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How You Doin’?

How are you? Wait… let me just walk past before you even have a chance to reply. How are you? Oh… now someone walks by before I GET TO REPLY. Has either of the above scenarios ever happened to you? I assume yes, unless of course, you live in complete isolation, and, in that case, this blog will not be relatable. However, for those of you still tuned in… welcome to the world of hurry! And that last comment was as genuine as you will take it! (As in, it can be haha sarcasm…or that’s funny I relate thanks.) It is not a surprise or shock that we live in an ever-changing and always-moving society. In the hustle and bustle of life, genuineness and intentionality in relationships with others, tend to suffer. It is my hope that after reading the following tips you will be well on your way to building intentional relationships with those around you.

5 Tips on Being Intentional:

  1. Schedule a meeting

No, like literally pull out your planner or calendar app and add the appointment. Make sure to actually hash out the when and where as early as possible. You and the person should both put whatever you decide upon in your agendas so that the level of priority is established. Furthermore, this allows you not only to remember, but to have peace, that you have the time set aside to really catch up. If you really want to have fun with scheduling, you could have a color-coded system to indicate who exactly you are meeting.

  1. Put the electronic device away

Technology is the killer of intentionality. Let me clarify: if you are so distracted by every beep and buzz, how much attention are you really paying to the person you set aside time to meet with? Believe it or not, the world will not collapse into oblivion if you go deviceless for an extended period. Also, by putting away a device you will be nonverbally communicating that the person you are meeting has value to you. Besides, even if the person says they don’t mind your constant checking of your phone, they will notice.

  1. Don’t overcommit

When you set up a time to meet, do not try to rush to something immediately after. The goal is to be fully intentional, not just check in a box that you met.  If you plan to show up antsy to make your next commitment, then chances are you should not have set the meeting in the first place. Only you know your schedule, so respect yourself and the other person enough to be mindful of prior commitments.

Intentional relationships are ones to treasure and should not be defeated by the busyness of the world.

  1. Find a shared passion

People typically prioritize the things they have a passion for, so why not find a shared passion in order to increase priority? It would also provide an enjoyable activity to look forward to when hanging out and increasing the likelihood of future hangouts. 

  1. Continue to check-up

After taking the time to be intentional once, don’t stop. Stay intentional and check-up on the person. Now, how often you need to catch-up is entirely up to you, but once you make the effort, keep on going.

Written by Jordan L.

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New Year…Old Traditions

Happy New Year! Wow, another decade has flown by. Yes, 2020 marks the third decade of the 2000s. Wild. By this time, many people have specific traditions reserved for the changing of the year. Ironically, people celebrate something new, the year, with old celebration habits.

My family does not go all out for New Year’s Eve, by any means. We keep it simple, yet memorable. My parents order Indian food, which I am not a fan of, so I always get Thai food. After eating our traditional New Year’s feast, we begin the festivities. Growing up, New Year’s Eve was the annual Lord of The Rings marathon, before the Hobbit trilogy. Recently, my immediate family began throwing a game night. We play games until midnight and then go to bed. The next day we start off the New Year by serving together at Mission Arlington.

It dawned on me that I celebrate New Year’s Day the same way each year. Thus, I became curious as to how the people in my office (Dallas Baptist University Writing Center) celebrate this unique holiday. It is fascinating to compare festivities that are all occurring simultaneously, yet so differently.

Director Kā Riley

Sherlock, Kā’s dog, is terrified of fireworks. Unfortunately for Sherlock, her neighborhood cannot have New Year’s celebrations without them. Thus, Kā spends her New Year’s Eve lovingly taking care of Sherlock and protecting her from the big bad loud noises. While being on doggie duty, Kā and her husband enjoy a smorgasbord of summer sausage, cheese, crackers, and other condiments. There is a toast made at midnight, with sparkling grape juice. On New Year’s Day, after Sherlock survives the night, lunch is had at Black Eyed Peas, which consists of black-eyed peas and cornbread, a nod to the traditional southern good-luck practice.

Consultant Coordinator Trisha Gracy

Trisha spends her New Year’s Eve back home in rural Texas and has a mini-reunion with her high school friends. They participate in an annual sleepover.

Office Manager Ashley Green

Ashley keeps New Year’s Eve simple and partakes in an annual toast to the New Year with her family.

