity? We were the first generation to grow up with the world at our fingertips, but we were also the first generation to wear the mask for the world. When the world shut down, we found ourselves stuck on our own little planets, craving that which is real. In the wake of world change, apps like BeReal came to the forefront, promoting the message that we can in fact share our true selves with the world.

But have you ever thought that there may be a point in time when the real actually becomes fake? When the raw emotion becomes so prioritized over everything else (in the context of music) that artists are forced to fabricate something they do not feel to gain a following? And what then of those artists who practice over twenty hours a week, along with their producers who lose sleep editing all night in the studio? Is their work any less valuable because they have put time into perfecting it? I think sometimes a fine line exists between what is sensational and what is genuine.

Now by no means am I devaluing acoustic music. I personally love acoustic tracks and would listen to a whole playlist of solely acoustic for weeks on end. But I often find myself chasing after the musical “high” instead of consistency and truth. Emotion is good, but it can also be a distraction. Those who chose produced music in the survey explained that they didn’t want to constantly listen to crowd noise or the singer’s comments. They wanted to hear the music. We say that acoustic and live tracks are “stripped,” but maybe the produced ones are the “stripped” versions, rid of all the disruptions and diversions.

A topic like this could be debated around in circles, but at the end of the day, our call as believers is to write and perform music – whether sacred or secular – that ultimately glorifies God. But who’s to say we can’t find enjoyment in the music, too? Which is why I love listening to the music of up-and-coming singer-songwriters. If you can relate, come on out to Student Activities’ Couch Acoustics on September 19th, where you will have the opportunity to hear the talented student artists Chloe Bea, Pierce Lyons, and Kailee Dishmon! This event will be happening in Montview Starbucks at 7:00 p.m.


Written by Moriah Joseph

Moriah is a sophomore dual major, studying Music & Worship and Elementary Education. She loves to spend her time experimenting on the piano, serving at her church, and hanging out with friends and family. But you also won’t hear her complaining about a good book, mountain views, or dark chocolate. She has always loved writing, so she is so happy to be a part of the Student Activities blog team!

Mini Golf Facts That Will Putt a Smile on Your Face

September 8, 2023

Mini Golf Facts That Will Putt a Smile on Your Face!

Hello, mini golf enthusiasts and fellow adventurers of the putting green! Today, we’re diving headfirst into the interesting world of random mini golf facts. Forget the formalities of golf’s grand courses; mini golf is where the real action (and laughter) happens! So, grab your putters, your most outrageous golf attire, and let’s take a hilarious swing at mini golf!

  • Mini Golf and Pop Culture Crossover?

I don’t know about you but I don’t usually associate mini golf and pop culture together. Believe it or not, mini golf has made its mark in movies, TV shows, and video games. Who could forget the iconic mini golf scene in the movie “Happy Gilmore”? The next time you pick up that putter, remember that you’re not just playing a game; you’re part of a world filled with hilarious history and unbreakable records.

  • The Creative Industry of Mini Golf Course Designers

Mini golf courses are the Picasso paintings of the golf world. They’re designed with creativity gone wild! There are courses that resemble jungles, underwater worlds, and even haunted houses. Imagine telling your friends, “I’m going to play golf in a haunted house today,” and they think you’ve lost your marbles.

  • Are You Intrested in Becoming a Golf Ball Lifeguard?

I think we have all had those thoughts about wondering where our golf balls go when we accidentally hit them into the water. Some very golf ball passionate men dive into these waters to retrieve the balls. They are brave enough to save the lives of some of our favorite golf balls! It is truly incredible!

  • A Hole Lot of Love

Golf has become a boys’ getaway, but mini golf has become a romantic date spot. Here are a few reasons mini golf makes an amazing date spot:

  • Casual and Fun Atmosphere: Mini golf provides a relaxed and lighthearted environment, making it easier for couples to interact and get to know each other without the pressure of a formal dinner or movie date.
  • Friendly Competition: The competitive aspect of mini golf can be a fun way for couples to bond. It gives them something to playfully compete over and can break the ice.
  • Affordability: Mini golf is generally an affordable date option, which can be appealing to couples looking to have a good time without breaking the bank.

