Alyx—Yes, I’m a nursing major
“Nursing” is the #1 answer you will hear from SAU students when asking what there major is. Other popular majors students have chosen will lead them on the career path to theology, physical therapy, or medical school. My major is (you guessed it!) nursing! And I’m so excited for what my future holds with this major! The reason I chose to do this was mainly because I’m a people-person, and I love socializing and helping people! So it was only a matter of time for me to realize I needed to be a nurse. Also, I LOVE to travel! If you give me the opportunity to go anywhere (whether it be Iraq or Antarctica!) I will not pass up the opportunity.
I love adventure and I love exploring in God’s beautiful world. So far, I have been to quite a few states here in the US including Alaska and Hawaii. And I have visited several different countries including South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, India and Canada (yes, Canada)!
I am hoping to start out this career doing neonatal work, and then finding a company that will send me abroad so I can help the people who don’t often receive quality care. (click http://scrubsmag.com/stats/ if you want to look at some cool fun facts about nursing in other countries!)
Though nursing is a popular major among students here, it’s for good reason. The professors here are all accredited and very knowledgeable, and what excites me is that Southern has an entire building dedicated to nursing majors (this building is called the Florida Hospital Hall), where as other schools just have a classroom.
So, when people ask me what my major is, I have confidence when I answer, “Yes, I’m a nursing major”!
Natalia—Existing vs. Living
I love to people watch. Sometimes when I’m walking to class, I just get distracted watching people. I love witnessing interactions: people yelling across the promenade saying hello, watching the long boarders gracefully skate past and then halt abruptly in front of their respective building, the laughter in between two souls sharing a joke, or a memory, or whatever. I love watching people hold hands and hug each other and smile in acknowledgement of a familiar face. I love watching two people consumed in intense conversation, carefully attentive to catch each other’s next word. I love watching life and I love watching people live it.
As soon as a new week starts, all that’s in my head is awaiting Friday in anticipation. I live for weekends. I love a well-deserved break. I look forward to vespers, especially, throughout the entire week. But here’s the thing, although it’s great to be excited for things and look forward to upcoming events, if you’re always anticipating the next moment while in the current moment, you never settle down and enjoy the now. Then when that moment comes, you won’t enjoy it either because you’ll be too busy awaiting what will happen next; the happenings of later’s and tomorrow’s. I will tell you this, STOP waiting for Friday, for summer, for someone to fall in love with you. Stop waiting for happiness. It will be achieved when you make the most of the moment you’re in now. Stop taking moments for granted because they don’t seem special enough at the time. In the end, when you look back, it’s the little moments that stick out to you. So live them. Stop merely existing through life. Be emotional. Feel things. Being tender and open is beautiful. Vulnerability is beautiful. Don’t let the coldness and the fears of others tarnish your vulnerable, beating heart. Nothing is more powerful than allowing yourself to be genuinely affected by things. Whether it’s a song, someone you’ve just met, a poem, or the way someone said something. Feel things. Feel everything. Look around you, all of this was made for you. Don’t take it for granted.
I’ve always been a really emotional person. I’ve always thought my emotions were my biggest weakness. I feel everything so strongly. Recently, I’ve realized that my emotions are one of my greatest strengths. I have the courage to feel, to empathize, and not be scared of the outcome. My emotions are my connection between myself and other individuals. People can talk to me about something they’re going through, or just an experience in general and somehow, I’ll understand because I go through it with them. Understanding others is a gift. Although there is no such thing as understanding someone else completely, any level of understanding can suffice for a lonely soul. That will always be my power tool.
So feel things, connect with other people in any way you can, and live everyday of your life.
I was sitting with my group of friends this week at KR’s for dinner and took a moment to step back from my fast pacing brain to take a breather and to just enjoy this moment before shuttling into the next one. I watched as they all laughed at nothing, mumbled in appreciation of the food, and just generally enjoyed each other’s company. And I thought of how much less I was enjoying this moment until I actually decided to live in it. So don’t just live in general, but live through moments.
It is such a beautiful life.
