Living in a Picture Generation
March 23, 2023
We are a picture generation. Over half of Gen Z takes between 10-30 pictures every single day . If you do the math, we’re looking at roughly 11,000 pictures a year. And of what? Having a photo of your morning coffee or a cool pair of sneakers a stranger is wearing can’t be that useful to your life, right? Yet our generation takes the picture anyway. It gets posted, then reposted, sent to friends, and the cycle begins again. As our camera roll grows and our phone storage fills, we’re left to wonder: What draws us to document every little moment of our lives?
That requires a little history. We are not the first people to be called the Picture Generation, after all. Between 1974-1984, a fledgling group of artists began searching for a form of expression that would tell the story of their generation . They were born into a sea of images–overrun by the media culture of television, movies, magazines and popular music. They made art that was experimental, using mixed media and montage to craft pieces that served as a cultural analysis (think a high-end version of the magazine collages you made in elementary school art class). Their movement challenged traditional art forms, calling people to look twice, and find a deeper meaning in every photograph.
I believe we have more in common with these misfits than we know. Beneath this rebellious art form and the criticism of popular culture is a deep internal desire to be known. If they felt as though their lives were flooded with content, too oversaturated to be heard in, just imagine how they would’ve felt about the culture we live in today. We’re exposed to anywhere between 4,000-10,000 ads every day . Art, music, writing and photography can all be created and distributed to a mass audience in the click of a button. Often, it feels like the only way to keep up is to participate. If we didn’t document every second of spring break, did spring break even happen? How will anyone know if we don’t have a picture to show for it?
I wouldn’t be the first to say that cell phones have been a major facilitator in this process. We’re hardly ever 5 feet from the nearest camera, only a click away from a photo that could sit in our camera roll for a lifetime if we let it. Tech companies have leaned into this desire for documentation, every new phone having more cameras, better cameras, until there’s essentially a DSLR attached to every model. It’s a reflex to take a picture as much as it is to doom-scroll on Instagram or post your Spotify wrapped (like, why wouldn’t you?).
But is there anything really wrong with this reflex? Not if you ask me. Having a convenient way to capture our lives is a privilege generations before us didn’t have. If we desire to be known, to be seen, we don’t need to look further than our pockets. While our culture is oversaturated with content, only we can own the little moments of our lives. Everyone may have a camera, but only you can capture your friends playing Spikeball on the lawn on a sunny afternoon, your perfect coffee shop study setup, the sunset through your dorm room window. No one else will ever view the world the same way you do; we each have a unique lens and a story to tell. Why shouldn’t we take advantage of that?
After all, college is a whirlwind. In between classes, extracurriculars, and interviews, there is so much to be captured. Culture tells us this is the best time of our life, fantastic yet fleeting. As much as there is an impulse to be known, there is an impulse to remember: to look back on the moments of our lives that would’ve been lost to time if not for a picture. While life moves pretty fast, when we take a picture, we don’t have to miss a second. There’s nothing wrong with giving into a little romanticism if you ask me.
Plus, there is something very special in the fact that when we go to tell our children stories from our college years one day, that there will be visual evidence to go with it. That the next generation will have a clearer picture of what it was like to live in 2023 than we ever have in times before. To me, that’s the beauty of photography in the first place. To tell stories that we otherwise couldn’t and fill the gaps where words fail.
So yes, we are a picture generation. Own that! Capture every moment that is special to you, use whatever method fits you best, and let others see the world through your lens. Or keep them locked in your camera roll forever; that one is up to you.
If you want to see some of the little moments your peers have captured, be sure to check out the Photo Expo running next week in the LaHaye Rotunda Lobby! If any photo really speaks to you, you can vote for it on the Student Activities Facebook page, or just take inspiration for yourself. I know I will be.
Written by Emma Lane
Emma is a junior studying Strategic Communications with a minor in Business. While she loves all things photography, fashion, and indie music, creative writing has always been one of her favorite ways to express herself.
Why True Crime?
March 10, 2023
If you’re like me, you love anything true crime based. Whether it’s a documentary, TV series, podcast, or even a book- if there’s a crime or a mystery involved- I’m probably interested. But it’s not just me. Studies show that one in three people watch, listen to, or read true crime at least once a week, with women being more interested than men (happy late International Women’s Day!). They also revealed that 73% of consumers believe that true crime is more fascinating than fiction. We even just had a Student Activities Murder Mystery event!
