There's more to life at Bethel than classes & seminars

Beyond the green is a place students to share the joys and hardships of being a Thresher.

  • Mudslam, AKA The Dirtiest Volleyball You Have Ever Played

    Mudslam, AKA The Dirtiest Volleyball You Have Ever Played

  • Mod Life: Finding Fun Amidst Stress

    Mod Life: Finding Fun Amidst Stress

Concert Choir Tour 2015

Concert Choir Tour 2015

The choir's annual spring break tour took them into churches of various denominations in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, where they experienced amazing hospitality from an equal variety of people.
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Bethel in bloom

Bethel in bloom

It seems like we just turned around and suddenly it's spring all over the Bethel campus.
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Spring Fling 2015

Spring Fling 2015

Above is a photo from 2015's Bubbert Awards fun. The Bubberts capped off Spring Fling week, which also included Ultimate Trivia, laser tag, Capture the Flag and Bethel Olympics. Plus an Iron Chef Cook-off with a secret ingredient...
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The end of another school year

The end of another school year

Wrapping up, finishing up and moving out, as another school year ends. Our bloggers appreciate coffee, friends, beautiful coffee, summer plans, study breaks and ... coffee.
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They say you should never room with your best friend…

…but I say they’re wrong!

My best friend Kendra and I share a room together in Voth Hall.  We love being roommates and have had zero problems.  I can really only think of the benefits of rooming with Kendra — no downfalls have come to mind.  We are the type of friends that share everything, so it works out perfectly for us.


Here are just some of the great things about having your best friend as your roommate:

  • One giant shared wardrobe.  I think Kendra and I wear something of each other’s almost every day.  The only problem is that we don’t know what we are going to do over breaks and over summer!
  • Don’t want that whole bag of popcorn?  That’s what I’m here for.  We are always sharing food and eating each other’s leftovers.  We each have our own food too, but none of it is really owned.  Her mac n’ cheese is my mac’n cheese and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
  • 3 a.m. laughing/crying sessions.  This is a real thing!  We have had times where one of us says something funny and we end up laughing until we can’t breathe.  We’ve also had those nights where one or both of us are upset and really just need the other one.  That’s one of the best things about having a best friend as a roommate.
  • Honest opinions and advice.  I know I can count on Kendra to tell me whether my outfit works or not before I leave the room.  I can also depend on her to give me expert advice when I’m stressed or frazzled and just in need of someone to tell me that everything will be alright.


Those are just a few of the countless ways that I’m thankful for having my best friend as my roommate.  I know this situation might not work for everyone, but rooming with a good friend might just end up being one of the best things about college.  So before you count it out, maybe give it a try.

Thanks Ken, for being the best friend and roommate I could ask for :)


Competing Your Way Through College

In college, I’ve learned you have to step up and work harder, because there are a lot of other hard working students here that someday may be competing you for the same job. I’ve also learned that in my personal life, it is impossible to avoid competition. I don’t play sports, so that is not where I am heading with this, but I do have other things I compete for in my daily life.

College is one big competition, well in my opinion anyway. If you’re not going to class or doing your work, then you better believe that another student is. The same student may have the same major as you or has the same interests as you, so if the two of you are ever up for the same internship, placement, practicum, etc, and they see that that student put more effort into the courses they took than you did, then that person will likely be chosen before you will.

Life, in general, is one big competition after another. Playing sports might be the biggest thing in your life that involves competition but for someone who doesn’t play sports, let me tell you, there is more than enough competition in the different areas of  life. If you think about it, we compete every day to look our best, do our best, whether that be on the field, in the classroom, or on the stage, and be our best self. So imagine the stress of trying to compete with everyone around you to feel self-confident about yourself. If you haven’t already figured out, it’s not the best feeling in the world. This world revolves around people feeling like they have to be in a constant competition where it never seems to end until there is only one winner.

Tips for handling the rest of this semester

I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that this semester has really been a tough one. My classes are way harder than they were last year, extracurricular activities/jobs are taking up a significant amount of my time, and stress levels seem to be at an all-time high.

Last week, I spent almost 15 hours studying for one test! My life felt so consumed by Organic Chemistry and I got to the point where I was making horribly cheesy jokes about syn additions and Markovnikov. I’m pretty sure my friends thought I’d gone off the deep end.

