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Christy Ulmet

Christy Ulmet says:

SUNSHINE, BOOKS, AND SUITCASES

Hey everybody! Holy cow, May is almost over and I’m nearly three months away from my semester in DC. WHAT?! Where is the time going?!

So I wanted to let you know how I’ve been spending my summer thus far, and how I plan to spend it the next three months.

I’ve been working a few jobs on campus, and I can’t really complain about that. My co-workers are hilarious, so there’s never a dull day at the office. Aside from work, I haven’t done a whole lot. I’ve rested as much as possible, because my brain is still feeling the effects of this past semester. I’ve also been reading a lot in my spare time, and that’s been pretty exciting. I read a lot in high school, but I never really found the time for it during the school year. I’m pretty stoked about some of the books on my summer reading list (yes, I am a nerd. So what?).

In a few weeks, my family will be taking a trip to Gatlinburg, Tenn. to spend time with some extended family we never see and go exploring. So far on the agenda we’ve got white water rafting, hiking, camping, and going to a water park. I’m pretty pumped for all of that, but I’m already exhausted just thinking about it.

I’m also going as a youth sponsor on some of the youth trips my church is taking this summer. I’ll be a camp counselor at the middle school camp, as well as an adult sponsor on the group’s mission trip to Cincinnati, Ohio. I love spending time with those kids, so I’m beyond excited for those weeks.

Those are all my plans that are set in stone so far for the summer. What are your plans?

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Christy Ulmet

Christy Ulmet says:

HALFWAY THERE

I’m a junior in college. Woah. I still have trouble taking that in. I’m still in recovery mode from this last school year, even though I’ve been out a week already. I’ve already done so much in my two years at Trevecca, but I feel like I still have so much to do. 65 credits down, 55 to go. I can’t even believe I’ve made it this far. I feel like just yesterday I was walking the stage and grabbing a high school diploma. Where did the time go?

suitematesThese past two years have been quite a learning experience. I’ve learned who my friends are, I’ve learned what God has called me to do, and I’ve learned more about the person I am and the person I’m becoming. If it weren’t for Trevecca, I’d be completely lost.

I’ve been a part of some pretty awesome experiences these past two years that I’ll hold in my memory forever.

Freshman year I started as a Communication Studies major, but I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with that. I was interested in radio broadcasting, but the university had just sold the radio station, so it was poor timing for me. When I started my core classes, I began to really take interest in journalism. My introduction to the world of journalism started before that, though.homecomingf

During a welcome week event called the block party, I was taking pictures with my DSLR camera when the editor of the TrevEchoes student newspaper, Tyler Whetstone, asked me if I wanted to take photos for the newspaper. I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I said ‘sure!’

I was an official member of the newspaper staff, so I devoted a lot of time to that. Later on, I’d learn just how much I enjoyed being involved.

While I was on the newspaper staff, I also participated in the fall musical, Oliver! I have participated in many productions in the past, but didn’t think I’d ever have time to in college. At this point, I don’t have much time. But freshman year, I was able to. And I am so so glad I did. I made many of my closest friends to this day through that production.

I have also been on Trevecca’s Gospel Choir for two years. The director, Rev. Marvin Jones, is incredibly knowledgeable in music and has taught us well. I love being part of a choir that gets to travel to different churches and cities just to worship God. I mean what could be better?

winterretreatMy first three semesters at Trevecca I was involved in Wind Ensemble. I’ve played the clarinet for nine years, so I enjoyed being able to continue my time playing at Trevecca. The group is fairly small for a wind ensemble, but it’s always fun to play together. Dr. David Diehl, the director of the group, is a super talented musician and he always knows what the group needs in order to get better.

In addition to all of these things, I am able to participate in many of the university’s on-campus events for my major. I actually have to write about the events hosted on campus fairly often, so it’s pretty nice to say I ‘have to’ go to the concerts and other events for my homework. It’s allowed me the opportunity to get a far deeper view of the little things this campus does that made a huge impact.

Though I haven’t ever volunteered with the urban farm on campus, I’ve written countless stories about it so I’m able to be down there often. I enjoy getting to learn different things about the animals housed at the urban farm.

These past two years have been filled with crazy experiences and amazing memories, and I can’t wait to see what God’s got for my last half of college.

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Taylor Foster

Taylor Foster says:

Here’s to the rest of my life

As I sit here in my (almost) empty apartment, I look around at box after box and bag after bag of stuff. Much more stuff than I have needed these past three years here at Trevecca. Too many clothes and shoes, too much nail polish, lots of textbooks I should sell. But you know what is also in those boxes? Memories.

