Bethel College is filled with people from all different walks of life. We have Mennonites, we have atheists, we have people who have never questioned their love of Bethel and those who have considered transferring. I am both, oddly enough, a Mennonite and someone who has considered transferring away from Bethel. Bethel was a long way from home and much different from the high school life that I had come to know and love. Doubt flooded my veins and I wondered if I would be better off at a fraternity in a big university. My friends and my coach were instrumental in bringing me back to Bethel. My skepticism slowly turned to reassurance that I had indeed made the right decision in coming to Bethel. Starting my sophomore year, I would grow to love Bethel not because I am Mennonite and have family history at Bethel, but because I genuinely cherished the education I was receiving, the friends I was making and the community in which I grew into the person I am today. Growth is a part of life and it is certainly a part of college. I am fortunate to be able to have stumbled only to find an entire college ready to help me find my own path and grow in my own way. I have grown to realize that being a Thresher is something very special.
We have all at some point been like this at 2 or 3 in the morning during Finals week.
Finals week is officially underway and I had to post this picture studying at 3 in the morning studying for a final. This is what procrastination and wanting to get good grades looks like. I wish you all the best in your finals!
I’ve got two more finals to take before I get a well-deserved, long Christmas break from school. Part of me is dreading even starting to study for those last two finals, but part of me is telling myself to push through because Christmas break awaits on the other side.
Bethel is known for rigorous academic instruction and wow, did my classes live up to that standard. This semester has definitely been significantly harder than my last two. Organic chemistry, an upper-level biology class and a foreign language have made my life a whirlwind for the past few months. I’ve spent long hours in the library, and studied more than I thought was capable of studying. However, this semester has also been the most rewarding. All of those studies have produced some good grades and stronger relationships and connections with professors that will last years into the future.
Athletics also proved to be very challenging but very rewarding this semester. I started out cross-country season having just recently recovered from a foot injury, so I was a little nervous about how my season was going to go. Turns out, this season was my best yet. All of the mentally and physically taxing workouts were rewarded with a PR at our conference meet — the last one of the season.
Bethel has also seen many graduates go on to do amazing things with the great education and experiences they received while they were here. So keep your career, personal and life goals in mind while you’re working hard. It can really help put things in perspective
This semester has proven to be challenging, but rewarding in so many ways. I’ve also had some of the most memorable experiences with old friends and new alike. So just remember that your struggles — whether they are academic, athletic or personal — will reap benefits and rewards in some form or another.
It’s nearing the end of Thanksgiving break. We all know what that means… it’s just about time for finals. But just before finals, we get the ultimate night of food, dancing and getting fancy: Gala!
The Gala tradition at Bethel has been going on for years. It’s a night where students get dressed to the nines and have a decadent dinner served by the faculty and staff of BC in a very well-decorated Mem Hall.
After dinner, we get to listen to some excellent jazz played by our fellow students. The president’s house is open for guests to come in, warm up and enjoy cookies and hot chocolate. Students can also take a horse-drawn carriage ride around the block — the perfect way to spend a cold winter night.
Later in the evening, there’s a dance so that we can all get a little exercise and shake off a few of the many calories consumed earlier in the night.
Last week, my best friend and I went shopping to find new dresses for Gala. I told myself I wouldn’t spend more than $20 or $30 (because the broke college student stigma is real) and I figured I could find a cute dress for fairly cheap. To my surprise, I found a dress for $5! Well, to be fair, my best friend found it. But still, 5 DOLLARS. If you need to find a cheap Gala dress this year, check out Rue 21
So study hard this week, and look forward to Gala on Friday (plus it’s Reading Day, so no classes!!!)!
…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 all right.
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
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
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-
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, 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!