“Stay close to anything that makes you glad you’re alive”
Friends and siblings warned me about nearly everything new I would experience when I first came to Southern. But I feel that what they failed to warn me about was the most important thing of all. You see, they failed to mention that it is so important to keep in close contact with your childhood and high school friends. Now, don’t get me wrong: college is a great place to meet new people. And meeting new people can give you a new start and an awesome new group to spend time with. Southern, under my judgment, is a giant welcoming family. But, it has become very clear to me that your “old” friends are just as important.
“But Sy,” you say, “I didn’t come to college just to be in some high school clique.”
I get it. I also get how easy it is to completely ignore the people you went to high school with that you were never very close with. I get the looking at the floor or pretending to be enthralled with your phone when they walk past. I’ve been there.
This weekend I went back to my alma mater of Fletcher Academy. It was their Fall Picnic – a weekend where they pit the classes against each other in various track and field events and flag football games. I was pleasantly surprised how many of my own graduating class also came to see it. We all were very (again, VERY) excited to see each other and decided to go to Waffle House late that night. The twelve of us had more fun than I have had since my graduation weekend. Now, I’m not saying that you can’t have that same great time with new people at Southern. But there is something refreshing about not having to worry whether your best face is forward or trying to be accepted. As a freshman I think it is important to be with people that you feel comfortable with. For me (and many others), that includes “old” friends.
While I am at Southern I will definitely meet new people and create tons of great memories with them. What I won’t do is lose touch with all the friends I have already had. I would suggest that it wouldn’t be a bad idea for us all to make that a priority.
“As you watched, a rock was cut from a mountain, but not by human hands. It struck the feet of iron and clay, smashing them to bits.” Daniel 2:34
That verse has always fascinated me. But not for the prophetical reasons one might assume. The part about something being cut out—but not by human hands just sparks my imagination—I can’t help it. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t wonder what that would look like. For God to carve out something in a way that was humanly impossible. That is until this last Wednesday. It was a joint worship in the girls’ dorm.
Now, I was in the process of studying for a Dev. Psych test and if I were to be completely honest I was a little annoyed with the “interruption” of a required worship. I wasn’t against having some Jesus time, it’s just that I had already procrastinated long enough and I desperately needed to go over the online material again.
But low and behold I found myself shuffling down the hallway to the chapel and obediently taking a purple piece of paper and writing down the needed information. I tapped my foot impatiently. “Why won’t people just hurry up and get here, so we can get this over with, so I can go back and study” I wondered silently.
The praise team started singing. I didn’t feel anything special. It was a praise team singing—that’s it. My voice sang the words but my soul was silent.
And then I saw him—the worshiper—sandwiched between people endlessly scrolling on their phones and couples flirting obnoxiously.
He was singing softly, but if you listened carefully you could hear his voice — rich with emotion and sincerity. He was leaning forward, eyes closed, head bowed, and hands folded. I watched as he sang the lyrics “there is no one else for me but you Jesus”. He sang them like they were real—like he actually believed them from the depths of his heart. It was beautiful. So beautiful in fact that it startled me out from under the drizzling cloud of cynicism I had chosen to stand under.
Donald Miller once said “Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It’s as if they are showing you the way.”
This Wednesday the Worshiper did that for me. He helped me to see that worship credits aren’t just a requirement they are a privilege. And that every time you miss one, whether mentally or physically you miss an incredible miracle.
By the end of the worship I was fighting a losing battle with tears. It had been exactly what I needed—a mid-week oasis. In the chaos of my life God had carved out time with me—time to speak to me, to comfort me and to win my heart like the Hero He is.
And then it hit me. That verse in Daniel 2 had actually happened! God had carved out a date with me that was humanly impossible. It was spontaneous. It was romantic. And it was definitely one of those experiences that will get filed in my stash of unforgettable moments for sure. May God bless the Worshiper (whoever he is).
Jaymes—College: Week 3
This week was insane. Absolutely insane. Basically, college decided it was time to slap me in the face. SmartStart was pretty much just fun and games, and the first two weeks of fall semester were for the most part chill and laid back. But this week was completely different. My homework and study load increased drastically, and I found myself stuck in my room with my face shoved in a book much more than I would’ve liked. Study time went up, while sleep, social life, and pretty much everything else went down. I even found myself occasionally FORGETTING TO EAT, which is definitely not something I’m prone to do.
