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
• Vitamin A Swim
• Organic Basics
• Fair Harbor
• 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!
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.
April 20, 2023
Late nights staring at a screen, cramming content to meet deadlines, forsaking time with others to finish the workload. Does this sound a little too familiar? College students are no strangers to grinding out projects and assignments, usually just trying to get something submitted before midnight, or even working late into the night to try and catch up. The honest truth is that these stress-saturated work sessions are often due to procrastination, mismanagement of time, or even just simple forgetfulness (talking from experience on this one). We’re encouraged by our professors and advisors to delegate our work and studies, starting well in advance and remaining organized in order to avoid what I’ve heard one student refer to as the “stress and press” cycle. But what if you had to produce this kind of work ethic just to keep your job? And what if the reason you’re forced to do it, is not because of negligence or mismanaged time, but it’s what your boss expects of you, for weeks or even months at a time?
This hypothetical situation is unfortunately all too real in the game development industry, and it’s one that’s been going for far longer than is comfortable to admit. “Crunch Culture”, as it’s been aptly dubbed, has recently been making headlines in the video game industry with countless reports of game developers forced to work in wildly unhealthy job conditions. Red Dead Redemption 2, one of the most critically-acclaimed video games of all time, was developed by Rockstar Games who have found themselves in the limelight for unwanted reasons. The company’s co-founder, Dan Houser, claimed that employees of the Manhattan-based gaming giant were working “100-hour weeks” during preparation for the game’s release in 2018. This story isn’t a unique one either. Over at Epic Games (creators of Fortnite), one employee admitted to working consecutive 70-hour weeks when the game’s success really took off in 2019, with dozens of others working up to 100 hours.
So let’s talk about what’s going on here. In 2004, an open letter was published online by “EA Spouse”, an anonymous spouse of an EA (Electronic Arts) employee, who described in great detail the physical, mental, and emotional limits that their SO was pushed to in order to keep up with the hefty demands of his job. In this lengthy post, the author writes, “No one works in the gaming industry unless they love what they do.” So are these just huge gaming fanatics who take up insanely strenuous hours in order to produce the best product possible? Not quite. On the other hand, are these gaming companies simply forcing their employees to work 60, 70, or even 100 hours a week? Again, not exactly. Most company executives claim that developers do not have to work beyond their standard 40-hour weeks, but it rarely works out that way within the reality of their offices. Additionally, some do enact mandatory overtime. And, legally speaking, many gaming companies can get away with not having to pay their developers overtime for their extra hours due to labor laws. For the companies that don’t explicitly tell developers and producers to continue beyond their regularly scheduled hours, it’s still an expectation across the board. Referring back to the Epic Games crunch situation, one worker described this process. “If I got to the end of an eight-hour workday and I turned to my supervisor to ask if I needed to stay on, they’d often look at me as if I was actively stupid. Officially, you don’t have to keep working, but in reality: ‘Sit back down, we’ll be here for a while.’ If you did not do overtime, that was a mark against your character.” Elsewhere, gaming developers have described a culture of fear within their workplaces, or experiencing immense guilt if they were to take an evening or weekend off because their workload would then be placed onto someone else. In other words, if you had any hope of keeping your job, it came at the expense of your time, along with your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
The current climate of video game expectations hasn’t helped the crunch either. For a number of years, games were typically released in their final state, with DLC’s (downloadable content) becoming more of a norm over time. Even then, those add-on’s would be few in number and usually not anticipated for several months after the game’s release. Today, games are expected to update big and fast. New content and patches to fix glitches and bugs are absolutely essential to keep an audience engaged in your game. In turn, developers are tasked with making these changes instantly, creating a crunch that never ceases. And with the gaming industry expected to be worth nearly $385 billion in 2023, the desire for companies to cash-in is only set to grow.