But what makes us so interested in the darker side of humanity? Being entertained by the gruesome and intrigued by the mystery of it? I think there’s something to say about true crime being a nonfiction genre of entertainment (hence the true in true crime). There’s an aspect within it that’s educational (and a little morbid). It allows us to dive into the dark side of the human psyche and examine how humans could do such awful things while also trying to solve the mystery of who did it. We get to study the psychology behind the crime and examine what led up to it while also solving a sort of puzzle (I love a good puzzle).
While the true crime fascination seems morbid and even slightly disturbing at times, it inherently fuels our innate desire to survive. In today’s society, we don’t exactly have to fight for our lives on a daily basis (although classes make me feel like it sometimes). But humans were constantly in danger at one point, assessing where they would get their next meal and how they would survive throughout the night. While we (at least I don’t) currently live through anything like that, there are dangers in everyday life that it can benefit from being aware of. Unfortunately, the world is not made up of rainbows and butterflies (as much as I know I would like it to be). The fall of man opened all kinds of sin, and we see that on a magnified scale when we look at true crime. Everything we see in true crime was not God’s design for humanity and therefore there’s a certain level of interest in it.
With all that being said, I do think we have to be careful of what we consume and how much. It’s fun to peek into the darker side of the psyche, but when it becomes all we watch, it begins to take a stronger hold on our brains. (Almost) everything is better in moderation, which is very true for true crime (word play ha). I know, at least for me, if I let myself watch or listen to too much true crime-based entertainment and don’t balance it with something, especially with any other stressors like school, my anxiety rises, and I feel more on edge than at other times. So while I am the first to say I love a true crime doc, please remember to listen to your body and take care of yourselves with lighter things also.
Written by Carly West
Carly is a first semester senior studying Graphic Design at Liberty. She is passionate about creating, getting out of her comfort zone, and trying new things, which led her to join the blog team.
36 Questions to Make Someone Fall in Love With You
March 2, 2023
Well, hello my little Romeo and Juliets. If you have clicked on this blog, it is probably because you are on the search for love. Well, I have great news for you all… Psychiatrist Arthur Aron created 36 questions designed to help two strangers build intimacy and potentially fall in love. The questions are divided into three sets, with each set getting progressively deeper and more personal. Here are the questions:
- Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
- Would you like to be famous? In what way?
- Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
- What could constitute a “perfect” day for you?
- When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
- If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
- Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
- Name three things you and your partner (the person you are dating) appear to have in common?
- For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
- If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
- Take 4 minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
- If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
- If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future, or anything else, what would you want to know?
- Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
- What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
- What do you value most in a friendship?
- What is your most treasured memory?
- What is your most terrible memory?
- If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
- What does friendship mean to you?
- What roles do love and affection play in your life?
- Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner (the person you are dating). Share a total of 5 items.
- How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?
- How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?
- Make 3 true ‘we’ statements each. For instance “We are both in this room feeling…”
- Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share…”
- If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
- Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.
- Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
- When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
- Tell your partner something that you love about them already?
- What if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
- If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? What haven’t you told them yet?
- Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
- Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
- Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.
I dove deep into these questions with someone and now we are married, have two kids, and drive a minivan. Okay just kidding but seriously these questions are awesome for getting to know someone and finding out if you are compatible.
Since Coffeehouse: Exes and XO’s is around the corner it is the perfect time to put these questions to the test. If you have gotten to this point of the blog, I challenge you to do these questions with your person of choice. If you fall in love, do yourself a favor and come to Coffeehouse on for a romantic date night.
Wishing thee valorous luck on thy journey to findeth loveth. I desire to seeth thee deeply in loveth on March 25th at 11:30 pm in the Vines Center! Xoxo!
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!
Slaying Student Savings
December 1, 2022
Regardless if you love to shop or not, Christmas is approaching quickly, which means gift buying is underway. Student discounts are in my opinion very overlooked but if we just take 2 extra minutes out of our shopping experience, we could all be saving a little bit more. Personally, I love shopping, but I also love saving money, here are some student discounts that we should be taking advantage of not just during the holiday season but year-round when shopping.
Some of my personal favorite student discount sites accessible from the app store on your phone or web browser are Student Bean and Unidays. With more than 10 categories and more than 1000 brands, you are bound to find at least a handful of stores that may pique your interest at Student Bean. They launched their award-winning verification technology, enabling brands to ensure their student discounts are only available to verified students. Today, they partner with thousands of the world’s biggest brands across fashion, technology, food, entertainment, and more, and power a global network of students in over 160 countries. Student Beans is so easy to sign up for, all you have to do is go to Student Bean Sign-up and create an account it is that easy. But maybe you are not able to find what you are looking for at Student Bean for whatever reason an alternative or back up to that is Unidays. With over 20 million users, Unidays is a discount website that is available for free to students worldwide. Current students in higher education can sign up with Unidays to get discounted deals on products and services. Unidays does offer some exclusive deals that Student Bean does not like Adidas.
