Home   /   Blog  /  Archive by category "SA Events"

Category: SA Events

All the Time We’ve Had Together

April 26, 2024

We are officially in the final stretch of the year. For most Liberty students, summer break is about a week away. A time for them to relax before Fall semester begins. For seniors, a much longer break is about a week away, something we call “post grad. life”. A phrase that can be exciting yet daunting at the same time.

Before seniors start focusing on their whole future that lies ahead, it’s important to reminisce on all the good memories they experienced during their four years at Liberty.

As students at Liberty University, we sometimes take for granted all the benefits and opportunities we have on campus. There is a certain culture here that sets us apart from other colleges such as our community, frequent events, and gatherings held every week.

After asking seniors around campus what they will miss after graduating, these were the most popular answers: Campus Community, the people here, football games, Convocation, Hiking/camping, Cole Mountain, community groups, open mic nights, and the sunsets.

Other honorable mentions: Nights at Cookout, The ROT, Snowflex, Sparky, local coffee shops, hammocking, La Carreta, Montview Starbucks, Rookies

Many seniors emphasized how much the people here have impacted their experience here at Liberty University.

“I’m probably going to miss talking to and meeting genuine people who care about you and your walk with the Lord,” – Emily Connell

“When I graduate, I’m going to miss the wonderful people I have met. Liberty University is a unique environment that fosters Christ-centered relationships along with my academic and spiritual growth. I’ve learned from my professors and hall leadership who always encourage me to love others as Christ did,” – Jordan

Before saying goodbye to the friends you made throughout the years, it’s necessary to have one last HURRAH all together! What better way to celebrate than going to After Party?!!

Mark your calendars for April 27th at 5 p.m. where you have the chance to experience a concert, carnival rides, neon mini golf, a surf simulator and so much more! There will be live performances from renowned artists Josiah Queen, Jordy Searcy, and other special guests. This is a free event for all Liberty students to attend! Don’t miss this opportunity to make lasting memories before summer begins. See you there!

 

Written by Madi Lewis

Madi is a junior studying Strategic communications with a focus in Social Media Management. She loves spending time with family and friends. The summertime, fashion, traveling and capturing moments on camera. Writing has always been a creative hobby of hers and she’s excited to be a part of the Student Activities blog team!

The Motion Picture Prestige of Christopher Nolan

April 12, 2024

Allow me to introduce you to the man, the myth, and the legend—Sir Christopher Nolan himself (yes, the British director is actually receiving a knighthood).

In his career, Nolan has won over 200 awards and has been nominated for nearly 300. For more than 25 years, Nolan has pursued filmmaking with the same curiosity and enthusiasm he approached it with when he was a young boy shooting on a Super-8 camera. He has carried this strength through each film he has worked on, regardless of his role.

Nolan started taking an interest in film at a young age and used to shoot stop-motion short films for fun. During his time at University College London, Nolan studied English literature while gaining experience through the college’s film society. This gave him the skills he needed to create his first full-length film, Following (1998). The low-budget film won several film festival awards, helping Nolan gain support for his next film, Memento(2000), which was nominated for both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award. This film expertly showcased Nolan’s creative and engineering abilities, particularly in the orchestration of time throughout the storyline—a theme that has appeared in many of his films.

Nolan completed his film Insomnia in 2002 starring celebrities Al Pacino, Robin Williams, and Hilary Swank. The film was nominated for several awards and won Nolan an award at the London Critics Circle Film Awards for best British director.

After these smaller films, Nolan was approached by DC Comics to recreate the Batman film franchise, starting with Batman Begins (2005) starring Christian Bale as the beloved superhero. This movie was unique and fascinating, not only because of the nostalgia connected to such a fan-favorite figure but also because of the incredible attention to detail and large-scale production quality. The film won 15 awards and was nominated for 79. The blockbuster success was only the first step in even greater achievements to come.

The following year, Nolan came out with The Prestige (2006), starring Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale. This film was written by Nolan and his brother Jonathan, another creative genius, and Nolan helped to direct and produce the film as well. Again, weaving a mind-bending timeline into his complex story, this film is a masterpiece in its detail.