I am going to leave this fact off with something inspirational… When your ball takes an unexpected turn, just laugh it off and keep going, because love is all about flexibility and adapting to the unexpected, right?

5) Lets Go Play Golf on the Moon!

Mini golf courses are pretty cool, but I think it would be even cooler if we played on the moon. Well, astronaut Alan Shepard had the same idea. During the Apollo 14 mission in 1971, he became the first (and only) person to play golf on the moon! Personally, I feel like that might be one of the most “out of this world” golf stories.

As we conclude our journey, let’s remember that mini golf isn’t just about sinking putts; it’s about embracing the unexpected, unleashing our inner artist on the course, and reveling in the joy of laughter with friends and family.

So, the next time you step onto the mini golf course (hopefully at Neon Mini Golf on September 15th), keep these facts in mind and putt your heart out. After all, mini golf is more than just a game; it’s a hilarious, heartwarming adventure filled with laughter and memories that will last a lifetime. Thanks for joining me for this time of laughter. I will be praying for you and your future putts!


Written by Riley McAllister

Riley is a Senior Strategic Communications major with a concentration in Social Media Management. She loves keeping up with what is trending throughout media, and being able to write about it. Writing has always been a way for Riley to get creatively inspired. She is excited for her Student Activities blog journey!

So many fade, but Taylor Swift is still here

September 1, 2023

“Taylor Swift is…The Music Industry.” No, that is not just the personal opinion of her fans. Journalist icon Barbara Walters was the first person to have made such a statement in her 10 Most Fascinating People of 2014, and Taylor Swift’s success in the decade that followed has done nothing but prove that further. Before you click away because you disagree, don’t like her, or just aren’t a fan, I ask that you stay, stay, stay, and hear me out.

When someone mentions Taylor Swift, typically one of two reactions occurs. The vast majority would range somewhere from mild interest to fanatic exclamations; but there is the secondary response of disgust or complete disinterest. Roughly 7 years ago the mass reaction would have been flipped, especially on the Internet. If you remember the 2016 number one worldwide Twitter trend #TaylorSwiftIsOverParty… those were the dark days. So how did Taylor Swift go from arguably one of the most hated celebrities to the most streamed female artist in Spotify history? The shortest answer is authenticity and raw talent.

Though she has spanned 3 major genres throughout her career, not everyone can get on board with enjoying her music. This is understandable: there isn’t an artist out there that can appeal to every human on earth. Her voice is not for everyone, her production styles, her tour dramatics, her public image is not for everyone. What does seem to be for everyone (who’s actually looked into it) is her songwriting. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t think she was a great lyricist even if they don’t care for her or her music. Music legends like Paul McCartney, Dolly Parton, and Billy Joel have all praised Taylor for her songwriting capabilities. At this point, most of the general public can all agree: she is an incredibly talented writer.

With the fourth Taylor’s Version album coming next month, there is no need to reiterate the full motive behind these re-releases. What nobody could’ve predicted about these is that she would be catapulted into interstellar stardom and success unlike anything many stars’ careers had ever seen. Not only did her die-hard fans care about this passion project, she also began a movement of artists investigating what exactly their labels were stipulating. Artists are aware now more than ever of just what they’re signing up for and how ownership comes into play for their work. This increased scrutiny and accountability of labels would likely never have been initiated without Taylor’s Versions.

In the mid-2010s, she pulled her entire catalog from Spotify to stand against the lack of royalties for streams; this resolution changed the way streaming companies compensated all artists. A true voice for the people! Now, it is easier than ever to publish music to streaming services and social media, making music more consumable than ever. On many platforms, there is an overwhelming amount of Taylor Swift covers, many of which completely strip songs of their original production and create an entirely new sound. There are covers that changed from synth-pop to indie, radio pop to country, alternative to emo punk, and anything in between. This not only shows the universality in her writing but also how many creative people recognize themselves in her. She is influencing mass amounts of people through her music, and that’s a beautiful thing about humanity.