That dress I wore on the first day of my sophomore year. in Organic Chemistry. Those Nikes I ruined while making compost in Ecology lab. That coat I wore on the coldest day I have ever experienced. The umbrella and rain boots that I used time after time to walk to class in the pouring rain when I wanted to skip. Those index cards I never threw away after a first semester Biology test. Those purple towels and sheets from freshman year that I got specifically because they were “Trevecca purple.”

And then there’s the pictures: some of my family in frames; some I didn’t deem good enough for Instagram; some I had collaged all over my desk; some I had on bulletin boards. Many of these pictures I originally brought to college were of friends, trips, and different events during my high school years. However, the longer I was at Trevecca, the more that changed. Those youth group trips and band competition pictures turned into pictures of freshman orientation, Paintapalooza, Johnson Hall Formal, Boonearoo, friends’ birthdays, dorm events, ugly Photobooth selfies taken at 1 am, pep rallies, Homecoming events, and so many more wonderful times that I will never forget.

Tomorrow, when I officially move everything out of this Bush apartment where I have lived this past year, my senior year, I will take so many things with me. Over these past three years of college, I have cried tears over heartbreaks, bad test grades, fights with my parents, arguments with my friends, and other things that are just normal parts of life. But I will also carry with me the happiest days of my life thus far.

Physically, I will be gone from Trevecca. I will remove my name off of our front door. My picture won’t be in any more yearbooks. No more will my professors call my name when they take attendance. I will no longer have a student ID to get in the Caf. No more will I have a Trevecca email address. But all of these trivial and tangible things pale in comparison to the memories and stories I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

In 31 hours, I will walk across the stage on the steps of the religion building, named after Trevecca’s founder, J.O. McClurkan. I will receive a diploma to represent all of my hard work here. But my Trevecca story will not be over at 9 am on Saturday, May 3, 2014. It will be lived out everyday, in the form of Leadership and Service. I am called to do both of those things to our world, and the skills and ideas that I have been taught here will make all that possible.

I could spend all day telling you all the great things I have loved and will miss about this wonderful place and still not cover it all. I have loved my college experience so much and am heartbroken that it is over already. But I’ll be back. I’ll be back at Homecomings, for basketball games, alumni events, and maybe one day one of my own children will spend the best four years of their life here too.

I pray for prospective students that are thinking about attending Trevecca. If this is you, please know that you will not regret your decision to go to college here. If you are an alumni, you are the heart of Trevecca. Your love for this place helps other young students be able to love it too. I hope you enjoyed your years here as much as I have mine. I’ll bleed purple til the day I die. They call it “dear ole TNU” because it is so near and dear to our hearts. As I leave this Holy Hill on Saturday after Commencement, I know it will not be goodbye. Just a “see you later.”

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Sydney Maxfield

Sydney Maxfield says:

Things that happen when you get older.

1. You stop talking unless it’s necessary.
2. You stop meddling in other people’s drama.
3. You stop fighting over text messages.
4. You stop “testing the water” with old friends and exes and just move on.
5. You cease caring too much about “what if this doesn’t work out” and just do it.
6. You start realizing how alike you are to your mother.
7. You start telling jokes that teenagers don’t laugh at.
8. You start cleaning up after yourself and get excited about a clean dorm/apartment.
9. You start helping out around the house when you go home, forsaking the dog show on Thanksgiving Day…maybe even the parade.
10. You start to understand why your parents drink coffee every morning…but you’re still unsure if it works.
11. You start realizing why you need to plan time in your schedule for just you. (for reading, relaxing, studying your bible, watching your favorite show…) If you don’t, you either end up with no free time or no work done.
12. You start actually being yourself and not needing to apologize for it- unless you are mean or insensitive- then you learn how to get over yourself and start apologizing.

What are some things you’ve been noticing about yourself as you get older?

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Jordan Taylor

Jordan Taylor says:

How to Tell If a Girl Likes You

So you’ve gotta be married by the end of your college career, right? It’s a given. This one goes out to every guy out there, specifically the Freshman though who are trying to find that girlfriend as soon as they get on campus.

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Taylor Foster

Taylor Foster says:

One Week.

One week from today, my entire college career will be over.

It’s SURREAL, believe me.  And entirely bittersweet.  It’s great to think about the future:  future jobs, my Master’s program,  my therapy career, having a family one day, etc.  I know that God has so much in store, and I am excited to encounter all of it.