Now, the outlook for game development professionals isn’t all grim. There are still many gaming companies who promote healthy work environments for their employees to create incredible projects without sacrificing well-being. Looking forward, talks of unionization for gaming workers have begun to hopefully enact some very necessary changes. And listen, I’m not here to French revolution the whole industry, but simply to shed some light on some of these issues that do need to be talked about because the video game industry is one worth preserving. It generates billions of dollars and enlists some of the most devoted professionals out there because it truly does produce incredible, heart-racing, jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring art. As someone who has been playing video games since he was 6 years old (unashamedly), I have a deep appreciation for the passionate efforts that video game developers have put into their games over the years, efforts worth being celebrated.
If you’d like to immerse yourself in a genuine celebration of fighting, racing, competitive, casual, dancing, guitar-slamming, new, classic, and down-right-good video games, then come on out to our Video Game Night on Friday, April 21 at 8 p.m. in the LaHaye Event Space (I will be there, and I will beat you at any game, and that’s a challenge).
Written by Jordan Hassler
Jordan is a Junior 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.
Sustainability in Fashion
April 13, 2023
Maybe it’s the thrill and creative burst that came with Tumblr, or maybe it’s the influence of diverse and unique styles that came with TikTok, but either way there is no denying the surge in focus on fashion and individuality of style in recent years. Heck, maybe it’s even just Liberty’s own culture that seems to have a focus on fashion throughout different key groups that make Liberty what it is. I know that personally, a combination of social influence and of course, the encouragement from others to dress fashionably and uniquely at Liberty has increased my passion for fashion over the past few years. With that, in part with being a college student, I’ve made some (unfortunate) decisions to buy cute, trendy clothing for cheap (cough cough SHEIN…). No shame, I won’t pretend that many of us haven’t been in the same boat with pure, impoverished intentions. It’s hard to face reality when it comes to buying new clothing for less money. As hard as that pill is to swallow, by buying from places like SHEIN, ASOS, Zara and more, all we end up doing is funding multinational platforms that take advantage of low-wage workers and steal designs from legitimate hard-working designers; this is called fast fashion, and it’s literally everywhere.
Aside from the obvious that fast fashion puts extra work on underpaid workers and steals unique designs from talented designers, fast fashion also creates a ridiculous amount of textile production and waste. Of course, there are plenty of ways to recycle clothing and upcycle as well. Take Madewell, for example, who makes it incredibly easy to recycle denim. I get it though, places like Madewell are stoooopid expensive and hard to justify spending the money on, no matter the mission or the quality of the clothes. So, then, how the heck are we supposed to make fashion more sustainable while still keeping up with the trends and expressing our own stylistically creative designs? Well, there’s a few ways. For one, I highly recommend checking out local thrift stores and second-hand retailers as often as you can. Rather than buying something brand spanking new hot off the production line, why not buy something lightly worn or even vintage for a fraction of the price? This cuts back on textile waste and helps to highlight individual taste. By sorting through racks or bins of miscellaneous clothing, you are so much more likely to find something that screams “you” than the newest psychedelic top Kendall Jenner wore down the runway that can be found at every other fashion retailer.
Another way to keep fashion sustainable is to simply buy less clothes. It hurts, I know. I’m a retail therapy girl through and through, but there also comes a point where I have to be realistic about what I’m buying. Will I really wear this? How often? With what? With the idea of ‘less is more’ in the world of fashion, I rely on capsule wardrobes. In case you haven’t heard, a capsule wardrobe is a closet full of bare necessities, all of which can be put together in endless combinations to provide more outfits with less clothes. It takes time to build, but I think it is so worth it. Mix in a fun print or your favorite color as well! Your wardrobe is completely yours, so make it your own… just with less. Finally, to keep fashion sustainable, also keep in mind cycling clothes through with your friends. Sharing is caring! And for those special occasions where you’re tempted to buy a $300 article of clothing that you’ll only wear one and a half times, consider renting clothes instead. There are websites like Rent the Runway that allow you to rent show-stopping pieces for an affordable price so that you don’t have to worry about a bulky suit or dress taking up a third of your closet space.