Speaking of invisible strings that tie us all together in the human experience: live music! The Eras Tour is expected to be the highest grossing tour ever, projecting a gross of $2.2 billion (yes, with a B). She is only a third of the way through, and this tour has already caused an earthquake, launched a federal investigation, and saved the U.S. from a recession (source: ME! …but also The Federal Reserve said she definitely boosted the economy). On top of all that, the show itself is a feat of creative and engineering brilliance. There are intense dance numbers, a 200-foot-long stage, LED screens and floor, and sets that seem to appear by magic. Not to mention her nearly 50-song setlist where she is giving 100% energy for three and a half hours straight. Everyone knows the The Eras Tour had hours-long lines for tickets, but recently the AMC app crashed when she announced the tour would be coming to select theaters. She is truly doing something to a level of professionalism and entertainment that few have dared attempt, let alone pulled off successfully.

Sure, the phenomenon that is Taylor Swift’s success could be solely attributed to her many dedicated fans that love her and her discography. But why do they love her so much? In my 17 years of experience with Taylor Swift, I believe it’s because she has always been authentically herself. There’s her stage presence that can be seen in even her first parking lot shows in 2006 – some could argue theater kid energy. Interviews show her charming yet dorky personality that has never changed. Even her awkward moments are always so quintessentially Taylor. Her entire career has been filled with staying true to herself even under constant judgment from media outlets, haters, and even getting cancelled that one time #SnakeEmoji. Yet she still managed to keep doing what she loved and learned along the way to only do it for herself instead of pleasing others. Except, it didn’t just please others, it awakened an entire cultural phenomenon.

She proves herself time and time again through award-winning Shakespearean-level writing. She paved the way for many artists and songwriters to own their work and be appropriately compensated. She dominates charts and ticket sales. And she does all this while facing the intense criticism from the media on every move she makes. Whether it’s “too many breakup songs” (we can never get enough), “too many boyfriends” (let’s look at other artists who have dated), “too many love songs” (let people be happy!), and any other nitpicky thing they could think of, they’ve attacked it. Yet she still managed to come out on top.

So why do some people still “just not get the hype”? That can only be answered by the people who hold that opinion. Hopefully this blog opened your mind a little bit. No matter if you’re a veteran of the fandom, had your life changed by 1989, have just been born as a baby Swiftie because of The Eras Tour, or you think she’s insane, Trivia (Taylor’s Version) has a blank space. And we’ll write your name on September 5. Come bejeweled, walk into the LaHaye Event Space at 8:00 p.m. and make the whole place shimmer!


Written by Anna Pender

Anna is the Special Events Manager of Student Activities.


Art and Authenticity

August 31, 2023

In a generation of young Christians who crave authenticity from believers around them, especially those of influence, there’s a call for relatability. Seemingly perfect saints keep them from speaking up about struggles, while fallen faith “heroes” plant seeds of skepticism over who’s as real as they say they are. Allie Paige answers that call with resounding vulnerability. The Santa Barbara native has been releasing music eponymously for over half a decade with no hesitation to share the most raw parts of her life. Perhaps the most notable example of this is her 2022 album “ap vol. I”.

            The self-written, produced, and mixed album is presented as one cohesive work of art, both in musical composition, mixing mellow elements of pop, indie, and alt, and lyrical composition, ingeniously following the pattern, or “cycle”, of honest confession and crying out to God for help from beginning to end. The record’s opening track, “Cycles”, dives into Paige’s ongoing struggles with depression and grief, a process often overlooked in Christian communities. The song ends with the line, “reach for me”, which she explains as “the feeling of utter hopelessness and a need for a savior”.

The following tracks consist of Paige detailing various, relatable struggles and continually coming to the conclusion that a poured out heart before her Creator opens the door to healing and breakthrough, an idea she expounded upon in an Instagram post during the initial release of the album. The record’s final song, “I feel like flying”, which features fellow indie worship artist, and friend, Taylor Armstrong, concludes with one line of courage-inducing hope that reflects the thirty-year-old’s overarching outlook on the challenges shared, “you take my pain and you make it worth it all.”

