And so it begins…..

My name is Jennie Warkentine, and I’m a senior Elementary Education and Bible & Religion major from Wichita, Kansas. This year I’m active in chapel planning, and have sung with the Women’s Chorus. I’m a transfer student from Hesston College, and this is my second year on campus. I love to read, quilt, and play board games. I chose Bethel because when I graduated from Hesston College and was looking at a Christian college with a strong education program, I learned that Bethel’s teacher education department is well-known and highly respected in the state of Kansas (where I hope to be teaching next school year). I also have family ties to the college (my grandma was the manager of the bookstore for over 20 years and numerous family members have attended here).

This year I was more excited to come back to college than I ever have been before! I was excited to finally take some Bible & Religion classes at Bethel, to have our mod ice cream parties (with homemade ice cream), to hear fascinating speakers in convocation, to worship together in Chapel on Wednesday mornings, to grow in friendships, to grow as an educator, and to grow as a thinker. But most exciting to me was the thought of coming back to my mod. Now, I have to tell you something about my mod. When I was preparing to come to Bethel as a transfer student I was very nervous about where I was going to live. (Was I going to have a roommate? Was I going to be stuck with a bunch of freshmen?) I tried getting into a mod with some of my friends from church or that I had met through Camp Mennoscah, but they did not have any room for me. Then, just before the mod lottery at Bethel, I got an email from a girl I had met once. She wanted to know if I was interested in joining their mod. Of course I was!! This was such a surprise—these girls were willing to take a chance on me (most of them had never met me), and invite me into their home to live, learn, and laugh together.

The most beautiful thing on this campus is the love and community that can be found in the dorms. I know when I walk in the mod door and see our pictures up on the wall I am truly home. These are the sisters I never knew I had. They are always ready to laugh with me, to cry with me, and to encourage me when I need it most. These are friends who will help you study for a German test during finals week when they really need to be studying WWII. These are the gals who are willing to build miniature snowmen on the deck with you because you can’t stand to look at the snow and not DO something with it. These are the women you live with, worship with, and attend class with. THIS is community. This is Bethel.