Consultant Kenean Bekele

Kenean spends the evening with her entire extended family. The family cooks and feasts together. They catch up while watching the New York ball drop on TV. After the ball drops, their celebration continues outside while enjoying fireworks together.

Consultant Meredith Rose

Meredith’s family spends the New Year together and with close family friends, who host the celebration. The group spends the evening eating and playing cards. There is a toast to the New Year as they watch the ball drop on TV. The party for Meredith’s family does not end at midnight. No, they queue up a movie at midnight as the conclusion to the festivities.

Consultant Amanda Soderberg

Amanda spends the New Year with her friends and family. They eat food, play games, and enjoy each other’s company. Of course, the grand New York ball drop is watched. Amanda’s family also prays together thanking God for the year they were blessed with and to ask for guidance for the year to come.

Consultant Ryan Thompson

If Ryan’s family stays up until midnight, they play board games or watch movies. At midnight, the New York ball drop is viewed while toasting with sparkling grape juice. However, it would not be unusual if the Thompsons decided to be in bed by 10:30.

Consultant-In-training Karina Baganz

Karina has a unique New Year’s Eve tradition. She does not stay awake to wait for the year to begin. No, on New Year’s Eve she is in bed, asleep, by 10 pm. Her philosophy is that she will get to wake up refreshed and ready to start the new year. She celebrates New Year’s Day with a traditional big plate of pancakes.

Consultant-In-Training Deneen Sanchez

Deneen’s family watches the ball drop while sipping eggnog. Her mom counts out twelve grapes, symbolizing the twelve months. Her family eats the grapes as a tradition of good luck for the upcoming year. Her family marks an end to the festivities by watching fireworks.

Consultant-In-Training Jordan Dockery

Jordan chooses not to drink soda 364 days out of the year, but on New Year’s Day, she indulges. Her family toasts their coke bottles high to the sky, while the song Albanza plays in the background.

Receptionist Robyn Key

Robyn hangs out with friends on New Year’s Eve. However, the catch is that she must be on the road heading home by midnight. Since she is on the road, she does not get to watch the ball drop.

Receptionist Princess Adeya

Princess anxiously awaits the ball drop, because then she is able to leave the house and go hang out with friends.

To sum up, in no particular order, here are 10 ingredients to a successful New Year:

**** God ****

  1. Friends
  2. Family
  3. Food
  4. Games
  5. Movies
  6. Dogs
  7. Fireworks
  8. Rest
  9. The Ball Drop
  10. Toast to the New Year

Written by Jordan

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Chip Bowls Crashing Down

The air is chilly. Dark red and yellow leaves lie restlessly on the damp evergreen. Jack o’ Lanterns with whimsical faces nestle in bunches outside of people’s doors. The aroma of cinnamon scented pinecones and pumpkin spice fills the nostrils of many as they cuddle around their roaring fires. In October, autumn is casting about mini tornados of leaves, brushing the feet of those in its path as the trees dance in the wind. This month is witness to the increased purchase of candy, fake spider webs, and Batman costumes. Only few know why this month is so significant, but don’t worry, I’ll clue you in. Besides all of the fantastical autumn themed scents, ten-pound bags of Snickers, and funny-looking pumpkins, this month brings sports fans together. October marks the halfway point of football season and provides a map for predicting which teams will make it into the Super Bowl.

Football season usually begins in early September when the pungent scent of Kingsford Match Light charcoal lingers in the air and hot dogs and burgers sizzle on the grill. Families and friends come together sporting the jerseys of their favorite teams and players, finding community in those who support their choices and even those with whom they can argue. While the kids are slip-slippery-sliding and cannonballing into the pool, their parents engross themselves in the nearest television, chanting and hollering in support of (and on many occasions, at) their favorite teams until another chip bowl comes crashing to the ground. This time is the start of the season, the first four games in which all teams have something to prove, and if your family is nearly as competitive as mine, then you do, too. If you were disappointed in last year’s performance, it is during this time that you are most optimistic, hoping your players have had rest and practiced and are prepared to dominate the season. September proves to be just that for football fans: a phase of optimism.