            Observing the responses to Paige’s music makes it clear that she has found a way to formulate a special connection between her songs and her listeners. Beyond simply producing thoroughly enjoyable art, which is nothing to scoff at, she is able to provide comfort to those who share her humanity and provoke that outstanding appeal for openness. The significance of this lies in the reality that you and I have a hard enough time being honest with the closest people in our lives. To be this unreserved, to lay this bare to any and every person who has access to music streaming is entirely remarkable. It is refreshing, it is comforting, and it is certainly needed.

            Allie Paige is bringing her unashamed authenticity and coastal coolness to Liberty’s campus on November 10th in the LaHaye Event Space. Tickets are on sale now and you can find them here!


Written by Jordan Hassler

Jordan is a Senior studying Event Planning with a Biblical Studies minor. He enjoys expressing his creativity through words, and sharing his experiences and personality by way of writing. He’s passionate about music, nature, and forming genuine connections with others.

What we’re listening to: July 2023

July 17, 2023

For living out the best moments of summer, here is our July playlist.

What we’re listening to : June 2023

June 1, 2023

Welcome to June and all the summertime memories it brings. So whether you’re laying out at the beach, playing some mean pickleball, or catching fireflies we’ve got the perfect songs for the season.

Thrifting: A Way of Life

May 2, 2023

Happy late Earth Day! I think this is a perfect time to discuss a fun, funky, and fashionable way to help our environment. Before I go into why we should thrift, I want to discuss why we should care about our lovely earth!

As Christians, we are called to steward creation. We can honor God in the way we view and treat His creation. Psalms 24:1 says, “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” So I encourage you to consider the little ways to take care of our earth that point directly to the creator.

About 70 pounds of clothing go into the garbage each year in America. That is about 200 clothing items per person. With so many people not donating or recycling, it is actually leading to unnecessary production of clothing. This means that we are using more water, electricity, and energy, but this can be avoided by taking advantage of your local thrift stores. Thrifting is more than just a way to shop; it’s a way to live sustainably.

In the process of thrifting and being kind to our earth, we can let it be a sanctuary for self-expression. There’s something so special about finding clothes unique to our style. Studies show that having a creative outlet can lead to a healthier life. It gives us something to help release stress and overall help our body. So not only can thrifting help the earth, but it can also help us!

Personally, I love thrifting. I get so excited when I walk out of the thrift shop with bags full of great finds. I can say it has easily become a hobby and just overall something that fuels my creativity. Since summer is right around the corner, I will most definitely be heading to the thrift store to grab some things like linen pants, oversized button-ups, and denim shorts.

Outside of thrifting, there are also companies that reuse materials and promote sustainability. My favorite company is Baggu. They are a company that creates reusable bags so that when we shop, we can avoid using plastic bags. On Baggus website, it says, “To minimize waste and increase durability, our reusable bags are assembled from one continuous piece of recycled nylon material, with the neck of the bag used to construct the carrying pouch. This is one of the ways in which we work to eliminate waste during the actual construction of our products, and we are working to better implement this idea across our entire product line.”

If maybe this concept is tugging on your heart a little bit and you want to start shopping sustainably, here is a list of more brands:
• Backbeat Co
• Reformation
• Vitamin A Swim
• Organic Basics
• Fair Harbor
• Zonarch
• Skin Studio
• Rua Carlota

BUT, even more importantly, on May 3, at 9 a.m., there will be 60 vendors on the Academic Lawn promoting thrifting, recycling, and shopping sustainably. So come out to our Yard Sale! This is a spectacular opportunity to take those steps towards making a difference, but also a chance to experiment with your style!


Written by Riley McAllister

Riley is a Senior Strategic Communications major with a concentration in Social Media Management. She loves keeping up with what is trending throughout media, and being able to write about it. Writing has always been a way for Riley to get creatively inspired. She is excited for her Student Activities blog journey!

What we’re listening to : May 2023

April 28, 2023

Summer. It’s just a finals week away. All you need is a good playlist (we got you) and some library room reservations to get you to the finish line.