Some of my favorite categories to take advantage of is the technology discount. Apple does a wonderful job at giving student discounts, especially during the back-to-school season. They typically do a free pair of air pods with a purchase of a Mac or IPad but as of recent years, they have done a $150 gift card instead of the free pairs of air pods. Apple also provides in my opinion some of the best education pricing, this is available to current and newly accepted college students and their parents, as well as faculty, staff, and homeschool teachers of all grade levels. This is to ensure that you are equipped with all the possible tools to succeed. With the education pricing, you are expected to save about 10% on the Apple production and although they may not seem like a lot it is still better than paying full price.
As consumers we take in a lot of media and music and why not do that at a discounted price. Some of the best digital subscription discounts given to students are from Spotify. Spotify has partnered with Hulu and Showtime to provide services at an extremely low price of $4.99. Some other ones are Amazon where students can obtain 6 months free of Amazon prime. Audible where if you like to read you can get a free audiobook when you sign up and after that, the service is $14.95/month. If you’re trying to find ways to read more books, then Audible is a good place to start. Maybe you are not super into music or reading and prefer to travel and gain experiences. Although it may seem dated, there are still some areas of the United States where using the train is a practical option. Amtrak provides a 15% off of Amtrak rides in certain regions for U.S students. Maybe the train is not really your thing, and you prefer your car instead. There are discounts for car insurance, here are the major insurance providers that offer some kind of student discount, State Farm, Nationwide, Geico, Allstate, Progressive, and Farmers. Just make sure you meet the qualifications and that it is applicable in the area of which you are from when applying.
These here are just some examples of some of the best and most useful student discounts that we should be taking advantage of. Although I’m not encouraging you to spend money that you may not have I am encouraging everyone to save some money where you can.
Written by Pimm Kiatrungrit
Pimm is a junior majoring in Digital Media & Journalism. She enjoys being a part of the blog team and getting to write about topics she is passionate about.
Friends Ruined New York
November 29, 2022
Before we start throwing tomatoes and lighting pyres, allow me to just say that I love Friends. I love the humor and camaraderie of six friends all (unrealistically) living and thriving in New York City. What’s funny is that when my parents were first dating and married, they loved watching Friends! So, you can imagine their surprise and mild confusion (maybe some concern too, that’s valid) when I started binging it in my teens. Naturally, when I did start watching Friends more often there was a bundle of light within me, it was the dream to visit or move to New York City and it got brighter and brighter with every laugh track. Finally, this past summer, I had a perfect opportunity to go to the city for the weekend – for the very first time! A quick background: I live in the middle of nowhere with three cats, a very old horse and a donkey. I had never seen a skyscraper before, so this was an experience and a half. It was still so much fun and magical, but nothing at all like I expected. It was dirty, a little scary sometimes, very expensive and let me tell you – no coffee shop couches! As much as I love Friends, the show did really ruin the reality of cities everywhere and let’s be honest… probably crushed some dreams.
For one, Friends made New York City seem a lot more exciting but also a lot more chill at the same time. It was exciting in the sense that the friends always had something to do, but chill in a way where it wasn’t too hectic (unless you’re trying to shove a couch up a staircase, that will always be hectic). As fun as they make New York City seem, and believe me, it can be super fun, it still idealizes city living quite a bit. Remember what I said a few seconds ago about the characters in Friends unrealistically living in New York City? Fixate on that word “unrealistically” for a moment. You watch a few episodes of Friends and try and tell me that anything about Ross, Chandler, Joey, Rachel, Phoebe and Monica’s lives in the Big Apple are anything close to realistic. Allow me to set the scene: we have Rachel, a waitress and later a stylist in New York City, who is somehow able to afford a massive two-bedroom apartment with Monica, who is a chef. Listen, I used to want to be a chef. You may be asking, “Hannah, since you wanted to be a chef soooo badly, why aren’t you in culinary school right now?” Valid question. I would be, if chefs made any money at all. Monica starts out as a chef at a regular restaurant, not Gordon Ramsey (although I bet he’s an advocate for sticking a whole turkey on heads too – an idiot turkey?). In the show, Monica and Rachel paid $200 a month in rent. Spit take, what? Listen, y’all. I get that it’s nearly thirty years after Friends started, but $200 will barely (if even) get you a hotel for one night in NYC. Trust me, I faced that harsh reality.
