Community: Get One

Community: Get One

Why finding a community in college should be the number one priority on your to-do list.

Community: we all have one, we all want one, and we all need one. Whether you're 7 or 17 years old, we all desire to have a group of people we can turn to in any situation. However, after a semester of college, I realized that the community I would be surrounding myself with wasn't just there for me to turn to in the good and the bad; they were there to influence me, my choices, and my faith. They were there to hold me accountable and to let me know when I hurt them, and they were always there to assure me that I wasn't alone on this little journey called college. And although my desire was to find a community that would help me grow with the Lord, I happened to fall into one that had other priorities.

But let's start from the beginning.

College: it's a time when you're plucked from the security and comfort that you've known your entire life and placed in a totally different environment. It's as if God picks us up like we're a Mii on the Wii and places us where He wants us; "Good luck!" He says, "You're gonna do great!" But, of course, everyone struggles at the beginning of college. You're desperately clinging to anyone you can find in order to keep from staying in your dorm every night with no friends. You're going with random groups of people to concerts and frat parties because you don't have any episodes of "One Tree Hill" left to watch on a Friday night. And guess what? It's fun! You're meeting tons of new people and having the time of your life; trust me, I know.

But then, it becomes your life; it absorbs you. You live for your Friday night plans and are numb to the horrible feeling you wake up with Saturday mornings. Your biggest concern is what you're going to wear out that night or if you should straighten or curl your hair. From the outside looking in, it looks ridiculous... right? However, when that's what everyone around you is doing, it's normal. And although it's fun, it consumes you.

Everyone I've met at college has been incredible. I've made some of the best friendships I'll ever experience. But what I have come to realize over the course of the past nine months is that friendships based on faith are the sweetest, most joyful friendships I have found. Friendships based on accountability, honesty, faith, and an overwhelming amount of love are indescribably wonderful. These friends graciously tell you when you're wrong and celebrate with you during your smallest victories. They pray for and with you and show you consistent love, and they are true brothers and sisters in Christ.

College is already scary, but it's even scarier when you're lonely. And when you go to a big state school like I did, you find yourself overwhelmed with the number of strangers that you're surrounded by. It's easy to get lost in a crowd you don't want to be in when they're the only people you can find. It's easy to "conform to the patterns of this world" no matter how much you don't want to. It's easy to put aside your faith and what you believe in because you don't have time for it. However, this will all just leave you empty and unsatisfied.

So, to all of you rising freshmen: find community. Find people who challenge you to go deeper and further in your faith, tell you when you mess up, and show you unending love every day. Find people who will go to a field full of flowers with you and have dance parties on top of the parking deck. Find people who will sit with you in the dining hall for hours just to hear about your life story. Because I can assure you, they will be the best friendships you'll find in college.

"And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." - Hebrews 10:24-25

"How good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!" - Psalm 133:1

"For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” - Matthew 18:20

Cover Image Credit: me/facebook

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.

Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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Turning 'I'm Sorry' Into 'Thank You'

A process of self-awareness I think everyone should consider.


My entire life I've been apologetic.

I use apologies far too often in my daily life. Whether it be to someone holding the door for me even though I'm still ten feet from the door or my interrupting the custodian cleaning my hall's bathroom. From stepping on my friend's toes to bumping into someone in line at Starbucks.

I think as children, we are taught that apologizing for our actions wipes away the consequences from those actions. In past relationships, I have relied on apologies to make myself feel better about how I've made others feel instead of actually using them to improve my actions.

For me, it has just become something ingrained in my personality. I've noticed that it has become a reflex rather than a conscious response. What I've realized recently is that this is something I can change.

Apologies are helpful when mending hurtful or accidental situations, especially when you find yourself in the wrong, but not everything deserves an, "I'm sorry," and using that phrase for every accidental encounter or mistake, in my eyes, lessens its impact.

If we all use, "I'm sorry," for every minor inconvenience we cause, the words become less meaningful.

I have read about this online a lot lately, and it is suggested that instead of apologizing, we should give thanks.

If I'm late for a date with my friends, the old me would've said, "I'm SO sorry, guys!" But the new me will say, "Thank you for waiting for me."

Instead of apologizing to our (wonderful) custodians, I'll say, "Thank you so much for the work you do here every day."

If someone is kind enough to hold the door for me, even though I'm nowhere near it, I won't apologize for inconveniencing them. Instead, I will take the time to appreciate the fact that they were kind enough to do so, despite my distance from the door.

I think that this is a process everyone can benefit from, so long as they are willing to be conscious of their thoughts and the words they speak. By replacing, "I'm sorry," with an expression of gratitude, we can develop a more positive mindset and reserve apologies for situations that deserve them.

We can also use those rare apologies to remind us to improve our actions; if we hurt someone, we don't get to decide that we didn't or invalidate their feelings. We can then meaningfully apologize and allow it to inherently change our behavior.

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