On top of school, my week was also filled with all those responsibilities that just never go away, like laundry. Speaking of laundry, guess what’s NOT supposed to go through the washer? Cell phones – apparently they aren’t made for that. Yes, this Thursday, I went to the laundry room only to find my phone peacefully drowning in six inches of cold soapy water. And ever since that time, my phone has been sitting in a jar of rice. Lesson learned: phones are much more useful when they’re not sitting in a jar of rice. Oh, and I guess it helps not to put them through the washer either.
After this crazy, busy, insane week, I was so ready for the weekend. By Friday, this was my mindset (in the words of the one and only Joshua Supit): “I am going to Sabbath so hard this weekend.” And that’s exactly what I did. This was definitely one of the best Sabbaths I’ve had in a while. After church, I and a group of friends made our own potluck, ate together, and just had a great time enjoying the Sabbath. Sabbath is truly so refreshing and wonderful after a long, hard week.
Sunday was great as well. I went whitewater rafting on the Ocoee River with SOAP (if you’re not signed up for any SOAP events you should definitely reconsider), and it was an absolute blast.
Also this weekend, amazingly my phone started working again. There are still water droplets all inside the screen, but a couple more days of rice-time should fix that. I’m just so relieved to know that my phone is still a functional, working electronic device. Phone: 1, washer: 0.
In retrospect, this was really a great week. It had its ups and downs, but overall, I’m looking forward to many more like it in the near future, minus the part about putting my phone through the washer.
Have a great week guys, and remember, washers are for laundry, NOT cell phones.
Josh—I Got This!
Into the grind we go! Every week gets better and better and also harder and harder! In film class, I am writing a screenplay for a one-minute film. I was struggling for a couple of days trying to think of a catchy ending. I hope it works out. I am so grateful for other film majors that helped me and all my other friends that sat there as I told them my story plot. I am deciding to make a separate video for all the creative, weird, and hilarious endings people have recommended for my video.
Some great highlights of my week are the Wind Symphony icebreaker at the High Ropes Course, Deep Sabbath at Oakwood University, and White-water rafting in the Ocoee River.
I was in Wind Symphony for a couple of weeks already and the only people I really got to know thus far was my Bari Sax partner. I hardly knew who was in the ensemble. On Friday, I saw people that I have never seen in the ensemble before! It was great working with my team in different obstacle courses and events. After the whole thing was over, I felt like we were all family.
On Sabbath I went to Deep Sabbath at Oakwood. It was black church service so it was very lively and enthusiastic. I was the only Asian there. I must have stood out physically, but in my soul I blended in just fine! That was the most interactive church service I have been to for a long time.
Finally, on Sunday I went white-water rafting with SOAP in the Ocoee. It was so much fun. The weather was really nice and the rapids were nice and strong. I can’t wait to go again sometime! Afterwards, we all went and got ice cream and shakes. I’m definitely looking forward to the next SOAP trip.
Another week of enjoyment and fun has ended and a new week of adventure has begun. Stay tuned!
“Come on Sierra! You can do it” shouts a believer from the dugout. “You got this! Just keep your eye on the ball” another encourages. It’s my first time playing softball and I am at a SMA (Student Ministerial Association) social event. Now I love playing sports, but for some reason or another I have never tried my luck at softball. I watch as the ball arches towards me in slow motion. Nervously I tighten and release my grip on the bat in anticipation. I swing. And miss. And repeat for pretty much the entire game. But every time I am up to bat those positive words keep ringing in my ears. In my head I KNOW that I need to swing the bat and hit the ball. But just knowing that information doesn’t help me completely. To truly succeed I have to TRY. It’s towards the end of the game now. And to my amazement my team is still cheering me on. I take a deep breath and swing. Much to my surprise I hear a cute little smack as the bat actually connects with the ball. It doesn’t go far—but that’s not the point. It went far enough. I take off towards first as fast as I can with little puffs of red dirt riding the wake of my snazzy yellow Nikes. A gentle throb of pain reminds me that I probably shouldn’t be running on my injured ankle just yet. But it’s too late to care now. I am pretty sure my buddy at first base purposely lets me skid in safely. Bless his heart. I owe him one.