I bet lots of you are feeling that way about your various studies and obligations by this point in the semester, too. We’ve got two more full weeks of class left, people! We can do this. I’ve decided to compile a list of a few tips that help me during stressful times.

  1. Do the tough stuff first. I am a huge advocate of making lists. When your day seems like it can’t be conquered because of the endless amount of things you have to do, writing down your obligations somehow makes everything seem a little more doable, and it makes the screaming/panicking voice in your head calm down a bit. Put the hardest things at the top of your to-do list and get them done early. Doing so will take the weight off of your shoulders and make you more motivated to carry on.
  2. Keep your space clean. You’ve heard it said “a cluttered desk = a cluttered mind.” I know you all probably aren’t as neat-freakish as I am, but regardless, I think we can all benefit from having a tidy place to study or relax. If you take a few minutes to pick up the clothes off your floor, organize all the stuff in your bathroom cabinets, or even just clear off your desk, it can really help relieve some stress. Cleaning/organizing my room is probably the first thing I do when I’m stressed. It helps me to feel like I’m getting things done and makes me feel better about the space I live in.
  3. Don’t overeat/under-eat. A lot of people tend to overeat or under-eat when they are stressed. Neither one is good for you and neither one will help you! Personally, I tend to under-eat when I’m stressed, which leads to irritability and lack of energy. The times that I do end up overeating though, I feel bloated and tired, because it’s usually candy or salty food that I binge on. So when you’re in the middle of cramming for your next test, be sure to snack on healthy food that will give your brain the energy to keep going. Check out this list of healthy, affordable snacks that are great for studying, and go stock up!
  4. Get away from the distractions. One of the worst places for me to get a lot of things done is in my room. There, I am tempted to take a nap, socialize and get distracted by so many things. My two favorite spots to study or get work done are Mojo’s and the library. I getting things done in Mojo’s because it’s often filled with other people who are engrossed in their work/studies. There’s something about having a hot cup of tea in that cozy environment that just makes me productive. The library is wonderful for many of the same reasons. It’s also very quiet most of the time, and there’s tons of space to find a place to dive in to your work. Many of those hours I spent last week studying for O. Chem were in the library.
  5. Dress up! I’m not saying you have to go full suit and tie, but putting on an outfit that you feel confident in can really give your brain a boost. Now that it’s getting really chilly outside, there are so many options like scarves, boots and coats to spice up your wardrobe. When I’ve got a big test or something coming up, I plan what I’m going to wear that day. One of my friends last year always wore a button-up shirt with dress pants on Anatomy and Physiology test days. He told me, “Dress well, test well.” And you know what? He got the highest score on every test in that class.

Hopefully some of these insights can help you get through this last bit of the semester. Leaning on friends and family when you’re stressed can also be a huge help, so take advantage of that.

The rest of the semester is going to be tough, but we got this!

Here’s a nice picture of a rainbow on campus to remind you that there’s hope even in the darkest times. :)



On Campus Therapy

School is stressful. For the most part, this is true no matter where you attend and what grade level you find yourself. It comes as no surprise then that I, like most seniors, have developed creative ways to relieve stress.

For instance, I have mastered the 15-minute nap. When reading gets to the point where I reread the same line over and over I usually decide I need to recharge.  A quick nap can leave me feeling refreshed without being groggy.

In stark contrast to a nap, sometimes an alternative is exercise. This usually comes in the form of a 3-mile jog. It’s just enough to make it worth taking a break from studying without it being too long that I need another nap just to recover from my run.

Another sedentary option that I frequently employ to relieve stress is eating. Candy, fast food or snacks…I don’t care. It is a great way to take your mind off of homework and feel better about life.

Finally, I enjoy playing disc golf on the course on Bethel’s campus. It is a quick and easy way to get exercise and take in the natural beauty that surrounds us.

Like I said, college is stressful but college is certainly manageable. You just have to find the stress relievers that work best for you.


Until next time-


Serving together

My favorite tradition as a Bethel College soccer player has been volunteering every November at the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) center. The entire team, coaches included, work for several hours together grinding, weighing, canning, cooking and labeling meat.

New players usually dread the thought of assembly line work and food processing. What appears to be tough manual labor, which it technically is at times, turns out to be an incredibly bonding experience for the entire team.


