Survival Advice From A BMC Junior

Survival Advice From A BMC Junior

A simpleton's simple tips
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Every sophomore, junior, and senior at Blue Mountain College realizes what every freshman will soon learn: college is probably the hardest thing you’ve ever done. Having the resolution to pursue your academic goals to the bitter end is more difficult than any challenge you’ve faced—unless you’ve served in the military, raised a family, served in ministry, or worked a consistent career. So what advice can a BMC junior, with moderate experience, offer to help?

First off, let me establish a pedigree. This is not to blow my own horn, but to prove a point: last semester, I worked 20 hours a week at a job 30 minutes away while also adding in 5 work study hours. I served on the Baptist Student Union and taught a men’s discipleship group, in addition to attending my church and serving in the role God has given me there. I had a social life while taking the three hardest classes I will have as a Biblical studies major.

I don’t want to brag or boast, but I had a great GPA—greater than dozens of people who would not commit to certain things because they “did not have time”. I’m not trying to make myself look good: I want you to know what YOU can do this year.

I am still learning, but here are the three things that I feel like have helped me for two academic years, and I feel like they can help you.

1. Find joy in what you’re doing.

Not “do what you enjoy”. Trying to live your life under that limitation is boring and unhelpful. The truth is, you can find joy in academia. Understand what it is you’re trying to accomplish. On the global scale, you’re privileged. You get to pursue a degree, you get to experience the challenge of learning what you don’t know in order to succeed, sitting through long classes knowing that if the road were easy everyone would drive it, and powering through work by overcoming your own inhibitions. This is not just a battle, it’s an adventure! Do what has to be done, but for your own sake, learn to enjoy it.

2. Manage your time and prioritize the reason you’re attending college.

I failed to mention above that in what was my most successful semester, I never logged onto Netflix or use a video game system. Not that there’s anything wrong with either. Most of us need the relief, but don’t let reliefs become escapes from what’s right in front of you, needing to be done. You can be free to have fun and do enjoyable, “college experience things” because you used a spare hour Wednesday afternoon to complete a project that was due Friday. Hit everything as early as you can, and make sure you’ve budgeted time to complete what you know you have coming up. Simple, right?

3. Be a Christian.

No, not because Jesus will magically grant a perfect semester. No, not because He will make the hard times somehow “not hard.” They will still be objectively difficult. No, be a Christian because Christ is Lord. Be a Christian because He deserves your love and allegiance no matter how you may feel about Him. Be a Christian because God paid an immeasurable cost to save you from His own just anger against your sin. Once you find yourself in realization of those realities, you can get through the semester, and the school year, and life. Because you have a foundation on which to place your life that is much larger than your GPA. Know Him, love Him.

This is one of the most exciting beginnings you'll ever have. Make the most of it

Cover Image Credit: Author's Image

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22 New Things That I Want To Try Now That I'm 22

A bucket list for my 22nd year.

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"I don't know about you but I'm feelin' 22," I have waited 6 long years to sing that and actually be 22! Now 22 doesn't seem like a big deal to people because you can't do anything that you couldn't do before and you're still super young. But I'm determined to make my 22nd year a year filled with new adventures and new experiences. So here's to 22.

1. Go sky diving.

What's crazier than jumping out of a plane? (Although I'll probably try indoor skydiving first.)

2. Go cliff jumping/diving.

I must be the only Rhode Islander who hasn't gone to Jamestown and jumped off a cliff.

3. Ride in a hot air balloon.

Up, up and away.

4. Try out skiing.

Cash me in the next Olympics, how bout dat.

5. Try out snow boarding.

Shawn White, I'm coming for you.

6. Go bungee jumping.

Because at least this time I'll be attached to something.

7. Go to Portugal.

I mean I'm Portuguese so I have to go at some point, right?

8. Go to Cape Verde.

Once again, I'm Cape Verdean so I have to go.

9. Vist one of the seven wonders of the world.

I mean hey, Egypt's on, my bucket list.

10. Try out surfing.

It's only natural that somebody from the Ocean State knows how to surf.

11. Learn a new langauge.

Because my little bit of Portuguese, Spanish and Latin isn't cutting it anymore.

12. Travel to a state that I've never been to before.

Fun fact: I've only been to 17 of the 50 states.

13. Go paddle boarding.

Pretty boring but I've never done it.