Out of all the random experiences that have happened this week I don’t know why tonight’s game stuck out in my head so distinctly. Perhaps it is because sometimes the most mundane and forgettable experiences contain the most invaluable life lessons.
As I heard my team’s persistent encouragement even when I struck out time after time. As I slunk back to the dugout sporting a sheepish grin, embarrassment and failure carelessly splashing differing hues of red across my face, I couldn’t comprehend why I was bombarded with high fives and so many kind words. I mean I didn’t do a THING to deserve it. I couldn’t even hit the neon green softball for crying out loud!
And then it hit me. Just one word…UNCONDITIONAL.
I am a pastor’s kid, I have grown up in church all my life. I know that we are saved by grace through faith. And I know that God loves me unconditionally. But somehow deep down I think that I had the idea that even though God loved me, He might love me even more if I performed well. More is always better right? Like if I hit a home run He would be super proud of me and I would finally be cool enough to be on His team. And in my spiritual life I am just stuck here at home plate swinging with all my might and striking out, trying desperately to earn His favor—to see that little twinkle of pride in the eye of God. And it’s like I’m trying to hide something from Him. Like what if He knew that I totally suck at softball? What if He knew that I don’t have this Christian journey thing down to a science? What if He knew that I have no clue what I am doing—but yet I love Him like crazy?
Tonight I stared deeply into the eyes of that fear. We met face to face on a softball field. I saw in human form what God’s reaction to my little secret would be—a modern parable. He would give me a high five and giant smile that would light up His whole face. He would tell me He was proud of me for trying. And He would put my fingers around the bat, showing me how to hold it, and give me pointers on how I could improve my game. We would go crazy celebrating the little victories together, like making it to first base. And even when I failed He wouldn’t hate me—because after all, He died so we could be on the same team.
Yeah, you could say I was pretty mind-blown. That happens to me a lot.
Unconditional—it really makes you think huh?
This week was a roller-coaster in all facets of my life. The first few days scared me with a massive load of homework, but by mid-week I was bored with none. I got over the cold sickness outburst that seemed to affect about half of Southern’s student population. That was just in time for Fitness for Collegiate Life to kick into high gear. Waffle House brought bubbling joy into my life with Free Toppings Week, but news about my grandmother dampened that joy going into the weekend. Needless to say, I must have seemed a lot like a person with an emotional disorder throughout the week.
Thank goodness for a Friend and friends. They seem to always be there and never to drastically change. I haven’t seemed to have found a concrete friend group yet, so I spend time with many different people in many different groups. However, all of them seemed to be exactly what I needed them to be to help keep me stable this week. From friend-led Bible studies when I needed God, to random smoothie runs when I needed to get away, my truest Friend used my earthly friends for my sanity.
If my Southern experience taught me anything this week, it was that the friends and Friend in your life can help smooth the peaks and trenches in your life into hills and valleys. You can’t live life alone
Josh—Picking Up The Pace
Many people love down time. They sit down and waste their time gaming, staying up late to watch movies, and the list goes on. For me, I don’t need down time in my busy schedule because my busy schedule is exciting! The key to a great life is to enjoy every moment of it, not just the free time you may have. If you want to watch movies and have it be said that you are actually doing homework, be a film major – like me!
Not that I actually do that…
Last week was fantastic, but this week was the time to really pick up the pace and dive into the college experience.
I would like to begin by saying that I am participating in my first triathlon event in Cohutta Springs. After packing on muscle for over four months, swimming is now a big challenge. Much time has been spent in the pool trying to develop efficient strokes and endurance. I only have a couple of weeks left before the race!
Playing in the softball intramurals relieves me from those hours of studying. To be able to get out in the evening and go play a game whether we lose or win, is a cure for the aching back and the frying brain.
In Intro to Film, we are now starting the first stage for a 60 second short film. What can you include in a 60 second short film?? I’ll tell you now that it is very hard to fit a story with irony into 60 seconds. Not only that, you can only use two characters max, and only 1 location. I came up with a great idea that I am not going to spoil right now. When you see it, you are going to cry in despair and agony! Muahahaha!
Hope everyone has a great week!