HOWEVER, something is still in the back of my mind, and has been for this entire senior year, if not before that.  It’s a little question that is “what if?”  What if I don’t find a job?  What if I’m not good enough?  What if my GPA isn’t high enough?  What if I never get married?  What if I don’t like the place I work?  What if I don’t get into grad school?  What if my Master’s is too expensive?  What if I can’t find a good place to live?

These questions go on and on.  I am naturally an extremely anxious person, and when the topic of graduation is brought up, it only increases my anxiety.  I will miss this place every single day of my life.  I don’t know what I will be doing a week from now, a month from now, or a year from now.  But I do know that every single day, I will be thankful for Trevecca.  For the wonderful education I received, from intelligent professors that care about me not only as a student, but as an individual and as a believer.  I will miss the friends that I have made deep relationships with, and the love, care, and nurturing that I have received from them.  I know that these are friendships that will last a lifetime, regardless of where we are in life and what we are doing.  I am so so grateful for this place called Trevecca.  I may be scared to death about my future, but I know who holds it.  And I know I am a better Christian, student, and individual because of my years spent here on this Holy Hill.

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Justin Schoolcraft

Justin Schoolcraft says:

The Judas In All Of Us

judas

 

“While He was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, suddenly arrived. A large mob, with swords and clubs, was with him from the chief priests and elders of the people. His betrayer had given them a sign: “The One I kiss, He’s the One; arrest Him!”  So he went right up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.” (Matt 26:47-49)

We’re really good at pointing fingers at people. It seems like every time a wrong is done, someone has to be blamed. I’m sure you can think of countless examples of this. It is a staple of human nature. We desperately want to be right, to be vindicated, and to uphold a picture perfect image of ourselves we want others to have. We just hate being wrong, because if we’re wrong, then others will think less of us, and we have not proven our goodness to them and ourselves.

 

There are two characters I can think of that we, the Christian community, often assign all blame to for every sin in the history of humanity. The first one is Eve, and the second one is Judas. In this season of Easter, I would like to reflect on the character of Judas a bit.

 

Judas, the betrayer of Jesus, has been labeled as the biggest traitor to have ever lived. He was one of the 12 original disciples of Christ. He was there with Jesus. Imagine that for a second – what if you had been there. What if you saw the miracles? What if you saw the literal face of God? It is hard for us to fathom. Because of this, we can easily point a finger at Judas. How could he have betrayed Jesus? He saw the miracles! He knew who He really was! How can you betray the Son of God to be crucified? Then on top of that, he KISSED Him! What a vile, back-stabbing to do – betray Him and then kiss Him, pretending like He loved Him.

 

The betrayal of Judas has reached archetypal proportions. When people are betrayed or stabbed in the back, it is oftentimes referred to as a “kiss of Judas.” Judas was not just a betrayer. He is the betrayer. He is the one that was single-handedly responsible for the death of our Savior. All of it was Judas, and that is the only thing all of human history has remembered him by – the one who betrayed Jesus, the back-stabbing kiss, the one who is to blame….

 

But I can think of another person who has betrayed Jesus, then kissed Him on the cheek and said “I love You.” And his name is me. Make no mistake, I have betrayed Jesus just as much as Judas. I have sinned, and seem to find myself sinning over and over. And then I go to church, worship Christ, pray to Him, and tell Him I love Him. Don’t get me wrong, these are all great things. But I had just as big a hand in putting Christ on a tree to be killed as Judas. I’m responsible for Christ’s death. And I can’t quite bring myself to point a finger and Judas and say, “Look what you did!” Because if I point a finger at Judas, I have to point a finger at myself.

 

So why is Easter a time to celebrate? If I betrayed Him, if you betrayed Him, if Judas betrayed Him, why do we celebrate?

 

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

 

I celebrate because God loves me, and God loves you so crazily that Jesus gave His life up for us in spite of our betrayal, and He wanted to. Despite of the Judas in all of us, He died for us. And He didn’t just die for us, he rose for us. He forgave us for our betrayal, and He invited us to a life of loving relationship with Him so amazing we can’t even imagine what is in store. And He continues to do the same. This is a love like we’ve never seen. This is why we celebrate.

 

Take a moment today to think about the Judas inside of you. I know I will. And then gaze at the cross, and dwell on the Christ who gave Himself up for you and me in spite of our sin. This Christ beat death with death, beat darkness with light, and beat evil with love. And as I reflect on the character of Judas today, He is the Christ who beat betrayal in me and you with forgiveness.

 

Happy Easter

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