Campus Life

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!

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 –


Top 5 Best Places on Bethel’s Campus

It’s inevitable — we’ve got ourselves one beautiful campus. Whether it’s the great outdoors, the modern architecture or the historic landmarks that occupy Bethel’s grounds that make you fall in love with the place, I’ve got a few of my own favorites that I’d like to share.

1. The Sand Creek Nature Trail 

Of course, the diverse and refreshing beauty of nature around Bethel is probably what inspires me most about campus. Sand Creek Trail offers a nicely mulched walking/running path with countless types of trees and plants along the way (not to mention the critters that scurry about close to sunrise and sunset!). The creek that the trail is named after enhances the aesthetic of the area and the rushing sound after a big rain is one of the best sounds in the world. I run this trail usually several times a week for cross-country practice, yet it never gets old.


Need a study break or a breath of fresh air? Go check out the trail! :)

2. The third floor of Mantz Library

Yes, all of the third floor is really cool. But have you ever been way back in the corners where people don’t usually go, even further than the study rooms and NY Times room? Above the MLA, there are comfy couches and chairs tucked away in a cozy reading corner complete with lamps that give off a warming glow that’s perfect for studying, relaxing and the occasional between-class library nap.

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3. The chapel

I’m not sure if it’s the stained glass windows, the rustic history or the beautiful organ that makes the chapel such an inviting place, but whatever the case, it’s definitely a spot that everyone should visit. There’s something about seeing the sunlight shine on the Wednesday morning chapel speaker’s face that seems to give me a feeling of newness and light. The chapel is somewhere I know I can go in the middle of my busy week and feel refreshed by God’s presence.


4. Thresher National Disc Golf Course

I am somewhat of a noob at disc golf, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t love getting out on Bethel’s very on disc golf course for some exercise and fresh air. My boyfriend Eric introduced me to the sport last January and I haven’t been able to get enough of it since! We’ve got 9 holes on campus currently, and 9 more tee locations will be added soon. While walking around from hole to hole, you really get a broad view of Bethel’s campus and the beauty it has to offer.

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5. The Green


Our blog is so aptly named after this wonderful location! :) The Green is a place you can do a variety of activities. Play Ultimate Frisbee, study for a test and, if you’re feeling like it, you could even throw up a hammock on a nice evening and relax. The Green is the central hub of Bethel’s campus, and it offers a picturesque quality that is second to none.





Finding Joy in All Hours

Bethel students are known for being busy. Seriously, not like your average college student busy, I mean really busy. As a small liberal arts college, Bethel encourages one to get involved with their college experience.

Bethel students also happen to be incredibly driven and skilled in many areas. The result is, as I said, lots of busy students around campus. As someone who often feels overwhelmed with a busy schedule, I was struggling to be completely happy with my life of moving from one class, job, practice, etc. to the next.

This is due in part to the way I would view my schedule. There were three categories: free time (time to watch TV, sleep or whatever else I want); homework time; and scheduled time (practice, class or work). Free time is hard to find in my schedule and I found myself only able to be truly happy during this time. All other time was hours I had to grind through in order to get to my next block of free time.

Recently, I decided to make a switch in the way I perceived my time. All time, regardless of the category, was an opportunity to find happiness. Rather than surviving class or begrudgingly walking into work just waiting for my shift to be over, I decided to look at these hours as part of my happiness.

When I study, I make it a point to take breaks and talk to people or study with a small group of people. While I am focused in class, I try to participate and engage classmates in discussion. Suddenly the busy schedule seems like less of a burden and more of a blessing.

Like everyone else I enjoy my free time and time alone. I have come to find that the students at Bethel are incredibly special, and the more I talk to people, the more I want to understand their thoughts and beliefs or simply share a laugh with them.

My advice to my fellow Bethel students and future Bethel students is to embrace the busy schedule and the stress that comes with it. Find ways to experience joy and happiness through it all.

Bethel surrounds its students with caring professors, diverse and intelligent students and opportunities for work as well as play. My days left as a student at Bethel are numbered but I look forward to each one.



The picture captures the joy of waking up early to photograph a Kansas sunsrise.



Many of you may have seen people around campus wearing light grey shirts with a big maroon semicolon on them. Maybe you even have one yourself.

These shirts were given out last week at the National Suicide Awareness Day event here on campus. Do you know what the shirts really mean, though?

I got the idea to write about the semicolon project when my best friend asked me what the shirts actually mean.

I had a little bit of knowledge of what the semicolon meant already, but I decided to do a little more research into it.


“;” represents a faith-based movement known as Project Semicolon. It was launched in 2013 by Amy Bleul. Amy lost her father to suicide, and she personally struggled with mental health crises such as bullying, depression and rape. Amy strives to share the love of Christ with the world, and she prays that her story will inspire others.

In grammatical terms, a semicolon is evidence of a pause that is longer than that of a comma, but is shorter than the full stop of a period, according to For Project Semicolon, the semicolon represents those who have suffered from mental illness, addiction and suicide, as well the stigmas associated with them. The semicolon also represents that their story is not over, and that life and hope will go on.

“A semicolon represents a sentence the author could have ended, but chose not to. 
The sentence is your life and the author is you.” 
– Project Semicolon

Project Semicolon has spread all around the world. Many musicians support the movement, and it has been widely spread through social media as well. People have even gotten tattoos of a semicolon to represent solidarity with the Semicolon Project, as well as to remind themselves that their story is not over.


So there’s just a little bit of information about what those T-shirts are all about. Now if someone asks you why you’re wearing shirt with a on it, you can tell them what it means!

For more information on the Semicolon Project, visit

If you or someone you know needs immediate help, call 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433).