14. Go scuba diving.

I'm from the Ocean State so I guess I should see the ocean up close and personal.

15. Learn how to line dance.

There's actually a barn in my state that does line dancing, so this one will definitely get crossed off.

16. Go kayaking.

All this water around me and I haven't done a lot of the water activites.

17. Stay the night in a haunted hotel room.

I bet if I got my friends to come with me, it would be like the Suite Life of Zach and Cody episode, minus the ghost coming out of the wall but you never know.

18. Get my palms read.

Because who doesn't want to know their future.

19. Go to a medium.

Like a medium that can communicate with people that have died.

20. Take a helicopter ride.

Air plane: check Helicopter:....

21. Sleep under the stars.

Because sleeping in a tent is more like glamping than camping

22. Just to try new things in my everyday life.

Whether it's trying a new restaurant, getting something different at my usual restaurants, changing my usual style, going on the scary rides at amusement parks, and bringing things I used to do back into my life now.

Cover Image Credit:

Author's illustration

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I Woke up In The Middle Of The Night To Write About My Fears, They're Worse Than The Dark

One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

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It is one of those nights when I am tired, but for some reason, I can't seem to fall asleep. So, what do I do? I pull out my laptop, and I begin to write. Who knows where it will lead. It could lead to a killer article or something that does not make sense. I mean it is almost 2 A.M. In my mind, that's pretty late.

Anyways, let's do this thing.

Like many people, thoughts seem to pile up in my head at this time. It could be anything from a time when I was younger to embarrassing stories to wondering why I am "wasting" my time somewhere to thoughts about the future. All of these things come at me like a wildfire. One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

The thought that is going through my mind as I write this is about the future. It's about the future of my fears. Let me explain. I have multiple fears. Some of my fears I can hide pretty well, others I am terrible at hiding. My fears may seem silly to some. While others might have the same fears. Shall we start?

1. My career

I don't know where to begin with this one. For as long as I can remember, my consistent dream job has been working in the world of sports, specifically hockey. A career in sports can be and is a challenging thing. The public eye is on you constantly. A poor trade choice? Fans are angry. Your team sucks? "Fans" are threatening to cheer for someone else if you can't get your sh*t together. You can be blamed for anything and everything. Whether you are the coach, general manager, owner, it does not matter. That's terrifying to me, but for some reason, I want to work for a team.

2. My family

Julie Fox

Failing with my family, whether that be the family I was born into or my future family, it terrifies me. I have watched families around me fall apart and I have seen how it has affected them. Relationships have fallen apart because of it. I have heard people talk about how much they hate one of their parents because of what happened. I don't want that.

3. Time

This could be a dumb fear. I'm not sure, but I fear time. With every minute that passes, I am just another minute closer to the end. With every day that passes that I am not accomplishing goals or dreams I have, I am losing precious time. It scares me to think of something horrible like "What if I die tomorrow because of something horrific?" or even worse, "What if I don't make it through today?" It's terrible, I know.

4. Forgetting precious memories

When I was younger, I had brain surgery. It is now much harder for me to remember things. I am truly terrified that I am going to forget things I will want to hold close to me forever, but I won't be able to. I am scared I'll forget about the little things that mean a lot. I'm afraid of forgetting about old memories that may disappear. I'm worried that I'll forget about something like my wedding day. That might seem out of this world, but it's a reality for me.

5. Saying "goodbye"

I hate saying bye. It is one of my least favorite things. Saying bye, especially to people I don't know when I'll see again, is a stab in the heart for me. I love my people so much. I love being around them. I love laughing with them. Thought of never having a hello with them again scares me beyond belief.

6. Leaving places that I love

Alright, let me start off by saying this- it takes a lot for me to love a place. It has to feel like home. It has to make me feel comfortable. It has to be a place I can go to and be myself. Thankfully, I have had and still have multiple places that are like that. I have also had places I could not wait to leave. I think that's why leaving places I love is so hard and something I fear so much. I am afraid I'll never get that place "back", for lack of a better term. I guess, I'm trying to say, it's like a piece of me is leaving as well.




These six things are just the start of my fears. Some of these might seem "dumb" or "ridiculous" to you, but for me, it's my life. These are the things that I think about the most. These are the things that feel like a pit in my stomach. These six things are parts of my life that mean a lot to me.

Cover Image Credit:

Emily Heinrichs

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