Teammates vary in their responses to the work. Some are incredibly focused on their job and work at an intense pace, while others work with friends and can be seen smiling and laughing throughout the process.

Whatever method you choose to complete the work, you end up feeling accomplished and satisfied by the end of the shift. It has been an absolutely pivotal team bonding moment for the team before we head into another off-season.

However, the greatest value of this event is not in the benefits of the team. The thousands of pounds of meat canned at MCC are sent to impoverished countries where many people struggle to find meals.


It is not just the soccer team who is involved with this process. Mennonite organizations provide several workers who travel with this project across the central USA in order to lead groups in food processing missions. Local community members volunteer their time to work shifts before, after and during the time soccer players are present.

Bethel’s emphasis on serving is not limited to donations and internal service projects. Bethel provides opportunities for students to volunteer their time among the community as we together serve one another,  our community, those in need and God.

Until next time-


Hello Guys!

Hello guys, my name is Hector Lopez. I am a new blogger for Bethel this year.

I am from Brownsville, Texas (most of you probably don’t know where that is). I am a transfer student from the University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA). I am here at Bethel to study nursing. I am looking to be admitted in the outstanding nursing program that Bethel has. I am an outgoing person but sometimes could be shy. I am always up to meet new people.

This is my first year here at Bethel and I could not be more excited to complete this semester meeting new people as well as new cultures. I am excited to share some of the things I have and will experience at Bethel. I am looking forward to blogging and entertaining you for at least a part of your day. If you guys have anything you’d like see on here, please do not hesitate to tell me and let me know.

Thank you, have a great day!

Bethel’s Support System

When something tragic happens to a person, it’s always good for them to have a supportive circle of family and friends around to comfort and help in such times of need. I’ve always had family and friends who have been there for me when disaster strikes, but it wasn’t until I came to Bethel that I fully experienced how loving and supportive a community could be.

A couple of weeks ago, my grandmother passed away. It was hard on my family and me. My grandparents and a good portion of my family live in Oklahoma, so I traveled back and forth to Oklahoma a few times during those two weeks. I mainly told my close friends about what was going on with my grandmother’s passing, but it wasn’t long before I was being consoled by students and faculty around campus that I didn’t even know that well.

So on behalf of myself and my family — thank you, Bethel community, for your continued support in times of great joy as well as great loss.

I am truly blessed to be surrounded by a people that cares so deeply for the needs of others. Bethel College has again proven to be exactly where I need to be.


What I’ve Learned From Being a Student-Athlete

At a certain point in my senior year of high school, I had decided that I was going to come to Bethel. The strength in the science departments is what drew me most, since I am hoping to go to medical school after graduating from Bethel. However, I was pretty sure that I was NOT going to run cross country at Bethel.

The team (last year).

The team (last year).

My coach was persistent, and not too long after my recruiting visit, I was signing to run in college here at Bethel. Some days, right in the midst of an excruciatingly difficult practice, I question my decision. Overall, though, I am so glad that I decided to be a student-athlete. Here’s why:

  1.  Freshman 15? Don’t have to even worry about it — especially when you’re running what feels like 100 miles a week (not really) and sweating half your body weight out every day. Plus, exercise has been proven to reduce stress (college=stress [but it’s also fantastic and amazing]). I feel a lot better physically and mentally if I exercise, and I know that if practice weren’t built into my schedule, I’d be slacking off big time.
  2. Instant friends. My best friend is also my teammate, and we met on the very first day of preseason camp. One of my other friends came in as a freshman this year, and we also met on the first day of being at college while checking out our XC warmups. Sometimes it’s hard to put yourself out there and force yourself to go talk to new people, but fortunately, sports do all that hard work for you.
  3. Time-management skills. There are so many days when I feel like I’m running out the door to get to breakfast then class on time, running to work, running back to my room to change for practice, running A LOT once I get to practice, and running to make it to evening obligations. Some days I’m so exhausted at the end that I just want to give up on everything. But then I realize that this is my current version of real life. I’m learning how to manage my time and schedule things appropriately and how to sometimes say no to things if they don’t fit my schedule. Finding time to do homework, work, class, extracurriculars and athletics while trying to grasp everything that college life offers is often difficult. The benefits of this type of lifestyle have already become so apparent in my time at Bethel though, and it’s definitely worth every minute.
  4. Scholarship. I would say most people that participate in collegiate athletics get some type of scholarship. And the beauty of being an athlete at Bethel is that you can get an athletic scholarship in addition to scholarships in theater, academics, art, music, forensics, etc. Sometimes a good way to look at doing athletics is like it’s your job. You are getting paid to participate in your sport, so go for it with all your heart and take it seriously.
  5. Long-term benefits. Sometimes I wonder how my life would be different if I weren’t a student-athlete. Would it be easier? Would I have more free time? The answers to these questions might be yes, but I never ponder them for too long because I see the benefits that running cross country in college has for me now and in the future. When you give your resume to an employer and it shows that you participated in college athletics, that will say a lot about your character, discipline and work ethic. So even when times get tough in your sport, remember what your ultimate goal is, and how athletics will help you reach that goal.
This is what XC looks like. Plz don't judge.

