- The other day I walked into my Psychology class a little early, finding the previous professor that was teaching in that class talking to a student about personal issues it seemed. She was venting about a broken friendship and he gave her advice like a friend, or even a dad would. It made me smile because professors here truly and honestly care for us as people, not just as students that need a grade and a diploma.
- Today (Thursday), the band Jars of Clay played in the Amphitheater in the afternoon. Finishing a midterm and then sitting and watching a wonderful band play next to great friends of mine was awesome and a great end to my school week.
- Today I was walking to class and a guy was opening the door to class and didn’t realize I was behind him, therefore not opening the door for me. He turned around and apologized. It made my day. How many guys care enough about something as small as opening a door that they apologize when they forget to? Makes me love going to a school surrounded by people that care about their faith and being Christ-like.
- It is in Southern California. And being born and raised only an hour away I will never lose my love for clear skies, warm weather, and being able to sit outside in the grass outside my dorm and do homework. It was the most beautiful day today.
- Sunday I found out that I got the position as Alpha Leader for next year and I could not be any more excited to be able to share my love of people, APU, and more then anything, Jesus. I love that we have so many opportunities to use the gifts we have to benefit others and glorify God.
- I get to worship God through music at Chapel alongside people I go to class with, serve with, eat with, and live with 3+ times a week.
- People here are genuine. I have never met such passionate, God-fearing individuals in my life. But at the same time I love that you don’t have to profess to believe in Jesus to be educated here. We learn from people at all walks in their life, with all backgrounds, and with various beliefs. We have opportunities to reach out, show the love of Christ, and simultaneously look up to others.
- I walk around campus and see our president (John Wallace) socializing, teachers having lunch with students, and students praying. Call me crazy but this would have NEVER happened in high school.
- I love APU because it seems that everyone that goes here loves APU. There is almost a general consensus that our school rules, and it makes it rule that much more.
Posts Tagged ‘Weather’
1. It is really easy to make friends. The major difference between Azusa Pacific and other schools I looked into before applying to colleges is the people. If you try and sit alone at lunch, someone WILL come up to you and ask to sit with you. You have to really make a conscious effort to be lonely and bored. People are always surrounding you and they are the friendliest group of college students you’ll probably ever come across. Stressing out before getting to APU about friendships is unnecessary. All the freshmen are in the same boat, you will make friends faster then you can snap your fingers! Spend some alone time before coming to college… cause it might be a while before you get that again.
2. College is not like High School. The school work is challenging and time-consuming. Busy work is less common and tests and essays are more common. Don’t expect to be able to get off the hook easily and don’t expect for A’s to be easy to come by. Good grades DO take effort in college.
3. Roommates are one of the Best Parts about College. I spent endless hours worrying about what roommate I was going to be randomly assigned to and come to find out she’s the best roommate I could have ever asked for. 99% of my friends are completely happy with their roommate, whether they are now best friends or they just get along well living together. I wouldn’t have spent so much time worrying if I knew the reality of what I was worrying about. Choosing to get a randomly assigned roommate may be out of your comfort zone, but its worth it. Meeting someone new who you live with for a year out of your life is a priceless experience.
4. Facebook will Destroy your Life. Yes, you heard me. When it comes to homework and Facebook, Facebook always wins.
5. School Pride is Necessary. It is perfectly acceptable to know your school is better then every other school on the planet. It is perfectly acceptable to wear face paint and deck yourself out in the school colors to football games. It is not only perfectly acceptable, it is expected. College is not like high school. In high school there are few school-spirited people, in college- you are PAYING for this education, be proud of your school.
6. There is Nothing like Mom’s Homecooking. I promise you that no matter what college you end up going to, you will miss homecooked meals. Enjoy them while you can, for as long as you can. Eat the entire plate and lick it while you’re at it. Cafeteria food and fast food restaurants will never, ever compare.
7. Community Bathrooms are Part of the Experience. I remember having horrible visions of having to share bathrooms with 40 other girls. Being here, the bathroom situation is not a big deal at all. There are always open showers and stalls and faucets. It is a good way to see all my hallmates throughout the day and catch up with people while getting ready for class or getting ready to go to bed.
8. Bring Summer, Winter AND Crazy Clothing. Just a couple days ago it was 90 degrees, now its raining. I wasn’t aware this was Florida… but whatever the case make sure you pack a little bit of everything. Even if you live close it is best to just bring everything you might need for Summer and Winter weather.
