Tongy's Is Lit, But Have You Been To SōL?

Tongy's Is Lit, But Have You Been To SōL?

We Don't Care What You Come With, What You Believe, Or What You Wear, Just That You Love People And Want HOPE.
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To my fellow Chanticleers,

As we know there's not much Coastal lacks, and that's part of what makes it so special to us Chanticleers. As CCU students we are diverse, there's no one type of person here. Coastal took this into consideration when building up its community, which is why so many different types of students call it home. No matter where you are from, Sydney, to Tokyo, Massachusetts to right here, born in raised in Conway, there is guaranteed to be a group of people just like you. From our most recent National Championship Men's Baseball team 2016, to our women's volleyball Sun Belt Champions 2016, to our sorority and fraternity life, to The National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), to the CCU fishing club, to our beach volleyball team, you name it, there's a community within Coastal for every personality type. A home away from home as we (members of Coastals Greek community) like to say. These separate communities keep us busy, socially connected, and focused on our more temporary-college-goals. They also give us connections for our immediate after-college-goals, and friends that will hopefully last a lifetime, but wait, something detrimentally important is missing here. What about our long-term goals, our spiritual goals? When it’s time to get serious about our impact, the mark we wish leave on this world, you know, when we’ve become “our person.” Not who we were in middle school, high school, and no, not even college, but our true person. The person we’ve been working towards all these years, because the fact is, although we don’t like to admit it, we’re still figuring ourselves out.

And that’s okay, that’s why we’re here. Because we’re not ready yet, our spiritual journey is still taking place, but who’s helping it along? Unfortunately, at Coastal, the answer is probably you, and you alone. The truth is, there’s a lack of spirituality on this campus, and there is a lack of emphasis when it comes to the most important thing there is, our soul; our soul the essential of our beings, and our spiritual journey, the most necessary of all journeys. Because no matter what type of student/person, no matter what organization we belong to, each and every one of our journeys purpose is the same, to find truth. We are all seeking truth, and we are all seeking hope for truth.

But we shouldn’t have to embark upon this spiritual journey alone. In fact, we can’t do it alone. As humans, community is a necessary part of our being, it’s in the scriptures “to bind them together in love and to encourage their resolution until they are rich in the assurance of their complete understanding and have knowledge of the mystery of God.” Colossians 2:2. And within this community, in the midst of Gods work, and his love there is truth, and there is freedom "where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17 That is why I’m telling you of an amazing new community amongst Coastal Carolina University’s campus—SōL. Based off this verse (2 Corinthians 3:17) and students with a passion for a that can never die. People just like you, and just like me, seeking truth, hope, and completeness of the soul.

It began about a year and a half ago with three people, and has grown immensely. Here’s what one of them has to share with you about SōL, and why you should share in it.

“God gave a dream to us to bring freedom and truth to the college atmosphere. As I went in my early years of college I noticed the lack of Jesus on this campus. I'm not talking about Christianity but the love of God and open arms. Which seems to be seen at Coastal as harsh and judging.. but it's actually the complete opposite. So "Young and Free" was born. Based off 2 Corinthians 3:17, "where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom." Recently we changed to SōL because of copyright and creating a more mature atmosphere. The vision of SōL has been to simply, gather people in love and make Jesus known. It slowly grew from 3 to 20 to 30 to 50 to 70 and now between 80-120 people weekly. It's crazy the work many of us leaders/people have put in and what God has shown us along the way. It's different because students are leading students. We hate calling it an organization because it's not. It's a gathering of people, a community, ultimately drawing to one name, Jesus. We don't care what you come with, what you believe, or what you wear, just that you love people and want HOPE. Seeing hope is key to what we do. By gathering up with food, throwing parties and listening to music, that's really the smaller details. Yet, within it has formed crazy friendships and relationships and bonds that will last forever. That's because it'll always be about Jesus at the core. We threw a Christmas party of 125 people and saw "broke" college kids give $350 to families without gifts this Christmas, that’s Jesus, and that’s hope. Now into the new year, we are gathering even bigger, and longing to reach a campus in a way no other organization has. We long to be different. We long to love people so well, and call all to belong. The heartbeat is to make Jesus known in every crack and crevice of this campus whether dark or light. We don't like to call ourselves super churchy, just love and God. Simple. We want to carry this love and this name of Jesus to many campuses around by planning over time, starting with Coastal, and with you. This model we have, we believe to be a game changer. In the next year we long to seek investors and make moves, ultimately plugging young folks into church and building better men and women. Right now, 81% of college students don't attend church. We believe it's because they first, have nowhere to go. We the people are the church. We want SōL to be that place for college kids. It's a loving and real environment and I promise you want to be there...”

