JBU Life

A Blog By Students, For Students.

1
Dear Joe: Welcome to JBU
2
Forming a Family
3
Not Home for the Holidays
4
The 2018 Invasion of London (AKA Two JBU Students on Fall Break)
5
An Apologia for Tea Breaks in Classes
6
A Weekend in Belfast
7
The Best Days
8
How NOT to Worry for what’s Next
9
Olivia, Meet Ireland
10
Abila: Reflection on Worship

Dear Joe: Welcome to JBU

Before my younger brother came to John Brown University I decided to write him letters containing advice to help him succeed and enjoy his JBU experience. I think you’ll find some useful information in these letters, as well as some personal stories about my time as a JBU student. I hope the information in these letters will help you to succeed at JBU, but more importantly, I hope they help you to enjoy this formative time in life. Dear Joe, I hear you’ve decided to follow in my footsteps and attend JBU this coming fall semester. As your older brother,[…]

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Forming a Family

I’ve mentioned in numerous previous posts about the group here in Northern Ireland, and how they’re some of the best people I’ve met since coming to college. But I realize that these good relationships didn’t just happen: it was a mix of effort and events that made it possible, so here I present the top 4 ways to bond with others while abroad!   Step #1: Be intentional and open; I’m the kind of person who takes a while to get to know people and open up, so I really appreciate all the people who took the time during the[…]

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Not Home for the Holidays

I’ve had the opportunity to write a previous blog post about celebrating the 4th of July while in Jordan–a unique experience of mashing together very different cultures and time periods–and I’ve had to continue this trend of celebrating holidays (particularly American-specific holidays) in other countries this year. And while this isn’t the first year I’ve spent away from the States during holidays, it is the first time I’ve been abroad and separated from my family. But despite this, I still spent a really good time with really good people. The feeling of the holiday season for me actually started a[…]

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The 2018 Invasion of London (AKA Two JBU Students on Fall Break)

This last week I had the opportunity to follow my resolution to get out and explore on the weekends in a big way: I got to go to London, England! The Irish fall studies group is allowed two free weekends–a long one of four days and a short one of two and a half days–and my friend/roommate Katie and I decided that we were going to invade…that is, tour London for our long weekend. Having never been before, I was eager to see all the sights; Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Trafalgar Square, the Tower of London, and[…]

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An Apologia for Tea Breaks in Classes

When I first heard that the classes for the fall semester in Ireland were three hours each, I must admit I had a moment of doubt in my commitment to the trip. Just a moment, though, and when that news was quickly followed by the reassurance that there would be a tea break per class I was a hundred and ten percent onboard again. Since each class is taught at Lakeside Manor it’s essentially college via homeschooling, which suits my background as a homeschooler up until college perfectly. Aside from the sheer length, what I didn’t think about beforehand was[…]

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A Weekend in Belfast

When I first arrived here in Belfast, I swore to myself that I was going to get out to explore and not sequester myself in my room like I tend to do once homework starts to pile up. After all, I’m in Ireland! So, I’ve set a goal for myself: every Saturday I leave the house and go on a small adventure; I go for a long walk in a nearby park, explore local grocery stores, or bus into Belfast’s city center.   There’re always things to see in city center: the street performers who are always playing music or[…]

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The Best Days

“Enjoy it. These will be the best days of your entire life.” While these words were once an anthem of hope, they now rang in my ears like a bad omen. I was sitting in my bed with a mug of pumpkin spice coffee and a laptop open to a livestream of the college football team from back home. My feet were tucked into wool socks, my hair in wet bun. It was the day after my birthday, Labor Day weekend of my freshman year. The friends I had made so far were with their families, who had come to[…]

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How NOT to Worry for what’s Next

Deciding what to do with your life is a challenge for everyone coming out of college. It’s your first step into the “real world” and whatever you do could easily shape the next 3-to-5 years of your life. But there isn’t any pressure, right? As a senior at JBU, I’m often asked the age-old question, “So do you know what you’re doing after school?” A fair question, but unoriginal if you ask me. “I don’t know yet.” I reply confidently. The key word in my reply is “yet” because not knowing what is ahead of me is natural. If someone[…]

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Olivia, Meet Ireland

It was a dark and stormy night. Well to be precise, when I first touched down at Dublin Airport it was a dark and stormy morning. It turned out the trip directors had not been lying about the copious amount of rain in Ireland, and the 50°F weather was a big change from the sweltering 90°F August heat I had left behind me in Arkansas. As I would soon be told by a local in Belfast, the common saying in Ireland is that it’s either about to rain, raining or just finished raining. This provides the “Emerald Isle” with its[…]

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Abila: Reflection on Worship

Forty kilometers from raging conflict, bombings, and displaced people in Syria, peace that surpassed all understanding settled in my soul as our excavation team worshipped Christ at an ancient Byzantine church in Abila, Jordan. I came on the Jordan Studies trip two years ago as a Bible and Theology student. This season, I was asked to serve as the camp manager and assistant chaplain, now as a JBU alum. At the time I accepted the position, I was unaware that I would be given the opportunity to preach at one of our Vespers services, let alone preach at the final[…]

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