Archives for December 2013

Off for Christmas Break

Thursday afternoon I left Bethel for Christmas Break. This break is also the end of fall semester at Bethel College. I left Bethel about 3pm on Thursday, went home for about 10 minutes, and then went to my youngest sister’s basketball game in Whitewater. I got home late that evening and had a little bit of time to relax. The next day, Friday, I left at 1pm for my Camp Mennoscah summer staff reunion. I just got back from that a few hours ago. Of course, if was super fun! But, I am now back at home and do not have to go anywhere. I can sit and read a book or take a nap if I want to. While I have many things I need to do this week, for now I am just reveling in this time off.

chrstmasAs I think back on this past semester at Bethel, I realize that I grew in many ways. This was a very busy semester for me. My classes were no harder than usual, but I had a lot more hours than I was used to. At times I was very challenged deciding how to keep a good balance between school work and socializing. There were many days that I went to class, went to work, and then studied the rest of the evening. Sometimes this frustrated me. But, I am very happy with how my semester went. Hard work may be boring at times, but worth it in the end.

pumpkinThough I was not able to socialize as much as I wanted, I still grew a lot closer to many people. I had never lived with four of the girls in my mod, and did not know very much about them. I grew to appreciate these four girls not just as nice people, but for the unique aspects that I soon learned about each one of them. I also expanded my overall friendships at Bethel; some people I did not know very well have become very good friends.

End Of semester Review

As the end of the semester winds down, a lot of us find ourselves reflecting over what happened over the course of the semester. From memories made, those laugh-until-your-face hurt moments, to maybe even those that you wish you could forget, now is the time a lot of us do that. And I was doing that today as well. After I took my one and only final of the day, I started thinking about this semester, how it all began, and what I thought at the beginning of the semester, compared to what I think now.

The first day I was on campus, I had told myself that I wasn’t going to let anyone know that I was any different than any other student on campus. I wasn’t going to let them find out I was 26 years old. I wasn’t going to let them find out that I am a single mother to two kids. I wasn’t going to let them know that my college history of getting to the point where I am now was a rough road. As well, I never thought that I’d make real friends here…..

So what changed? Shortly after the first few weeks, people started coming out of their shell. As did I. I still wasn’t able to open up to a lot of people, but there were starting to be cracks in my cover-up and conseal. I met two other students who were moms. One of them confided to me that only a few other people knew. That’s when it struck me. Since when is being a mom so bad? Why was I trying to hide my children from this part of my life? When did having children, suddenly seem like the worst thing ever?

As time progressed, I lost my mask that I was so adamant about having the first few weeks of school. I told people I was a mom to two wonderful children named Emma and Luke. After I let them know, they could see that I put them as a top priority in my life. I brought them to a football game, and brought them to trick-or-treat off the street. And these people that I had been going to school with, were treating my kids as an extension of me. They treated my children with the same kind of kindness and respect that they had treated me with.

And suddenly, I felt like a fool for trying to cover up who I am.

I took off the mask, and started being me. Me…Mallory. Mallory with the kids. Mallory with the curly frizzy red hair. Mallory who is 26, but still feels like I belong here. Mallory who has more than her fair share of blonde moments….. And I came to find out, that people still liked the real Mallory, 26 with two kids, and all.

And I have the students to thank for that. Thank you for making me realize that the shell I had put up to “protect” me, was in fact hindering me from my Bethel experience.

Stress Busters!

As I mentioned in my previous post, this blog contains tips to relieve stress because this is a busy week for Bethel students, staff and faculty as they are wrapping up the end of the semester. Also, even if you aren’t at Bethel, people deal with stress in their lives each and every day. I hope you find this blog relevant and helpful for you! Even if you have heard of these tips before, sometimes it helps me to be reminded of them!

The following are tips that  I found from an online article at Webmd.com.

The first tip is to Meditate. This only takes a few minutes out of your day. In this article it states that there is research that suggests daily meditation may alter the brain’s neural pathways. This altering makes you more resilient to stress. 

The second tip is the simple task of Breathing Deeply. This task also does not take a lot of time out of your day. When you get to the point of very high stress, take a step back from what you’re doing and concentrate on breathing deeply with your eyes closed. Inhale through your nose and then exhale out of your mouth. Breathing deeply helps slow your heart rate and lower blood pressure which helps counter the effects of stress.

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Another helpful hint mentioned in this article was to Reach Out. Being able to talk to people from your support system is a very important resource for dealing with stress and is a tip that I persona

Another easy stress reliever is to Be Grateful. How does being grateful help relieve stress may you ask? Well when you are thinking about the things you are thankful for it cancels out the negative thoughts and worries. I know I have a lot to be thankful for so this is an easy tip for me!lly use a lot. I have a great family and a great mod full of girls that I can talk to when I get stressed and need to vent!

The last fun stress reliever tip that I will leave you with I also found on Webmd.com. This article listed foods that also reduce stress as well! These foods include:

- Complex carbs (whole grain breakfast cereals, breads, pastas)

- Oranges

- Spinach

- Pistachios

- Avocados

- Raw Veggies

-… And More!