It’s devastating to think that the fashion industry is responsible for up to 10% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions and accounts for about a fifth of 300 million tons of plastic produced in the world each year. With our next event coming up on, Runway Bingo on April 15, I encourage you to bust out your best look (I’ll be fan-girling) but keep sustainability in mind. Heck, if you’re extra creative, why not make it your own somehow? Sewing is so fun and pretty easy once you get the basics down, so why not add your own personal flair to turn something you like into something you love! Remember to shop second-hand when you can, and that less is more. Share with your friends and be realistic with yourself about how often you’ll wear that neon suit. There’s a ton more information about keeping fashion sustainable available at Forbes, Vogue, and even the Harvard Business Review, so I encourage you to do your own research and discover your own way to be mindful about sustainability in fashion. We can’t all be a master on the sewing machine or at the thrift racks, so find comfort in the fact that there are other ways to be conscious and responsible when it comes to reducing waste in the fashion industry. Go forth and slay the house down.
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.
Not Your Mom’s Christian Music
April 7, 2023
There is a revival happening, and we get to witness it.
I want you to imagine something for me; picture your life without music. Every car ride, concert, shower, stroll around campus, and workout is absolutely silent… I think you and I can both agree that life would be a relatively unenjoyable experience if we weren’t able to indulge in our favorite songs. Although we may not notice it, music plays a tremendous role in our day-to-day functions. It has the ability to lift us up when we are feeling low and motivate us to push through seasons that bear a heavy burden on our shoulders. It’s crazy to think of what just a few rhymes and instruments can do.
Music is an essential aspect of life, which is no different for Christians. For Christians, the difference comes in the content. We want to enjoy music without compromising our values, and for a while, Christianity and quality music only sometimes went together. Let’s be honest; we are not always in the mood to listen to a Southern Baptist choir or hear that K-Love contemporary Christian hit for the 100th time. Christian music has not been taken seriously in the music industry for a while, but we are witnessing a revolution. This is the best time to listen to Christian Music. We have bands like Gable Price & Friends, Jervis Campbell, Allie Paige, Taylor Armstrong, and Antoine Bradford making Christian music as we have never heard before. That list can go on. We are seeing singers and songwriters using the gifts and creativity that God gave them to make good, inventive Christian music that is not only quality but powerful. We may not sing these songs on a Sunday morning, but that’s okay. God created us all uniquely, and for Christian music to echo this diversity is beautiful.
The ’90s and ’00s were rough for Christian music. It sounded the same. Sure, there were different genres, but it all had that Christian music vibe that made it so similar. As we entered the 2010s, we started to see a change in this music; it became more inventive. One of the pioneers of this movement was Ghost Ship. They were a group of worship leaders who set out to make Christian music sound different. I highly recommend the songs “Son of David” and “Where Were You.” This is where we began to see that Christian music can be God-honoring but sound distinctly unique.
Fast forward to now, we live in a time where talented songwriters create beautiful Christian music. This is exciting! This is praiseworthy. Now hear me out. I am not saying that other CCM music is terrible or not honoring God. We need to celebrate the awakening of a new generation of Christian music talent. Take the song “I’m remembering” by Taylor Armstrong. You will most likely not hear this song on Christian radio or at your local church, but it is still worship-inspiring, recounting God’s provision in our lives. We also see an increasing number of songs that don’t just talk about how life is great with God. Because sometimes it is not, and sometimes it is tough. People need to hear this expressed through worship, so they don’t search for that in secular music.
God has created a tremendous capacity for creativity in us, and seeing this creativity bring forth unique music that glorifies God is amazing. I look forward to where this leads us, and I hope you are too. Come to our last Open Mic of the semester on the 18th at 7 p.m. to witness a new generation of creativity and talent!
Written by Storm Nickerson
Storm is studying Music Recording through the school of Digital Media and Journalism. He is currently a junior here at LU and was born and raised in Virginia Beach.