We need to move away from rent prices before I bust a vein in my forehead. Now this next one this isn’t too big of a deal, but I think something needs to be said about the frequent visits to Central Perk and the constant availability of an entire couch. The only couch in the shop, always free for six friends to claim for an entire night? And they never get yelled at? Not stereotyping New Yorkers to be super mean people, but I wouldn’t say they’re extra nice either. This is another area we can argue that Friends lowkey ruined the city. You have to admit, they made the city look a lot friendlier than it is. Again! New Yorkers aren’t particularly mean, I think they’re just used to having to have a hard outer shell. Think about the movie Elf, where Buddy (the elf in question) went to New York City for the first time and had a few rude awakenings. One lesson we can take from his experience is to not go calling other people elves willy nilly – especially not angry elves. Despite all of Friends’ faults, I could go on for days about how much I love it and admittedly, it is my guilty pleasure.
All unrealistic idealizations of rent and couches aside, there is something about Friends that I think we should all keep in mind. No matter where you are for the holidays, whether it’s in your small hometown or massive, big city, or Tulsa, or even if there’s a giant armadillo celebrating with you… The best place to be for the holidays is with the ones you love. That standard is never unrealistic. So this Christmas, no matter where you find yourself, be sure to do the best you can and savor the moments you have with the people you love. Remember to call your mom, practice your New Year’s Eve dance routine (the OG’s will know), and have a very Merry Christmas.
Written by Hannah Clark
Hannah is a senior studying event planning and has plans to soon be a professional wedding and special events planner. She loves using writing as another way to express her creativity and in her free time, she loves to play video games, bake, and play fetch with her cat, Gidget.
Why Andor is so important for Star Wars
November 18, 2022
The mention of Star Wars elicits a variety of different reactions, but before rolling your eyes and closing this blog I urge you to see how Star Wars has changed. Yes, Star Wars has been exclusive to it’s fan base for a long time. Star Wars has left average watchers in confusion by adding obscure characters for the sake of fan service. These characters rarely add to the story since they have about as much depth as a kiddy pool. This can be wonderful for fans but unfavorable for attracting new fans who don’t know much about Star Wars or frankly don’t care. The new Disney + show Andor is changing this. Andor is the closest thing to a Prime-Time drama that Star Wars has, and I am here for it. Andor introduces people to a complicated world of oppression and resistance with well-built character stories. You don’t need to like Star Wars to enjoy Andor, you just need to enjoy good storytelling. Depending on who you ask, the aspect of storytelling has been painfully absent from Star Wars media. Andor not only expertly unravels a riveting story but has interesting and believable characters that bring this story to life. If you wanted to explore the world of Star Wars for the first time, Andor is the show to start with. If you could care less about Star Wars, Andor is a strong, captivating story to become your next weekly Prime Time drama.
If you are not familiar with Star Wars, the main story arc in the original trilogy is the heroic rebellion as it fights the evil empire. The only problem is that rebellion only plays a role when it is relevant to the main characters. While rebellions in other movies seem to be costly and gritty, the rebellion in Star Wars falls flat as main characters ride into the sunset unaffected by the world around them. The new Star Wars series Andor is changing that. Andor follows a character named Cassian Andor who is fighting the Empire however he can. This show presents a new look at Star Wars that is gritty and messy. Andor is giving depth to the rebellion storyline in a way that has never been done. The heroes are no longer so one-dimensional; struggles feel stressful and at times the lines between right and wrong feel so thin that you don’t know if you are cheering for the right side. Not only is Andor creating good content for Star Wars, but it is also creating good cinema, content that can stand with others in field of TV drama. The high quality of acting in Andor is a first for Star Wars; it has helped bring the show to another level since bad acting has always been a staple in Star Wars, but it did make for some good memes.
So why is this important? When Star Wars first came out it was innovative and people looked on, wide-eyed as it demanded people’s respect. From about 2006 to 2020, things were not good for Star Wars fans. Except for you Dave Filoni, we love you. Yes, the new trilogy was released before 2020, but it bitterly divided fans, and The Last Jedi is just a horribly display of cinematography. As Disney + ushered in a new era for Star Wars, fans waited impatiently to be reward for their dedication. Andor is that repayment. Andor is so important for Star Wars because it expands the Star Wars universe while also, again demanding people’s respect along the way. Right now is the best time to be a Star Wars fan. I urge you to dive into Andor while leaving your expectations at the door. This show has a riveting story, worthy of any prime-time drama and will show you a side of Star Wars most have never seen.
