I remember my first blog…

I don’t write in first person. Ever. (For those of you who haven’t passed the 8th grade that’s I, me, we…) I have been advised by English teachers past not to. So I haven’t. Until now. After being asked to blog for Bethel, I decided it was time to break the rule.

I’m not suggesting that I referred to myself in writings without the use of personal pronouns as if I were a professional athlete with half a million followers on Twitter. Justin Baldia would never consider such an antic. However, I digress.

Now in my junior year and relfecting on my arrival and time spent at Bethel, I realize that I’ve done things that I swore I would never do or never thought I would do. Most, if not all, of these things are positive, sans the 2 AM trip to the emergency room after falling from my bed during a game of “nut ball” and the trip to the orthopedic specialist after jumping from the cafeteria roof and injuring both of my heels so badly that I could hardly walk. (Both freshman mistakes)┬áThere are opportunities and experiences that I have had at Bethel that I wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else.

College basketball led me to North Newton from the Dallas area. Or if I’m being completely honest, it was a high school relationship that got me looking in the south central Kansas area. (Again, rookie mistake)

Aside: I’m not saying that high school relationships don’t work out (they don’t though), but to follow someone to college would be to rob yourself of experiencing new friends and a freedom that you can’t comprehend when you’re stuck in your dorm on a Friday night watching old episodes of Friends or Seinfeld with your significant other.

I had it all figured out once I got here. All business. Wake up, eat, go to class, go to practice, study, eat, sleep, repeat. I told myself that I would never break my routine.

That lasted about a day and a half and I am so thankful it didn’t last longer.

As mentioned before, the myriad of opportunities that lay before me was staggering. And they continue to multiply. Like this blog.

I knew I wanted to get into radio broadcasting. Thanks to the campus radio station, KBCU 88.1 FM, I’ve had a show every week since I got on campus. But I never dreamt I’d be able to do play-by-play for soccer and football games.

Coming from a conservative non-denominational Christian background (more or less), I had no idea what to expect from a Mennonite campus. After 2+ years, I’m still being surprised. During my first semester (and still occasionally) I had frustrations abound with differences in faith issues with individuals and the campus as a whole. So naturally, I never expected to be attend (semi)regularly a Mennonite church on Sundays. (You’re thinking, “Well, Justin, let’s be real. It’s your girlfriend’s church.” To that I say… good point.)

As a communications major I love inter-personal interactions. At college there are plenty of them, and they are varied. So, I’d never thought blog. I’d much rather talk face to face.

A blog seems a rather impersonal way of communicating experiences but it’s the medium that I’ve been given. So I’ll utilize it.

A first blog is like those awkward ice-breaker and get to know you games at baby showers for your co-worker’s neighbor–you’re not really sure what you’re doing there or how to start a conversation with these people, so you decide a good topic is spinach dip. Next thing you know, you’ve been there for nearly 8 hours and are friends with the whole group yet all they know is your name and that you do a mean Bill Cosby impression. That’s what a first blog is like. Not much depth, just enough substance to make readers feel somewhat familiar with the author.

This introductory blog has been a daunting task. It feels, to borrow from an old adage, that “a blogger’s work is never complete”. There will be more to come. But for now there is at least some food for thought.