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.
Love, Heartbreak and the In-between
March 16, 2023
You can’t sleep. You can’t think. Your hands get all sweaty. Trying to form regular sentences becomes an impossible task. Maybe you feel a little bit nauseous. (Relatable.) While these are all symptoms of disease, I’m actually talking about a different life-altering sickness that most of us have felt at least once in our life: love.
Falling in love can be so terrifying but exhilarating, heart-stopping but heart-starting at the same time. The necessary awkwardness that leads to something magical can be the best part of your life. Being in love can make you feel so complete, content, crazy, or in crisis. And when that love is reciprocated? It proves that every overanalyzed text, carefully planned Instagram story like, and casual-ish coffee run was worth it. Because it got you to a point of pure happiness. Our brains quite literally produce different chemicals when we’re in love. Higher dopamine levels create higher serotonin levels which both just end up making you feel giddy. Love can be so perfect.
But if you’re in more of a headspace to blast “Traitor” by Olivia Rodrigo instead of wanting to ever read that paragraph again, you know that some loves are just NOT perfect. I think Taylor Swift said it best, “Falling feels like flying ‘til the bone crush.” It can be so embarrassing to go out on a limb for someone only for them to burn the tree down. If you’re not one to get embarrassed (good 4 u, please teach me your ways), there are plenty more emotions that come with landing after the fall: anger, depression, rage, emptiness, like you want to break something, like you want to lay in bed for three weeks… Let’s just say, there’s definitely not a lot of dopamine or serotonin involved in heartbreak.
Letting ourselves be vulnerable in front of another person is already a huge deal for most of us. This is the generation raised on the Internet, so while we will always revel in others’ stories and maybe share stories of our own online, they’re always a little glossed over. We want to present a self that seems shiny and perfect and unmarred by the scars of life and love, unless it’s something we intentionally choose to brand as something heroic. Unfortunately, that’s pretty much impossible to do when face to face with another human being you potentially could spend the rest of your life with.
I’m sure that every single human reading this relates to at least one sentence so far. If not, certainly one word. Honestly… screaming, crying, throwing up can apply to both situations. Either way, these are all feelings and experiences that are part of human existence. It’s what draws us together and unifies us in ways, unlike any other creature. And I think that’s special, for better or for worse.
A late-night hang with the girlies about how That Guy did them both dirty and they never want to see him again or a casual Thursday morning in the library where a guy tells his friend about This Girl who’s got him smiling and kicking his feet can be incredibly bonding experiences. I mean, think about someone who made you feel like you were completely floating through air. Now, think about someone who made you feel like you were a crumpled-up piece of paper lying on the floor. We’ve all got names for both of those scenarios. Some of us have one name for both scenarios.
Whether you’ve found the person you’re going to marry, you’ve never even been in a relationship, or you’re on one of the countless rollercoaster rides in between, we’re all trying to fall and learn to fly before we crash. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got Exes or are currently sharing XO’s, love is what makes the world go ‘round.
Come be a part of the human experience of love and heartbreak at Coffeehouse: Exes and XO’s on Saturday, March 25! You can buy your tickets now at Liberty.edu/SA if you want to scream along to the greatest hits of any relationship.
Written by Anna Pender
Anna is the Special Events Manager of Student Activities.
When I Grow Up…
February 16, 2023
Last summer I had the opportunity to work at a daycare, and one day I asked an elementary age boy the same question adults asked me a million times when I was a kid: what do you want to be when you grow up? I remember wanting to be an artist and author when I was five years old; my sister wanted to be a firefighter. I’m sure we all remember having our own aspirations as kids: doctor, teacher, singer, actor, real estate agent, major league baseball player, etc. But this little boy answered with a career that I don’t even remember existing when I was a kid: a YouTuber. Isn’t that answer so telling of our times? To the confusion and possibly even disgust of the older generations, Gen Z views becoming a social media influencer or vlogger as valid career choice. In fact, according to LinkedIn, “For… Gen Z tweens… the top choice for career path was ‘You Tuber’… For older members of Gen Z… 54% would become an influencer if the opportunity was presented to them.”