Written by Jordan Krietzinger
Jordan is the Assistant Director of Student Activities and leader of the Blog Team.
Modest Fashion: It’s not what you think
November 10, 2022
Fashion is an avenue of expression. Often, how we present ourselves through clothing speaks on behalf of our personality, beliefs, and culture before we ever get the chance to open our mouths. We are certainly not a culture above placing people into boxes based on their sense of fashion—you say Blundstones, I say granola; you say Gymshark, I say gym rat; you say Thrasher, I say skater. And these labels can be harsh! However, I think that the scariest label for most people in mainstream fashion culture today would simply be “modest.” But is modesty really anything to be afraid of?
What we would consider “modest fashion” today—think: high collars and floor-length skirts—is all people knew of fashion in any pre-1920s era. While the shapes and styles may have changed throughout the 19th century, it remained that women’s dresses and skirts conformed to one length: long and to the floor. Meanwhile, men’s suits were expertly tailored and formal. All a very far cry from what you’d see people wearing on the Montview steps nowadays. However, the onset of World War One caused Victorian prudishness to finally unravel. Women took a more independent and significant role in society, men were out on the front lines, and the meanings behind fashion were about to change. By the 1920s, American culture saw the economy begin to bloom and hemlines begin to rise. We can see that this trend has carried on throughout history: we reflect times of economic prosperity by showing more skin, and eras of depression by returning to a conservative form of dress .
So, what’s brought the talk of modesty back into the mainstream? Well, I can certainly think of a recent time of economic distress in our culture (thanks always, 2020) that may have caused hemlines to lower and looser-fitting clothing to begin trending again. If you’ve ever wondered why maxi skirts and relaxed trousers had made their way back onto your feed, just look to history for an explanation. You’ll find that while people are keen to keep up with these emerging trends, they often don’t realize that they’re still being modest, too. And let’s be honest, the quintessential modest fashion aesthetics are no longer making headlines the way they once were. While this is thanks in part to the recession, I would be remiss not to mention the Muslim women who have been leading the charge on making modest fashion a popular retail category in the post-9/11 era. According to the Global Islamic Economy Report, modest fashion is expected to be a $420 billion dollar industry by 2024 . While modesty often means a vastly different thing for Christians than it does for Muslims, it remains that the narrative around modesty is changing. It’s no longer a marginalized industry, but one that is becoming more widely accepted and evolving all the time. Start pulling the baggy jeans and oversized button-downs out of the back of your closets, people.
At Liberty, we hear a lot about modest dressing. Like many other Christian schools, we’re called to a certain standard of dress on campus. This means no shorts or crop tops in class, no spandex or cutoffs at the gym, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve stared into your closet a couple of times and wondered “How do I make an outfit work under these conditions?” or “How am I supposed to wear pants when it’s 90 degrees outside?” And yet, Liberty has one of the most fashion-forward and uniquely dressed student bodies I’ve ever encountered. As a freshman coming from a public high school with little dress code whatsoever, I wondered how this could be the case. Fashion was the freedom to dress however you wanted, right? Yet, as the FDOC (first day of class, for those unaware) outfit posts flooded my Instagram feed, I saw how Liberty’s dress code wasn’t limiting freedom of expression, but instead inspiring students to get creative with how they dressed.
From this, Liberty has created its own fashion niche. I’m sure you all have been subject to its influence a time or two. If you own a pair of Blundstones, that’s probably a good sign that you’re neck-deep already. But beyond the stereotypes, I think that Liberty’s fashion niche has the power to break the stigmatisms around “Christian fashion” in our contemporary culture. Christian fashion is often defined by what people see of Christians on TV (think: 19 Kids and Counting… yikes), but we know fashion isn’t a simple binary. Instagram accounts such as @flamesfitagram offers followers the opportunity to see what is actually trending in fashion on a Christian campus and change the narrative on what defines “Christian fashion.” All I’m saying is that you probably won’t be catching a floor-length tunic on their anytime soon.
But we know that everything we do, say, and wear is all for a higher purpose. When we blend creative style and modesty standards, we send a message to the world: I follow a God that doesn’t expect me to sacrifice my personality for the sake of His message. In fact, He uses my personality to His advantage. Could there be anything more reaffirming than that?
TL;DR: Modesty isn’t a choice between fashionable and unfashionable. So go out and own every fit you put together. Let your sense of style speak on behalf of you and on behalf of the kingdom. I’ll be building my wardrobe and taking notes.