By the following month of the season, players are competing in games five through eight, which, to me, is truly when the season begins. October marks the point at which all the teams have exposed their secret super stars, those who run sixty-five yards upfield to the touchdown or kick an eighty-five yard field goal. These super stars help us football fanatics gage which teams will most likely advance to the playoffs and ultimately compete for the title of Super Bowl Champions. Now, instead of the smell of burgers and franks on the grill, the aroma of a Glade Warm Flannel Embrace plug-in fills the room. With one obnoxiously large marshmallow topping their cups of hot chocolate and s’mores filling their bellies, groups of football connoisseurs and amateurs, alike, continue rooting for their teams. With a scorching flame from the fireplace keeping them warm and a hot season approaching, fans are on fire for football during the chilly month of October.

Written by Ashley

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Why College Is Awesome: A Blog By Yours Truly

After one whole year of college, I think we can all agree that I am, indeed, an expert on all things higher education. And because I am so kind and generous, I will bestow my wealth of knowledge onto you, dear reader. You’re welcome. Let it never be said that I was unwilling to help my underlings. Let us proceed, henceforth and so on and such which and heretofore and what have you, etc., with a list of ten awesome things I’ve noticed about my DBU experience.

  1. Studying the subjects I want to study is so much fun. I’ve learned so much in my classes so far that I can’t even imagine what kind of knowledge I’ll have once I graduate. Sure, I have to take some general education classes that I’m not really interested in so I can complete my degree plan, but I find I learn useful information even in those classes.
  2. The freedom to do (almost) whatever I want is really cool. Even though I know I should probably go to all my classes so that I don’t risk falling behind on the information discussed that day, it’s fun to know that I can skip all my classes one morning and sleep in if I so choose.
  3. Having responsibility over my life rules. I hear all the time about how people my age don’t want to be adults or don’t think they can handle all the hard responsibilities that come along with adulthood, but I for one enjoy being an adult. I like knowing that I’m capable of going to my job every day, paying rent on my apartment, doing my own laundry, and going grocery shopping. It’s empowering to know that I’m growing up and maturing.
  4. My professors all give me a syllabus for class. I like knowing exactly what I’m getting myself into in terms of classwork, and having a detailed plan of assignments and their due dates given to me on the first day of a class allows me plenty of time to get intimidated and drop the class for an easier one. (Just kidding: no class has been that intimidating. Yet.)
  5. I feel prepared to do all of my assignments. Though some of them have seemed impossible, or maybe just super difficult, I know that I’ve already been taught what I need to know. And if I have questions, there is always someone to ask—like the DBU Writing Center! I never feel like I’m stuck, alone, drowning in work I have no idea how to do.
  6. Doing volunteer hours for my scholarships is rewarding. I spend a lot of my free time directing the lighting for my church. I thought at first that required volunteering would be a chore, but my church is honestly one of my favorite organizations I’ve ever had the opportunity to get involved with. Volunteering isn’t a chore for me because I’m passionate about the work I get to do, from programming and operating a bunch of fancy lighting fixtures to talking and planning with the awesome people I work with.
  7. The DBU community is close-knit. At such a small school, I can’t go anywhere on campus without running into someone I know. In fact, I’m often late to classes because I get caught up talking with a friend on the sidewalk. It’s nice to see friendly, familiar faces everywhere I look.
  8. I get to live with my friends. A lot of the time, I feel like I’m a little kid at a never-ending sleepover. My roommates and I all have fun together and we all love each other.
  9. The campus is beautiful. This summer, I had two friends from Oklahoma come spend the weekend with me here at DBU, and they marveled at the majesty of the magnificent masterpiece I get to see every day. I sometimes forget how beautiful my surroundings are, but taking pictures in all the different photo-op spots with those two friends was a neat reminder of this.
  10. The people here are super cool. The faculty and staff, students, and friends I’ve had the pleasure of meeting are some of the most positive, affirming, loving people I’ve met anywhere.

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Obviously, as a college expert, I could continue giving reasons why DBU is one grand university experience, but I’ll stop for now so that you readers aren’t overwhelmed. Seriously, though, be encouraged. College is fun. Have fun doing everything you do.

Written with all sarcastic seriousness by Becca

Image credits: DBU Entrance, smiley face

Mending Failing Friendships

To put things plainly, friendships are hard. While friendships with little difference of opinion can be fruitful, those with many differences are incredible character builders. At times, it may feel like a friendship isn’t worth your time and only brings stress, but through communication, patience, and putting pride to the side, a friendship can turn a corner and prove to be worth the effort.