So, I get it, "Tongy's is lit" but this Tuesday I'm asking that you give yourself to something more deep. Come experience Coastals community in a way you never have before. And most importantly, don't forget.. CINO

Cover Image Credit: sol.mvmnt

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To All Incoming Freshmen, When You Get To College, Please Don't Be THAT Freshman

I am pretty sure we all know who I'm talking about.

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As we are all counting down the days to return to campus, students are looking forward to meeting new people and reuniting with old friends. And then, there is the freshman.

We have all been there. The eagerness and excitement have been slowly building up through months of summer vacation, all waiting for this moment. I understand the anxiousness, enthusiasm, and insecurities. The opportunity to meet new people and explore a new area is very intriguing. But let's be real, you are here to make memories and get an education. So here are a few pieces of advice from a former college freshman.

1. Don't be that freshman who follows their significant other to college

This is the boy or girl who simply can not think for themselves. The 17-year-old puts their own personal goals and interests aside to sacrifice for a six-month high school relationship. This will more than likely end at an end of semester transfer after the relationship has been tested for a month or two in college life. So if you want to really enjoy your freshman year, make your own decisions and do what is best for you.

2. Don't be that freshman who lets their parents pick their major

"You are not going to school just to waste my money."

This is a statement you might have heard from your parents. As true as it might seem, this is definitely not a good way to start your college years. If you are not majoring in something you can see yourself doing, you are wasting your time. You can major in biology, go to medical school, and make the best grades. But if deep down you don't want to be a doctor, you will NOT end up being a good doctor. When it comes to picking your major, you really have to follow your heart.

3. Don't be that freshman who gets overwhelmed with the first taste of freedom

Yes. It is all very exciting. You don't have a curfew, you don't have rules, you don't have anyone constantly nagging you, but let's not get carried away. Don't be the freshman who gets a tattoo on the first night of living on your own. Don't be the freshman who tries to drink every liquor behind the bar. Don't be the freshman who gets caught up being someone that they aren't. My best advice would be to take things slow.

4. Don't be that freshman who starts school isolated in a relationship

I'm not telling you not to date anyone during your freshman year. I am saying to not cut yourself off from the rest of the world while you date someone. Your first year on campus is such an amazing opportunity to meet people, but people are constantly eager to start dating someone and then only spend time with that person.

Be the freshman who can manage time between friends and relationships.

5. Don't be that freshman who can't handle things on their own

It is your first year on your own. Yes, you still need help from your parents. But at this point, they should not be ordering your textbooks or buying your parking pass. If you need something for a club or for class, YOU should handle it. If you're having roommate problems, YOU should handle it, not your parents. This is the real world and college is a great time for you to start building up to be the person you want to be in the future, but you can't successfully do that if your parents still deal with every minor inconvenience for you.

6. Don't be that freshman who only talks to their high school friends

I know your high school was probably amazing, and you probably had the coolest people go there. However, I believe that college is a great time to be on your own and experience new things. Meeting new people and going to new places will allow you to grow into a more mature person. There is a way to balance meeting new friends and maintaining friendships with childhood friends, and I am sure you will find that balance.