Christmas Plans

This is finals week! Lots of stress, crying, and studying. Maybe it is not that bad, but it’s quite intense!  To get away from all of the stress I decided to ask all of my mod mates what they are doing over Christmas Break. Except Michelle Unruh, because she is taking a final right now… oops!

Katelyn Melgren- Her mom’s side of the family is coming to town and staying with Katelyn’s family for a few days. They will be going to the Christmas Eve service at her church. They will also have an extended family grab bag with the stipulation that the gift has to be related to food. Christmas with her dad’s family will be the following weekend, over New Years, and they will have a grab bag gift exchange with the theme of silly slippers.

Alli Rudeen- She is going home to Osage City. Later, she will come back to this area for her mom’s side family Christmas in Moundridge. This will be a rather large party of 20+ people. Her brother and sister in law, Aaron and Rachel, will also be coming home from where they live in Oregon. At some point, Alli will have Christmas with her dad’s family in Kansas City. In addition to these plans, Alli is going to catch up with some high school friends before they go to study abroad, read some books, get excited for her interterm trip to Europe, and not think about school for three weeks. Of course, she is hoping for some shopping trips with her mom, also!

Alyssa Scheuerman- She and her other two siblings will all be travelling home for this break. Then Alyssa is going to Iowa to see her grandparents.  She is excited to make candy with her mom and help her dad chore. More importantly, she is excited for all of her siblings to be together, because it will be the first time since last Christmas. 

Madelyn Weaver- She is going to stay in Hesston and spend a lot of time with her family. She will be having a Weaver and Lehman Christmas also. The Weaver Christmas is at her house and the Lehman Christmas will most likely be at her grandparents in Florence, KS. They will bake sugar cookies, and on Christmas Eve they will eat a special raclette meal, which is a Swiss tradition that her family has.

Allie Hipp- She is going to visit her grandparents in Ellis, KS. Her extended family will have a grab bag and,yes, present stealing is allowed. The stealing can sometimes get very intense, so hopefully she will survive the break ;). When she is not having fun, she will be working with her dad on the farm. Allie also has a lot of presents to wrap because she has already finished her Christmas present shopping! Apparently this lady knows how to black Friday shop! 

My plans, you ask? I will be going home for a few days, and then traveling to California with my parents and siblings. We will be staying with my grandparents and having a wonderful Christmas there! I think skiing may be in the line up… which I have never done! Then around New Years Day, we will head home, right in time for interterm to start.

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Mod 6A Christmas picture

December is Here!

group gala This past week was very busy! I had multiple assignments due all at once, including a 30 minute presentation and multiple papers. Friday was reading day, oh, and also Gala! I do not think much “reading” was done on this day. So, Gala happened Friday night. We had a delicious meal in Memorial Hall, which was very beautifully decorated. Next was a cold walk over to the FAC for the jazz concert. All of the musicians did a wonderful job! After that, we walked over to the president’s house where we were served cookies and could take pictures with Santa! Finally there was a dance that I heard was a great time.

linaTwo days later, we had some more fun-but-distracting-from-studying events. The first was Lighting of the Green. I helped out with this event by passing out candles and then lighting them. For a person who is not very good with lighters to begin with, this was a very difficult task in the bitter cold. But, the candles, singing, and company was totally worth braving the weather.

 Immediately after Lighting of the Green, everyone could head over to the caf for a nacho bar and presents from the Bethel Parent’s council. All Bethel students received a Mojo’s gift card- which is one the best kind of gifts to get! This was also a tacky Christmas sweater party. I saw some pretty tacky sweaters. However, Allan Jantz’s was not supposed to be tacky… in case you were wondering!  

Today is Tuesday, the 10th of December. I had one final yesterday, took two already today, and have one left at seven tonight. After that I am done with school for a few weeks! Well, almost. I plan to stick around to finish up my service learning volunteer hours and work at my campus job for some extra Christmas money!

Winter Gala

This past Friday was the Winter Gala. This is like a Christmas prom or semi formal for college students. It was a VERY chilly evening which made walking to and from the events of the night a little uncomfortable but despite the bitter cold, I had a wonderful time!

 

 

mod Santa

 

It started off with a dinner served in Memorial Hall by faculty and staff. The decorations were beautiful and the food was delicious. There was also a place up on stage decorated  for taking pictures with your dates and friends.  After the meal was the Jazz concert. My friends and I went to listen and it was a great performance done by the jazz students here at Bethel. There was also supposed to be horse-drawn carriage rides but unfortunately because of the cold they were canceled. After the Jazz performance we headed to President White’s house for cookies and hot drinks! Again, the snacks were delicious and they also had a Santa that you could take a picture with which was fun! Following all of these activities was the last event of the night: the dance.

The evening was fun but waking up the next day I, along with many others had to start focusing on the finals waiting for us once the weekend was over. I’ve spent a lot of my time ever since in the library and Mojo’s, but the end is in sight! 

Last year around finals time I began blogging about “stress buster tips” to help get students through finals, professors through their end-of-the semester work, and for anyone else who is dealing with a lot of stress. I decided that I will include a little bit of that this semester so be looking for my next blog about ways to reduce your stress!