I think the older generations are going to raise questions like “can you actually support yourself financially?” or “will your job security last only as long as you’re famous?” But for Christians, I think a different question might take precedence: is it Christ-like to make your living through something that requires you to seek out popularity? After all, doesn’t Mark 9:35 say that “anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all”? We all probably know of somebody social media famous who claimed to be a Christian but let pride get to their head and was less than a Christ-like example. Does that mean that Christians should avoid these careers altogether?
In John 17:16-18, Jesus prays, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” I want to highlight two big things from this verse: the need for cultural engagement and the need for an understanding of truth. We may not be able to reverse the trend that our generation is spending more and more time scrolling on their phones, filling their minds with all the entertainment, beauty, and clutter social media has to offer. But we do have the opportunity to engage in the culture our generation is a part of by influencing what they view on their screens. Unbelievers can have access to the gospel literally at their fingertips… but only if there are young people producing culturally relevant content that fills their feeds with the hope of Christ. Still, so many twisted “Christian” messages are flowing out into the world. That is why it is so important that we become saturated in truth through time spent studying the Bible, so we can be accurate messengers of the Gospel. While we may be sharing our favorite product or favorite hobby in our vlogs and TikToks, our ultimate goal should be to reflect the light of Christ, humbly accepting our position of popularity as an opportunity to be a messenger.
Whether we have an Instagram following of fifty, there’s a blue check mark next to our handle, or we avoid social media for whatever reason, we are all influencers in our world. How are we going to use the platform that God has given us?
Culture is certainly changing, and the older generations may budge against the Gen Z’s perception of careers. When it really comes down to it, the main concern should not be whether the old is better than the new or vice versa but whether we are willing to use whatever career we enter into to share the age-old truth of the Gospel.
If you’re wanting to rewind time and reminisce about what it was like to be a kid fantasizing about what you wanted to be when you grow up, come out to Career Day Bingo this Saturday, February 18, at 9:00 p.m. in the LaHaye Event Space, where you can show off your amazing fit for your dream career!
Written by Moriah Joseph
Joshua Bassett Found Love?
February 8, 2023
We can all remember when the single “Driver’s License” or the entire Sour album by Olivia Rodrigo came out. Our generation rocked out to the new songs of heartbreak. We were also taken on the dramatic journey between her and ex, Joshua Bassett. We’ve recently heard his side of this heartbreak story in his new music release “Different”. Now, Joshua Bassett has taken a turn and is speaking out about finding love… Jesus’ love.
This year Joshua Basset has posted about his personal experience of finding faith in Jesus. He posted on Twitter, “Jesus Christ is the only way…” shocking fans inside and outside of the Christian world. After the initial post, he shared more details of his encounters. When looking into this topic, media headlines state things like “fans concerned about Joshua Bassett” or “fans wondering if Joshua Bassett is ok.” On the flip side, Christians are excited that another Hollywood star has found Christ, and many leave encouraging messages for him.
I think it is important to address both sides. Culture views choosing to follow Jesus as a concerning thing – we’ve witnessed this in recent comments. I think it can be easy for Christians to become frustrated with these responses around us. But then I remember when John says, “do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.” (1 John 3:13). Scripture prepares us for these situations knowing that we, and Christianity, will not be accepted by the world. More than that, there will be pushback.
On the other side, many of us have concerns about celebrities coming to know and follow Christ, yet their way of life never looks different. It’s not that we are looking for faults or expecting transformation overnight, but as scripture reiterates to us, there should be fruits of our faith. As we spend more and more time with God, we will look more and more like Him. James 4:4 says, “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” This part explains that it’s not possible to be a part of the world while living for Christ. Unfortunately, it is common for our favorite stars to fall back into what the world gives and, in the end, choose that path instead.