Written by Emma Lane
Emma is a junior studying Strategic Communications with a minor in Business. While she loves all things photography, fashion, and indie music, creative writing has always been one of her favorite ways to express herself.
LYH Series: Top 5 Hikes
October 27, 2022
Hey there all you hungry hikers! Here is another addition into our Lynchburg Series! Today we’ll be doing a comprehensive review on some of the top hikes to do in Lynchburg this semester. Fall is here and that foliage is waiting to be seen and admired, so whether you’re a hiking pro or a newbie, it’s time to get out of that musty dorm room and lace up them boots! We’re going to break down some of my favorite hikes, and ranking them on:
Difficulty, Distance, and of Course their Views!
5.) Abbots Lake Trail:
Distance: 0.9 Miles
Elevation Gain: 32ft
Route type: Loop
Rating: 4.2 Stars
Abbots Trail is for the new hiker. This 1 mile trail is prefect for those that aren’t super into hiking but still may want to be able to get outdoors and enjoy the fall season. This trail loops around the beautiful Abbots Lake and is also close to the Peaks of Otter State Park. Maybe the next time your parents come for family weekend and are saying they wanna go for a hike, (even though we know they don’t actually wanna go hiking) take them here! They won’t complain, they’ll see the pretty leaves and momma bear will be happy and satisfied.
4.) Cole Mountain
Distance: 5.9 Miles
Elevation Gain: 1286 ft
Route type: loop
We all know it. Every hall hikes it. You’ve probably gone up it with your girlfriend and her parents, I know I have. Cole Mountain is a staple of Lynchburg area hikes. Its summit is the perfect place to watch the sun cascading over the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the trail itself is easy enough that you can manage if you’re not the best at hiking. The summit is found about in the middle of the hike, which allows you time to stop, take a snack break and check out some sweet views. Is it anything crazy? No not really. But is it worth going? Absolutely!
3.) Mt. Pleasant
Distance: 5.5 Miles
Elevation Gain: 1350 ft
Route Type: Loop
If you wanna look for something a little more challenging than Cole Mountain then I would recommend Mt. Pleasant, located literally right next to it. This trail, while a little bit longer, is soooo worth the effort. The views from the peak are absolutely Stunning! This trail offers multiple overlooks to get multiple views from the summit, and even offers overnight camping for you adventurous boys and girls. I would advise that you make sure you grab a trail map or take downloaded pictures because this trail can be a little confusing at times. There are quite a few switchbacks that are poorly marked, which can be hard to find at times, but if you know what you’re doing you will be fine. Also make sure to wear a pair of waterproof boots on this one, there are quite a few stream crossings. If you can handle all of that then be sure to try this hike out!
2.) Sharp Top Trail
Distance: 3.3 Miles
Elevation Gain: 1253 ft
Route type: Out and Back
We are now getting into our more challenging hikes. While only three and a half miles, Sharp Top has quite the intense trail, challenging even for experienced hikers. With a 1253 ft elevation gain in just 3 miles, there is a reason why they call it Sharp Top! If you think you can handle this hard elevation gain, then be ready for some sweet 365-degree views! The summit offers plenty of area to rest and take in the mountain air and even has a cute little cabin at the top that I have NO IDEA how they managed to bring all the lumber and tools up there to build. This hike is not recommended for the newbie, but it is a must while you are still in the Lynchburg area!
1. Dragons Tooth
Distance: 4.5 Miles
Elevation Gain: 1256 ft
Route Type: Out and Back
Capping out our list of top 5 hikes is Dragons Tooth. This hike is NO JOKE. like Sharp Top, this trail has quite the extreme elevation gain, 1256 ft to be exact; however, over a longer distance than number 4 on our list. This hike is one of the most difficult hikes in the Lynchburg area and is definitely not an afternoon stroll. This hike takes an average of 5-6 hours to complete, so make sure you plan your trip out accordingly to have enough daylight to complete its trek. If you have conquered all the foes on this list, then I have no doubt that you can take on this hike no problem, I believe in you!!
Well, there you have it top five hikes to take on this fall! If you’ve already taken on all these hikes and need a few more notable recommendations here are a few more:
- Mcafee’s Knob- Moderate, 7.8 miles
- Apple Orchards Trail- Hard, 2.6 miles
- Flat Top Mountain- Hard, 8.7 miles
- Crabtree falls Trail- Moderate, 3.6 miles
I hope you guys are inspired to head out onto the trails and check out the fall views. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my other blog, “Top 5 Tips for Hiking,” to make sure that you’re prepared before venture out onto your Lewis and Clark adventure. And of course, be sure to look at some of our other Lynchburg Series blogs on: Places to eat, Coffeeshops, and Churches all around our favorite little city, Lynchburg Virginia!