Also, make sure to pack some random, crazy clothing. Every week each hall has a night that they go to the Cafeteria to eat a family dinner. Every week is a different theme, and there is often other events going on with different themes as well. You want to make sure you have a good variety of crazy outfits in the likely change that you will need it. Its not always easy to run out and buy an outfit for these events. They happen often and you probably won’t want to spent the money on an outfit you’ll only wear once in your life. From cowboys to animals to tie dye, college thrives on making average things UNaverage.
9. Sleep is a Privilege. An average night of sleep is about 5-7 hours for me. Depending on how much homework and studying I have to do, how much I have procrastinated, and how many activities are going on that night. It is hard to really prepare yourself to have less sleep then you are used to in high school, but if it is possible to prepare yourself, do it. In the end though, I like to think that a good college experience and having fun is worth missing sleep over. You aren’t paying for college to sleep a lot right? You’re paying to learn, get a diploma, and have fun.
10. Organization is Key. In order to make sure that you have time for everything and you have your priorities straight, it is absolutely necessary to get a planner or calender of some kind. My planner saves my life. Write everything down that you want to do or need to do and then make sure your priorities are straight on what is necessary for that day. Homework often gets forgotten about and then it is not done until 3AM, you don’t want to be that person falling asleep in class the next day. You are going to want to make sure your homework is done well, you have time for yourself and having fun, and time for God.
A certain key to professional communication is for the speaker, or in this case blogger, to establish an eleven letter word called credibility as soon as possible. This usually happens within the first paragraph or so of a conventional article. Being a freshmen at APU, my explicit credibility is close to none. It also doesn’t help that I’m from Colorado, therefore relatively new to this whole Southern California vibe.
However, in lack of my credibility lies my perception, something which no one can take away from me. I want to use my perception to talk about the drudgery that is “SoCal’ weather. The way I understand it, it never ever forever never rains out here. For a poor boy from Colorado, that just about breaks my heart.
Here’s a smallish known fact about Colorado: the weather changes about every 30 minutes, and it is awesome. You could walk inside a grocery store from blinding sunshine, leave thirty minutes later in pouring rain, and arrive back at your house thirty minutes after that in snow. It doesn’t make sense but it does keep you on your toes!
For me, coming from a state with such diversity, I was more than a little sad that I wouldn’t get to experience the schizophrenia of Colorado weather, specifically the powerful rain showers that cover the state in their beauty. As usual, I spoke too soon, because yesterday, I got just what my heart was longing for…
After some debate with my lazy personality, I persuaded myself that it would be best to counter the onset of the dreaded Freshmen 15 by going on a nice jog at the Citrus College football stadium conveniently located right next to the dorms on APU’s East Campus. I left, running shoes and white shirt, in the slight drizzle of rain; it was a little cold, but looking toward the potential calories I could loose, I set off to the swooning melodies of my iPod.
I arrived at the track, stretched (a must do for running, folks) and began my jog. Not to long into it, I realized something: I was soaking wet. This wasn’t your typical, Oh my lanta I haven ‘t ran in ages I’m so sweaty right now and my body hurts kind of wet; the rain had picked up, and conspicuously matted my hair, shirt, and iPod in a matter or seconds. It was more of a soft, seductive, inconspicuous slip from a dream, where you realize something has been for quite a long time.
Katherine Mansfield , a classical fiction writer, once said, “I love the rain. I want the feeling of it on my face.” Truths don’t come much more simple than that.
You see, to me, that rain was a reminder of home. Life doesn’t get much more beautiful than a new freshman experiencing a taste of home all the way from his or her new one. The taste, while not making the hard transition into this new life , this whole new experience, any easier. But, I know, at least personally, that it gives a renewed hope that God has each and every one of us right where He wants us to be. What’s even better is that this hope translates into a hope for tomorrow, for the future.
So what is it out here that gives you hope for tomorrow? Hope for a future?
This week has been pretty consistent with the norm for a week at APU. The chapels have been great. The classes have been challenging yet very interesting. The weather’s been totally unpredictable. We go from scorching hot to raining and cold in less than a week. It’s actually pretty exciting, I never know what I’ll wake up to. I had another test in anatomy. I went to Kaleo tonight (the Wednesday night chapel). I spent some quality time laughing with my roommates this morning over facility management’s entertainment/possible annoyance with the completely avoidable flood in our bathroom.