Another reminder for myself, and I believe many of us, is that we don’t know their hearts, only God does. We aren’t the judges, God is (James 4:12). As we are each on our own walk with Christ, comparison can creep in and cause us to compare our walk to those following Christ “better than us” or those “failing worse than us.” This reminds me of the story of Jesus and the woman caught in sin. “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7) None of us are truly pure, yet God still loves us just as much. As a brother or sister in Christ, it is our job to love them as Christ first loved us and spur them on towards Him.
We follow the lives of many celebrities all the time, find pleasure in their personal drama or indulge in their work, whether it be music, film, etc. I think it is too common for Christians not to look beyond the surface and see them as real people in need of a savior. Even though we don’t have a direct relationship with them, we can be obedient in the areas God calls us by praying for them allowing Him to change their heart.
The Every Square Inch Conference is a great way to learn about how theology and culture meet. It is important to understand theological foundations and how to approach the world we live in through the lens of scripture. Come hear Trevin Wax speak on the merging of Culture and faith at 9:45 AM, 2:15 PM, and 5:30 PM on Thursday, February 9th. When evangelizing to a friend or a stranger, it is vital to understand the faith we claim to have. It is also essential to know your audience and how their culture influences how they view life and faith. Check out the schedule here!
If Joshua Bassett’s recent experiences are to teach us anything, I think we should remember to pray for the celebrities we follow, our friends, classmates, neighbors, coworkers, and anyone else we encounter in daily life. Let’s also pray that Joshua’s influence can lead more people to Christ. I’ll end my post as He ended his: “I’m better than I have ever been, the peace I feel is far beyond what I thought possible.”
Written by Makena Joseph
Makena is a senior studying Graphic Design with a minor in Business. She plans to run her own design company specializing in brand design and move to Hawaii post-graduation. In her free time she loves binging tv shows, cooking, and spending quality time with friends.
January 6, 2023
2023 is here, and spring is coming. There is much to look forward to in the spring, like warmer weather, blooming flowers, baby animals, and longer days! No more sunsets at 5:00, please. As Liberty kicks off the spring semester, Student Activities is here to help with your entertainment needs.
We are kicking off the semester with a classic Open Mic on January 17th; there are 6 Open Mics, so find the one that works for you and come on out. However, we recommend coming to all of them. Also, in January, we are bringing back a favorite from the Fall, Neon Mini Golf, which will be on January 27th.
February holds the first concert of the semester. Jordy Searcy will be coming to the LaHaye Event Space on February 10th. I recommend looking Jordy Searcy up on Spotify if you have never heard his music; the vibes are immaculate. We have another concert on January 25 with Beach Chapel. Beach Chapel is an up-and-coming band from the west coast that uses catchy pop melodies as a vessel for Christian music. You can find more information about these shows on our website at Liberty.edu/sa.
March is all about Coffeehouse! We are all excited for Coffeehouse exes & XOs on March 25th. In the most fitting fashion, tryouts for Coffeehouse will be held on February 13th, 14th, 17th, and 18th. Buy your tickets here! If you need a way to break the ice with that special someone in preparation for Coffeehouse, we will have Late Skate at the LaHaye Ice Center on March 3rd.
If you go through the semester and decide that you want to work for Student Activities, come check out our Job Fair on April 4th. We will also showcase a new event on April 21st; Student Activities will host a Video Game Night. Keep your eyes on our social media for more details. April ends with a bang with After Party on April 29th.
Our last event of the Spring is the fan-favorite Yard sale, come out and sell all that stuff you know you don’t need. It’s nice to leave for the summer with some extra money in your pockets. If you want more information on this event or others, follow Student Activities on Instagram (@libertysa) and check out our website.
Written by Jordan Kreitzinger
Jordan is the Assistant Director of Student Activities and leader of the Blog Team.