Written by Jarad Alpert
Jarad is a Junior here at Liberty University. He is currently studying Marketing Sales: Promotions and Professional Selling, with a Minor in Studio Arts. In his free time, Jarad goes by the nickname Jay-Rad, because he is indeed RAD. Also, he play’s drums in the student band, Off The Record. He is passionate about art and music, loves hanging with friends, and being out in nature.
LYH Series: Church
October 24, 2022
Sunday, best day! To freshmen, transfers, and church hoppers alike, let’s talk Lynchburg’s local body!
With the hundreds of churches that Lynchburg has to offer, it can be overwhelming to find the right fit. For many of us, college is the first time that we actually have a say in what church we want to attend. We’re not even really sure what we should be looking for in a church.
The abundance of options can often lead to giving up in exasperation. Attending a different church every week becomes your norm– if you’re even going to church at all.
Please know, church is worth the hassle and the early wake-up! Being an active member of a local body is one of the greatest blessings of the Christian life. God created it to be a refuge, a place to refuel, to be encouraged and held accountable, to serve and to grow. There is great gain to be had by showing up consistently and getting plugged into a church.
So, what church do you choose? Allow me to ease your mind; you can’t really choose wrong. As so long as the church is theologically-sound, Bible-affirming, and gospel-focused, you’re at a good place!
Yes, there are still many other factors to consider. But I would encourage you to separate the primary theological issues from the secondary. What are the absolute non-negotiables for a church as outlined in Scripture? Start there. Worship style and teaching methods come later. Don’t put too much weight on the preferential and not enough on the foundational.
Here are a few great options of biblically-sound, healthy churches to get involved in!
“We are a church of broken people, blessed in Christ, to be a blessing to the world, all for the glory of Christ.”
Denomination: Baptist | Services: 9 a.m. & 10:30 a.m.
Heritage is a fairly large church with a wide range of ages and demographics represented. They are known for their expositional teaching style and a huge emphasis on discipleship and global missions. It is a great place to get plugged into if you are at all interested in going overseas or getting involved in fulfilling the Great Commission right here in Virginia. Their worship style and overall atmosphere is a blend between traditional and contemporary. They offer dozens of discipleship communities and ministries to both attend and serve at.
“Creating a culture that is rooted in the truths found in the Word of God and continuing a legacy of lives changed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Denomination: Baptist | Services: 8:30 a.m. & 10:15 a.m.
Bedrock is unique in that it does not have one head pastor, but rather a team of four leading elders and three guiding elders. The elders rotate the preaching role week-to-week as well as share the responsibility of leading the church. They also have an expositional teaching style and a blend of traditional and contemporary worship. They have a big focus on church planting in cities across America as well as overseas. The Lynchburg congregation includes a lot of college students, but also many young families and older couples. They offer various Bible studies and ministries to participate in. Older members often take in college students and develop mentorship relationships.
Gospel Community Church College Hill:
“Our mission is to glorify God by making disciples who love God, grow in community, and reach out with the love of Christ.”
Denomination: Non-denominational | Services: 9 a.m. & 11 a.m.
Gospel College Hill is a multi-generational and diverse church body. It is a place that truly welcomes all newcomers into the family, with a strong push to get involved in one of their small groups. Their College Hill location was chosen specifically for the surrounding community and neighborhood, as they place a high value on being a light and having an active role in the area. The preaching is currently rotated between an interim pastor and church elders, with their preaching style varying between topical and expositional. The worship leans more toward contemporary.
No matter what church you decide to settle into, I encourage—beg—you to go all in! Don’t just show up on Sunday mornings and leave the second the service is over. Get to know the people around you, invest into the community! There is no telling what God will do in you and through you within that local body.
If you don’t want to get out there on your own, text your CGL and ask if you can join them this weekend. Ask some people on your hall or in your classes if they want to come along. If all else fails, there’s always a seat next to me!
Written by Leah Ginion
Leah is a senior studying Digital Media and Graphic Design. She enjoys drinking honey lavender lattes while discussing Scripture and is always down for a game night.
LYH Series: Coffee
October 13, 2022
Nowadays people have their opinions on how or where you should be drinking your coffee and although I am all for people drinking it however they want, I have started to get the most out of my coffee experience by drinking it black. Many coffee companies are attempting to change people’s perspectives on how coffee should be drunk. For example, cxffeeblack, “Cxffeeblack is primarily an entrepreneurial venture with specific social implications, started by Bartholomew Jones and Renata Henderson to reclaim the black history of coffee and reimagine its black future.