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An Open Letter To My Youngest Self

From, the young adult finding comfort in the past while lost in the present.

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Dear future big person,

Speaking from experience, the world is a crazy place. It's sad, yet exciting to know what the future holds for you. The world has been taken over by devices and electronics most never thought were possible.

If you're wondering why I'm writing to you, it's because I care a lot more now than I did back when I was you. I'm your Marty McFly, here to tell you how to prepare for the future. (Don't ask me what that reference is –you figure it out!).

For starters, let's talk about this technology thing. Gameboys, Nintendo DS', Wiis, Xboxes –don't mess with them. Television is fine –if the people from the Cold War survived it, we can, too. I want you to spend time enjoying the real world, not the electronic, fake one.

I want you to go outside and sit in the grass, pick those dandelions and mash them up into "paint." Paint mom something nice and maybe go for a bike ride with dad. Catch lightning bugs at dusk and bottle them all up in a mason jar. Eventually, let them free, all together.

Your brother is gross and weird, but he actually turns out to be a pretty cool kid. You don't have to be all mushy with him, but be sure he knows you love him. After all, he is family.

Make friends in the neighborhood, even if they are boys. So what? Challenge them. Race them on your bike with awesome purple and white streamers drifting from the handlebars. Push hard, through the soles of your Sketchers covered feet.

Pick up a piece of chalk and create a world of your own world with 3,000 Toys R Us stores, one police station, and only a few stop signs. Create and color your own flowers, whether they actually exist or not. Let your imagination run wild!

Turn on the radio and dance like crazy! Scream the lyrics to Smashmouth's "All Star" and Gwen Stefani's "Sweet Escape." Change the station every now and then to hear something new; it's always interesting to see your reactions to these interesting creations.

I want you to wear what you feel like and don't care what the others say about you. If you want to wear your purple dress-up shoes with your matching purse and hat, then do it. If you want to wear a Hula skirt in the dead of winter, do it (but please bring some leggings so mom doesn't flip out). If you want to wear those bedazzled jeans, then rock 'em.

If you're wondering why I'm telling you to do these silly things, it's only because we lost these traits along the way. I don't want you to miss the experiences that only come from the natural world because you had your head stuck in a tablet; it will all pass you in the blink of an eye.

I don't want you to ever feel trapped inside your house, no matter the weather. There is always a way out.

Don't let other people stop you from getting something you want. Don't let them intimidate you or talk you out of something you are passionate about.

Your friends will be the people you escape to when the house seems inescapable. Treat them the way you would like to be treated.

Your imagination is one of the greatest gifts you'll ever have. It drives you –your hopes and dreams, your wishes in the fountain and your kisses to the dandelions. Don't ever stop chasing them.

Always, always do what you want to do. You sing karaoke to that super catchy song because you know you'll kill it. Wear what you want however you want because you know that you look good in some strange way. (As long as you're not naked, that is). Stubbornness is good.

Your family will always be your family. What they do affects you, and vice versa. Bring them good, positive news. They don't need any more trouble.

Stand up for yourself, for your friends and family, for your beliefs and wishes. Be proud of the work you do and the life you live. Many people around you wish they could have lived like you did.

Most importantly, do not let your past define your future. A lot of things will happen, some of which may or may not go horribly wrong. There is nothing you can do to stop these things, except hope. You can always change for the better as long as you don't look back. Be proud of your past, but be known for your future –whatever you want that to be.

Please, promise me these things. I can't stress enough how important it is for you to never lose these traits –hold them tightly and never release them. I can't tell you how this life is going to go, because that simply isn't the way this world works. Just breathe through it and listen to your gut –that's the future guiding you.

I, and many others, love you –your character, your curls, your studded jeans,your pink Power Ranger costume, your Hello Kitty backpack, and your goofy smile.

Don't ever forget that.

With love,

The Girl Who Is Lost And Trying To Turn Back Time.

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