In 2008, The Dark Knight was released, which was one of Nolan’s finest films and is one of my absolute favorite movies. From casting to cinematography to score, the film is stunning in its concept and design. Grossing over $1 billion at the box office, the movie was a massive success due to its incredibly talented creative team. Sadly, star Heath Ledger died before being able to accept one of the two Oscars it won, however, his legacy will live on through his outstanding, yet unsettling portrayal of the psychologically tormented Joker.

Nolan’s next film Inception (2010) could be described as kaleidoscopic with its complex dream-in-a-dream storyline and diverse worlds. Nolan said that he was inspired by moviemaking positions to shape the roles of the main characters. Many critics discussed this award-winning film in detail and were fascinated by its intricately designed patterns and plot. During the writing process, Nolan was said to have worked closely with Leonardo DiCaprio on the formulation of his character. With such a complex story, DiCaprio helped Nolan to make the story more understandable for the audience.

The Dark Knight Rises (2012) was the last of the Batman movies Nolan worked on and was Nolan’s highest-grossing movie at the box office, bringing in over $1 billion. The movie was highly rated and added Anne Hathaway to the starring cast. It was a busy few years for Nolan as he also helped produce Man of Steel(2013) and Transcendence (2014).

Nolan started working on his next original movie during this time, Interstellar (2014), which again brought Hathaway into the starring cast. According to Hathway, this was a career-saving grace. Following her acceptance of an Oscar for Les Miserables, Hathaway was harshly ridiculed online, bringing her to an extremely low point in her career, and she greatly struggled to gain confidence in herself. Nolan offering her a role in Interstellar was largely what gave her the courage to keep moving forward in her career. Interstellar(2014) was written, directed, and produced by Nolan, getting much attention for its other-worldly effects and sets.

After going on to create a short film, Quay (2015), Nolan proceeded to create Dunkirk (2017). The film was widely recognized at the most prestigious film awards, and Nolan was nominated for an Oscar, two BAFTA awards, a Critics Choice Award, and many others. The war film featured a stunning color palette and cinematography as well as a notable cast.

Three years later in 2020, Tenet was released, which did well considering the difficult time during the pandemic. Tenet did win several big awards for its visual effects, but apart from that, was not nearly as recognized as some of Nolan’s previous films.

However, Nolan more than compensated for this slight dip in success with Oppenheimer (2023). The film was, to say the least, immaculate. The seven Oscars, seven BAFTA Awards, eight Critics Choice Awards, and over 100 more awards attest to that. It was Nolan’s third highest-grossing film at the box office, $50 million less than The Dark Knight.

The film was particularly meaningful to Nolan and those of his generation because of the real threat of nuclear war in the world he grew up in. There had been other films made about the creation of the bomb, yet Nolan stripped himself of these other influences and focused solely on his core research and recreating the story in his head to avoid creating something depicting a docudrama. Nolan discussed his writing process in an interview with the British Film Institute.

“I have to pretend that no one’s ever looked at this before,” Nolan said. “What I’ve found dealing with real material is I find a point where I have to treat it as if I’m making it up.”

Rumors are spreading like wildfire about the next Nolan film, yet he has not officially announced what it is. Some say he is going to do a more lighthearted film, others predict he will be recreating The Prisoner TV series, and others thought he was going to direct a James Bond movie (which he later denied). Regardless of the genre, it is undoubtedly going to be a masterpiece.

Sir Christopher Nolan is inarguably one of the best filmmakers of our time, dare I say, of all time. His standards and skill are nearly unmatched. His actors have the highest respect for him, and the relationship he forms with his cast is admirable to me as someone who desires to become a director. Nolan often uses the same actors for multiple starring roles, which deepens the director-actor relationship on another level. In an interview with fellow Oppenheimer cast members, Robert Downey Jr. commented on Nolan’s directing style.

“He’s kind of like a dad that you can’t have a beef with ‘cause he’s actually just a really good parent,” Downey Jr. said.

His non-judgmental approach mixed with the order and flow of the production process makes the experience somewhat surreal for the actors. Nolan allows his actors to open up, creating a safe environment for them to truly express themselves. A director has a great responsibility to protect the actors while maintaining the integrity of the story. As someone who has extensive experience fulfilling on only the director role, but also the writer and producer roles, Nolan has what it takes to pull off such extraordinary productions.