My brother, Henry Lough, has been a barista for about four years now so if anyone knows coffee it’s him. He has said in quotes “drink coffee the way you like it, but be open to trying it black…” He goes on further to explain that he used to think people who added syrup/milk/creamer were heathens, but that’s the way they like to drink it. So go for your pumpkin spice latte with oat milk. However, we cannot completely neglect drinking it black, and not all black coffee is bitter and gross. He also dives a bit into the history of drinking coffee black. “Drinking coffee black is more than a statement of some toxic masculinity. Rather it’s an embracement and celebration of culture. Coffee was founded by the Oromo people of Ethiopia. White people took Black people and used them for slavery and profit, stripping away their culture. They also did the same thing to their coffee, whitewashing it with flavors and syrups, stripping it of its original taste.” Also being that coffee is a cherry it has natural flavors of fruit, acidity, floral notes, and so much more. Drinking it black is to embrace the black culture that it came from and to experience it for what it is. It is appreciating the culture on which it was founded.
Even if you’re not a coffee drinker, you can usually find something that you might like at your nearest Starbucks to suit your needs. But what if you want more than your typical cup of coffee and frozen pastry? There are your local coffee shops in Lynchburg. I highly recommend supporting your local coffee shops because they are owned by a person, that does not take any money from the shop. From every shop Henry has worked at, the owner didn’t make a profit for at least 3 years, they needed another job. So go local, and tip your baristas, because you’re supporting a person. The big-name corporations will be fine. Starbucks and Dunkin, and other big-name shops make so much money, but hide how much money they give to the coffee farmers. Coffee farmers work very hard to create and grow the coffee we drink. They should be paid fairly, and as direct as possible. Most of the money Starbucks make goes towards new shops and succulents to fill their interior space.
Supporting local shops help families within the shop, but also hopefully farmers. Buying from local roasters will hopefully help the farmers growing your beans. Not every shop does this, so I would recommend asking the staff what they do to support farmers before you see if you’ll do business with them. Also, most big-name corporations use machinery to make their product (think of fast food vs a nice restaurant). In a local cafe experience, your barista is much more hands-on with the coffee. Even if an espresso machine does the work, the barista is participating in a hands-on role with your grind size, water intake, milk steaming, and so much more.
Some of my favorite local shops in Lynchburg that you should totally visit are Third Wave Coffee and Mission House Coffee. These coffee shops are in my opinion some of the best coffee shops in Lynchburg but, not just because of their coffee but because of their effort to create an ambiance, cultivate a hard-working staff, and their enthusiasm towards their mission.
Third Wave coffee, located in Forest, VA, has always had a special place in my heart, even before coming to Liberty. My brother worked there for three years starting in 2018 and ending in 2021. This really sparked my interest in coffee in the year 2020, I had never really drunk coffee before and I knew going into college it was definitely something I would be drinking lots of for those late nights working on assignments. Third Wave was such a great starting point for being introduced to coffee. Their mission “is to find the best coffees we can and roast them to their full potential, highlighting the sweetness and flavor of each coffee. We believe that coffee should be exciting, flavorful, accessible, and unique. The end goal of all we do is to bring our customers coffees that will introduce them to the possibilities of specialty coffee that we source and roast with care and a passion for the art of roasting.” Their workers are some of the most knowledgeable people I know when it comes to coffee. When you walk into their shop the staff is always so welcoming and the vibe there is light and airy. Definitely a great space to get some work done.
There are two locations for Mission House Coffee, they have a location in downtown Lynchburg and the other is located at River Ridge mall, so if you don’t have a car or friends with a car, ODRs are an option. Mission House is such a great business to support not only are they partnered with Father’s Cafe and Bakery to provide you with delicious baked goods and roast their own coffee at their downtown location, but they help serve the local community. In their story on their website, it says “Mission House Coffee is dedicated to being a place that is known not just for its delicious coffee and baked goods, but for the way we care about the people we serve.” And to back up that statement, every month they have a new round-up partner. This is where when you go to order something you have the option to round up your total and that extra money will go towards the local non-profit they are partnered with for that month.
So next time you are craving something sweet or need a little pick me up for those long days at work or school consider spending a little extra time to get to know your local shops and learn how to support them better.
Written by Pimm Kiatrungrit
Pimm is a junior majoring in Digital Media & Journalism. She enjoys being a part of the blog team and getting to write about topics she is passionate about.