In all the norm however, God has put a few things on my heart this week that I would love to share. One thing about APU that I personally don’t believe you could find anywhere else are people who truly brighten your day every time you cross paths. When I was first touring the school before I came here, I immediately noticed something different about APU’s campus. People smile at you and say hello when you walk by, and open doors for you. This is a different kind of Christian university, there’s something so special about it.
My family goes to a Christian camp on Catalina Island every summer called Campus by the Sea (aka CBS). This is where I could say I first began having an interest in attending Azusa Pacific. The summer before my senior year in high school, one of my long time girl friends was talking about possibly going to APU for college. I would say that the kind of people who run and go to CBS are role models for me in my aspiration to be the best Christian girl I can. This may seem irrelevant to what I was saying about APU being a special place, however, it was kind of the deciding factor for me choosing to come here for college. I absolutely love going to CBS every summer for one reason. You can truly feel God’s presence there. When I stepped foot on APU’s campus as a little tour student, this same feeling of God’s presence washed over me with an intensity I never could have imagined.
His presence on this campus is ever more and more obvious to me every day. It pours from the Upper Turner Campus Center and Felix Event Center during chapels. It’s ever present in the classrooms. But most significantly, I experience God’s presence and love every single day in the students and faculty.
I was having lunch with three of my friends on Tuesday afternoon. I don’t know why this day stuck out so much for me as being one where I knew God was present. Danielle is probably one of the most caring and selfless people I have ever met. She is there for me every single time I’m feeling down, or just need to talk. Mitch is such a huge support. He pushes me to do my best, and walks alongside me in pursuing my faith and life goals. Jeffrey is just such a joy. His bubbly personality and overflowing happiness with life is contagious to everyone around him. As we talked, I felt so much love and care just overflowing from each of their hearts. I had been having a fairly stressful day, and my lunch with them put me at complete peace. These are the Christians I want to be like. I thank God every day for calling me to a school where its normal to have friends like these. I don’t think you can find these kind of people or these kind of Christ-centered friendships everywhere. APU is a God filled school. I hope you have the chance to experience the environment I have the privilege of living in every day.
My favorite season is fall, or at least it was in NorCal (where I’m from). I love when the leaves turn red and flutter down to the ground, and I love the crisp rain that speaks of hot cocoa and fireplaces and good books, but most of all, I love pumpkins: pumpkin soup, pumpkin bread, pumpkin ice cream, and most of all: pumpkin pie. This morning I woke up missing that fall feeling from home, and decided to make pumpkin bread with real pumpkin and a special blend of spices that my family uses. Now my apartment is filled with the smell of baking bread, and I’m feeling pretty homesick.
It is a weird thing to feel homesick as a sophomore in college, but I’m sure I’m not the only one, especially of those here at APU where there home isn’t close. I only can go home on the bigger breaks: thanksgiving, christmas, and easter break, whereas my roommates live under an hour away from campus. I love being away from home, college is a time to get away and learn about new people and new places, but there are days when I miss my northern california roots and my northern california seasons (if you are wondering what the weather is like here, Azusa has one perpetual season: warm, though, don’t worry, you can still get snow like half an hour away [don't ask me how that works, it just does]).
Last weekend, I got the chance to return to my beloved northern california and visit a place I’ve never been before: APU’s High Sierra Campus. Tucked away in the mountains, in the middle of the Ansel Adams Wilderness, seconds away from Bass Lake is this sprawling campus that is a Christian kids’ camp during the summer and one of the satellite campuses APU has during the year. I honestly felt like I had been transported to Narnia (the kid’s camp has a Narnia themed disc golf course), and I was just waiting for Aslan to come out of the forest. It was beautiful.
The reason I went up there was to check out the campus for a preview weekend (like potential students do at main campus), and make sure it was where I should be next year. It is. My plan now is to spend my entire junior year up at High Sierra. Another one of the bloggers, JP, is a student up there right now, and it was pretty rad to get to meet him in person, after reading his blogs. He’s a great guy, and I see God working on him through being up at High Sierra, and that is a beautiful thing to see. It was good for me to be up there, to hike and shoot archery and read Karl Barth sitting on the porch overlooking the forest.
Here is a little movie I put together about my time at High Sierra, it’s silly and not well filmed, but oh well. And I also am including two other videos about High Sierra, one where our University’s President Jon Wallace (or J-Dub) talks about it, and also another one that the Study Abroad office put together. Have fun watching!
Alright, well, I have papers to write, so I’ll try to keep you updated as the semester continues to provide quite the challenge in the academic front!