It is important to have people to turn to in times of trial, but when the people chosen to be a source of comfort turn into a source of hostility, ending the friendship seems to be the logical thing to do. However, cutting all ties with people we are friends with can be more detrimental than staying in that toxic relationship and trying to resolve things.

Recently, the girls in my friend group, myself included, have been experiencing a strain in our friendship. I will not mention names or events that have occurred, but I will say it has led to avoidance, awkwardness, anger, sadness, and bitterness.

One of the girls and I decided to talk to our RA about the things we have been dealing with and discuss whether or not we should discontinue being friends with the other girls or not. She encouraged us through a quote: “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, and small minds discuss people.” She said to talk about ideas or ways to resolve the situation instead of talking about the other girls. Talking about what the girls did wrong is merely gossip. It only spurs on the harboring of bitterness. We decided the best way to smooth everything out is to have an open conversation with our RA as a mediator.

There are many obligations demanding our attention: busy schedules, academics, work, volunteer responsibilities, etc., so it can be hard to find time to put aside for spending quality time with friends. Yet, quality time is so important in keeping the lines of communication open. It is important to recognize that sometimes the problem in a relationship can be personal pride. When trying to decide if a friendship is worth the time to fix, we have to not only look at what the other person has done to make us feel a certain way but also discern how we got to that point in the first place.

As a Christian, I am called to love. In the Bible, 1 John 4:20 states, “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” If I don’t show at least some effort in understanding how the other person in the relationship feels, then I am being prideful, and for me, pride leads to anger. I struggle with anger. And, when I feel neglected by people, I shut them out and push the idea of repairing the friendship to the side. However, when I do this, it just causes me pain because I lost what could have been a valuable friendship.

Not trying to repair a broken friendship and, instead, removing a person from our lives causes us to have unresolved problems in our past friendships that haunt us and affect us negatively on an unconscious level. Fixing a friendship is usually worth the time and effort. Communication and expressing yourself are essential in cultivating a great relationship, and human relationships are really the foundation of our civilization and a true source of happiness.

Written by Cheyanne

Image credit: http://ih2.redbubble.net/image.4389569.4144/flat,550×550,075,f.u2.jpg

The Beauty of Road Trips

I love road trips. Whether there is a set destination or not, the path I take to get from point A to point B is entirely up to me. I could leave the day before and get to stay an extra night, I could leave a couple of days early to extend my drive and visit other cities and towns, or I could simply leave late enough to get there just in time. The options are endless when it comes to the route and duration. Of course road trips are fun when I am by myself; however, when two or three others join in, the entertainment never stops. (Plus, we can switch out drivers whenever one of us gets tired.) No longer is it only me singing along to the radio while trying not to fall asleep, but it is a whole car full of crazy, tired, and delirious people jamming out to the random stations we can find in backwoods towns. Friendships are strengthened and memories are made on road trips.

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In this age of technology, it is quite easy to simply take a selfie, put a hashtag about the moment, and save that memory forever. However, as effective as that method is, I would like to recommend a different one. Throughout a road trip, I journal about what has happened so far. Although that may seem a bit inconvenient and time-consuming, I find that it further solidifies my experience. When my pen connects to paper, the sights, smells, and thoughts that occur suddenly become more and more real. After I return home and reread my entries, it is as if they had just happened the day before. There is something magical that happens when I write things down. When looking back, I also learn new things that I had not noticed before. Although I do not want journaling to take up precious time during a road trip, it is a simple way to combine all that happened. Journaling is not only great for road trips, but also for all experiences; so JOURNAL! Write anything and everything down, whether good or bad, because there is so much to learn from memories. I definitely recommend any and all road trip opportunities.

Written by Maddison

Photo Credits:

http://www.theflashpack.co.uk/wp/if-you-could-go-on-any-road-trip-where-would-you-go/http://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=AwrB8qAHU_tVUwkA8SCQnIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTBxNG1oMmE2BHNlYwNmcC1hdHRyaWIEc2xrA3J1cmwEaXQD/RV=2/RE=1442562951/RO=11/RU=http%3a%2f%2fblog.carchex.com%2fcost-cutting-tips-for-summer-road-trips%2f/RK=0/RS=hwEMsu1hqPfUHhB0lK2XskV1LWM-