This is what XC looks like. Plz don’t judge.

These are just a few of my musing about athletics here at Bethel. If you play a sport, I would highly encourage giving it a go in college.


Strength in Community

Sometimes Bethel College feels like the safest place on earth. Living in a quiet town with low crime, many students worry most about their next test.

Sadly, no community is immune from tragedy. Students and faculty alike were shaken with the news that one of our students had passed away in a car accident coming back from fall break. In my four years as a student here, this was the first time we had to receive an e-mail with this kind of news.

The Bethel community responded like only it could. An informal meeting was held in the freshman residence hall in remembrance of the student that night. I, like many students, chose to attend despite not ever having the pleasure of meeting Qadrey.

The lounge was so incredibly full that students spilled out into the foyer. Even more amazing was that it was not just students who attended. It was professors and faculty members as well. Many in attendance were not there because Qadrey had changed our lives. Instead we were there because Qadrey had changed the lives of people who had changed our lives and who we considered to be friends, neighbors and colleagues.

Losing a teammate, a roommate or a friend is devastating in itself. However, trying to cope with death alone can be unbearable. Whether it was the vice president humbling himself before students as he expressed his sorrow or teammates of Qadrey giving heartfelt testimony to her character, everyone who attended that night was made vulnerable by their own choice. In doing so, a community of strength developed like I have never seen in my life.

Tuesday night’s remembrance ceremony was followed with a chapel service dedicated to Qadrey on Wednesday morning. Neither Easter nor Christmas has ever brought the numbers and the energy to chapel that today’s service brought.

Gatherers once again featured people from all walks of life joining hands together because when a part of our community hurts, we all hurt. Strength is supposed to lie in numbers and we had lots of numbers in that chapel service (people standing in the aisles, in fact).

To me, our strength did not come from the number of people that attended either service. Instead, the strength produced was a result of people putting their own pride, pain and schedules to the side in order to provide a community for one another.

There is nothing that was done or could have been done that will erase what has happened but Bethel can take pride in providing an environment in which an energy developed that I hope will carry over throughout the year. Others’ needs were put first, kind words were abundant and all were allowed to display their emotions without worry of ridicule. I am proud to be a Bethel Thresher.

Oh death where is thy sting —


How to Fall Break at Bethel

Fall break is a great time of the year on Bethel’s campus. You have almost made it through the semester and you are looking forward to your Thanksgiving and, more importantly, Christmas vacation. As you enjoy the latter half of the semester it is comforting to receive a two-day relief from classes.

Everyone has their own use of these two days. Some people take the opportunity to go home and see family for a few days. Others do as only college students can, and stay up late, sleep in and watch movies all day. Others still, like myself, find a balance between catching up on schoolwork and rest while enjoying the season of fall.


It sometimes feels like fall never really happens in North Newton, Kansas. One day, it’s blistering hot summer and the next day it’s cold and bleak winter. Of course this is an exaggeration, but one can get so caught up in the extremes of the seasons that they forget to relish the brisk autumn afternoons.

The views on campus are truly one-of-a-kind this time of year. The many trees on campus are shedding their colorful leaves and leaving us with the opportunity to add a crunch to our walk to class. It’s the perfect college weather when everything from shorts to sweats to T-shirts to coats are all acceptable. So open your books, take your naps and bundle up on your walks. Fall break is only two days but it’s a great two days to be at Bethel.

Until next time –