Without A Doubt, The University of Arkansas Wesley Foundation Has Made My College Experience 15628 Times Better

Without A Doubt, The University of Arkansas Wesley Foundation Has Made My College Experience 15628 Times Better

First of all, I'd like to give a big shout out to John Wesley.

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I grew up in the church. Every week my parents took me to church, and sometimes I enjoyed it, while other times I did not. As I got older, I began to enjoy it more and wanted to go to church (especially youth group). When I left home for college, I knew I wanted to find an organization that allowed me to further grow my faith during school. This searching and desire in my heart led me to the University of Arkansas Wesley Foundation. Allow me to tell you about it, and why I am so thankful I found it.

Free food.

Alright, if I'm being completely honest, one of the greatest draws to the Wesley Foundation is the meals they provide for FREE to the students on campus. These aren't your typical cheap pizza and cokes kind of meals. These are homecooked and delicious, and the food type varies each week. One week we'll have pasta, then chicken tenders, and then enchiladas. After these dinners, we also get free dessert, which is really yummy. If there are leftovers, those will even go in the fridge for you to eat later that week as you desire. So, if you like free (delicious) food on a weekly basis, the Wesley Foundation is your one-stop shop.

The friendships.

The people I have met through the Wesley Foundation are some of the best people I know. They are people who will always have your back, no matter what. Not everyone at the Wesley is going to be your best friend. That just will never happen in any organization, even if you really want it to. But I truly believe that everyone at the Wesley cares about me and will pray for anyone when they need it. They'll help you study, write an essay, or do whatever you need done. There will probably be someone there who can help you at all times. The people you meet will counsel you, cry with you, and just plain love you throughout your years in school.


The opportunities to serve others.

Every winter break and spring break, there is an opportunity to go somewhere and serve those in need during a mission trip. This mission trip can differ in what is being done, but it usually has something to do with working on houses that need to be fixed. In the past, we have gone to Memphis, Baton Rouge, and this winter we are probably going to go somewhere in the Houston area to do Hurricane Harvey relief. While the locations are fun, and the social aspect of the long car rides and living together for a week are definitely memorable, ultimately it is the appreciation and smiles we receive from those we're serving that make these trips well worth it. The Wesley Foundation has been so influential in my college career. I can't imagine how different my life would be if I hadn't found this amazing place. If anyone out there is reading this that doesn't have a place they feel at home in college, I highly encourage you to check out your local Wesley Foundation (or something like it). You might just end up having an incredible experience like mine has been so far.

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An Open Pat On The Back To Full-Time Students Who Also Work

You really deserve an award, but this article will have to do.
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It's pretty freaking hard.

“I can work nights and weekends, I'm a student," you told the manager during your interview.

So, what does he do? He schedules you most nights and weekends. This is OK. This is, after all, what you asked for. So you start working.

Class, class, work. Class, work. Class, no work tonight, you sleep and it feels like the first time in years. Class, homework, homework, homework. Class, class, work.

Before you know it, it's the weekend. There's a party. Your friend wants to see you. Your mom is calling you to see how you are.

But you are working all weekend.

You call your mom on your half hour break. She tells you are doing too much. She tells you that you should work less. Ask for less hours. Sleep more. Eat more. You will get sick.

You get out of work Friday night around 11 p.m. There is still so much night left!! You try to hit up that party. Sure, you will show up a little late, but at least you will make an appearance. At least you will get to see some of your friends. At least you will be able to relax and enjoy yourself. At least you will be able to have some fun. By the time you get ready and get there, people begin leaving. You begin to wonder why you came out in the first place.

“I'm sorry, I've been at work" becomes an all-too-familiar phrase.

But, but, but.

You really deserve a pat on the back, so here it is.

You've given up a lot. And you work crazy hard. Those long nights and hours are hard. A lot of kids your age don't work and rely solely on your parents. But you, you have taken it upon yourself to earn some money for yourself. You are a full-time student, and most of your free time goes toward working and supporting yourself.

You truly do not get the appreciation that you deserve.

But when you do get some time to go out, when you request a weekend off, you have some money to spend. You are never the guy who can't go out because they don't have enough money.

And of course, you will start saving. This is huge. You're going to graduate in debt (probably), and because you busted your butt during school and saved up, putting a crack in that debt will be a little easier for you.

You are a forward thinker, whether you realize it or not.

You are building responsibility, money management, and self-reliance skills, whether you realize it or not.

You are quite mature for your age, whether you realize it or not.

AND YOU deserve a pat on the back. So here it is.

You're incredible. You're amazing. Go get 'em.

Seriously, take a second to congratulate yourself for all your hard work.

And whatever you do, get some sleep, kid. And remember, don't work yourself too hard. Just hard enough so that you feel good, and rewarded, and happy.

You're the man. Keep killin' it, dude. Keep killin' it.

Cover Image Credit: Peter Bernik/123rf Stock Photo

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Rejection Is A Good Thing

All "no"s aren't bad.

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College was the start of a series of rejections for me. Nothing high school taught me could have prepared me for it. Day after day it seemed like I was getting shut down. I auditioned for the Redcoat Marching Band, and didn't make it in. I auditioned for the Mock Dawgs, and didn't make it in. I applied to and interviewed for different jobs and organizations, and most of them were no's. I'm still getting no's to this day. I had spent the last four years in high school getting everything I wanted. I was the best of the best, but not anymore. Not in college.

I couldn't understand why I wasn't good enough for these things. I deserved these things. Or I thought I did. Truth is, I didn't. Not in the slightest. But whether or not I deserved them wasn't the question. The question was why I didn't get them. I had to force myself to take a step back. Ask myself why I didn't have a good audition or interview, and use that knowledge to better myself. Ask myself why I wanted this so bad. Was it something I wanted just for the title? Just to build relationships? Or was it really my passion? Nine times out of ten a rejection told me something about myself, and made me a better person. I learned a lot of myself with every "no" thrown my way. I learned that yes, I love playing music, but more as a hobby. I learned that I was not ready to hold certain leadership positions. I learned how to be open and honest with not only others, but myself, about what I need in my life.

I'm sure you've all heard the saying "when one door closes another door opens". I know I have. And like most of you probably have, I just brushed it to the side. My freshman year of college is where a bunch of doors started closing, and that's when I truly began to understand the meaning. Looking back, everything that I thought I wanted to join would've taken up too much time in my schedule. I probably would've ended up hating things that I now love. I wouldn't have had the time to be in the things I'm in now, the things I love now. One "no" just a few months ago led me down a path to bigger and better things. Rejection to the things I thought I wanted was the best thing that ever happened to me.

I thought I knew it all. I thought I had it all figured out. I thought I knew who I was going to be friends with and what activities I would be involved in. I couldn't have been more wrong, but I also couldn't be happier about it.

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