The Last Time

April 27, 2023

Wow, y’all. I can’t believe that the end of the semester snuck up on me so fast! This semester has been a crazy ride with so many amazing events that were both firsts and lasts for our seniors, including myself. Speaking of lasts, this is my last blog here at Student Activities, and I’ll be honest, guys, I’m kind of emo about it. This year was so incredibly sweet, but it went by so incredibly fast, and I don’t feel quite ready to say goodbye.

Something I’ve been asking myself and my friends all semester is, “Why did no one tell us? Why did no one tell us how hard this was going to be?” because this is hard. Saying goodbye to a place that you have grown to know and love calling home and people that have become like family, that’s hard. What I have realized is that the seniors that went before us felt the exact same way, but just like us, they were trying to process and grieve the end of a season, and that didn’t leave a lot of space or time to give helpful tips and tricks to those who would come after them. And you know what? That is SO VALID! Lucky for you guys, I process my emotions better when writing about them. Before you close this blog, thinking it’s just going to be some random senior’s diary entry, my intentions are not for this to be a place for me to unload my feelings to all of Liberty University. I have a kind and gracious God who is a much better listener. My goal for this blog is to make space for those who will be leaving Liberty in a few short weeks to know that they are not alone and to give some advice on how to soak in the end of this sweet season. SO BUCKLE UP! This is going to get senti!

As we all know by now, senior year is exceptionally bittersweet. If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent your last year of college trying to do everything one last time and enjoy each moment without being sad the entire time. Going to your last basketball game, campus community, hockey game, spring game, convo, formal, and the list can go on forever. If you haven’t taken the time to enjoy this season of lasts, it’s not too late! Make as many plans as possible with your people and do it! Have one last trip to the beach, Washington D.C., THE BEACH, Hydaway, or Cole Mountain. Would you like for me to keep going? I can make this list go on FOREVER! If you can’t think of what to do with your friends, come to After Party this Saturday at 5:00 PM. You can be together, get some good food and listen to good music.

The biggest advice I can give is to be with your people and enjoy all the lasts. I know it’s easy to coast through the last few weeks. You’re tired, and you have senioritis so bad that it should be diagnosed condition at this point, but I’m telling you, you will look back and regret not taking the time to enjoy these moments. I know you’re probably shaking your head saying, “I just want these last few weeks to be normal. I don’t want to be sad the entire time.” Welp, I have good news for you! Just because you’re sad in the middle of something doesn’t mean joy can’t be present. Jesus makes us strong enough to do hard things and be joyful, so why do you think He wouldn’t allow you to be joyful in the midst of a season like this?! STOP MAKING EXCUSES! GET UP AND ENJOY THESE MOMENTS! For those of you saying, “Well, I have so much homework, and I have exams and I have xyzabcdefg” go do your homework with your friends! Go sit on the lawn and read your textbook! BE WITH YOUR PEOPLE, AND DON’T MISS THESE MOMENTS!

AND FOR ALL YOU FRESHIES! Here’s my advice – DON’T WISH AWAY YOUR TIME HERE! It’s really easy to be a freshman and to wish for it to be senior year, but coming from experience, one day you wake up, and you’re a freshman, then the next day you wake up and it’s two weeks before your graduation. Soak in every moment! GO TO CLASS! Our professors are so knowledgeable and so wise. Listen and learn from them. GO MAKE NEW FRIENDS! Try all of the things and meet all of the people you can, and invest well in the people you want in your life forever.

So as I close out my final blog here at Student Activities, I want give you all the only true wisdom that I possess that is worth sharing. This season is hard, and it’s sad. This is the time for us to grieve, but just know that those who grieve will dance when they are in Jesus. So, my piece of wisdom is this, Jesus is our greatest comforter and friend. Lean into Him. If you’re mad, tell Him your mad. If you’re happy, tell Him you’re happy. If you’re sad, tell Him you’re sad. Do you see the theme? He wants to hear from you because He loves you. So talk to Him. His hand is on those who love Him, and the bones that He has broken will rejoice! PRAISE JESUS!


Written by Elisabeth Hardy

Elisabeth is a Psychology Counseling major with minors in Biblical Studies and Youth Ministry. She is passionate about using opportunities to show the creativity of God and His presence! She loves writing for the blog as a way to express herself and be creative about things that are fun and relevant.