Regardless of whether the film was low-budget or blockbuster, throughout the entirety of his career, Nolan has paved the way for filmmakers to engineer their dreams into existence. Test your knowledge of this esteemed director and come to Trivia: Directed by Christopher Nolan on Saturday, April 13 at 8 p.m. in the LaHaye Event Space!

 

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!

There’s More to Animation than Disney

March 8, 2024

I was walking to class yesterday when I overheard an interesting conversation between two guys in the hallway.

Let me preface this by saying that when you work at Student Activities, the word “Coffeehouse” doesn’t just ring a bell. It rings all the bells. Whether you’ve been painting the decorations that are carefully mapped out to be placed throughout the Vines Center, or you’ve been developing the graphics and video content that contributes to the digital aspects of the show, I think it is safe to say that “Coffeehouse” is a bit of a buzz word for the Student Activities staff. So, while I wasn’t intent on eavesdropping, I did do a double-take when I overheard the following:

“Are you going to the Coffeehouse Disney thing?”

…Interesting.

Let me first acknowledge the insane grip Disney has on the animation industry. I could never deny it, even if I wanted to. The material Disney has produced, be it with Pixar or Walt Disney Animation Studios proper, is I’m sure what we all grew up on. Naturally, when we hear about a show that is themed around that specific medium of storytelling, we gravitate toward an understanding that Disney will be the most heavily represented.

But that grip is loosening. For whatever reason, Disney has had much less of a monopoly on Animated filmmaking since the transition to 3D animation became popularized. And since then, we’ve seen the rise of the Minions, How to Train Your Dragon, and everyone’s favorite meme sensation, Shrek. There’s also the long-standing history of international animation, including Studio Ghibli. (Although technically, Disney did have the American rights to the Studio Ghibli brand for a bit- and is still the distributor for home copies of the studio’s films.)

Can you imagine a world where the only animated movies that exist would be the Disney ones? Does the question “Ya like jazz?” mean nothing to you?

I don’t want to miscommunicate that it’s wrong to be an avid Disney fan. Feel free to do that- we love Disney around here. But don’t limit yourself to consuming just what Disney owns and has made. There is so much more out there.

Think of animation as an art form. (Because it is.) As a patron of the arts, you can’t limit yourself to just one artist. After a while, you’ll begin to see your artist’s work as the standard, and anything different will never measure up, not because it’s worse, but because it’s different. And just like anything else in life, eliminating new experiences and being uncomfortable with the unknown will only limit yourself from personal growth. That’s because animated films are powerful, just like their live-action counterparts, in how they change our minds and challenge our perspectives.

All that to say, Disney may be the leading brand for animation, but that doesn’t mean Coffeehouse: Animated is synonymous with Coffeehouse: Where Dreams Come True. (How’s that for a blast from the past?) There are so many other studios, artists, stories, soundtracks, and iconic characters that have nothing to do with the House of Mouse- so get excited to sit back and enjoy a show dedicated to all the animated media you consumed as a kid- and not just the films that could be played on the Disney Channel.

Coffeehouse: Animated takes to the Vines Center stage on March 23rd. That’s just around the corner, so grab those last-minute tickets here!

 

Luke is a sophomore studying Digital Media: Video Production. He is a Videographer with Student Activities, and has a passion for Nintendo franchises, movie soundtracks, and the digital arts.

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!

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.

Crunch Culture

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).

References:
https://ea-spouse.livejournal.com/274.html
https://www.polygon.com/2019/4/23/18507750/fortnite-work-crunch-epic-games
https://www.statista.com/outlook/dmo/digital-media/video-games/worldwide
https://www.vulture.com/2018/10/the-making-of-rockstar-games-red-dead-redemption-2.html
https://www.washingtonpost.com/video-games/2021/03/24/crunch-laws/

 

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 [1]. 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 [2]. 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 [3]. 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.

[1] https://news.booking.com/en-in/gen-z-and-social-media/

[2] https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/pcgn/hd_pcgn.htm

[3] https://www.zippia.com/advice/advertising-statistics/

 

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.