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The Journey Of My Life - Starting College

Wow, it has been a very long time since I have spilled my heart through words with all you awesome people, but that time has finally come. It is Thanksgiving break and I have a little more time on my hands, so I figured that I would finally write a blog post (and maybe another one to schedule; I haven't decided yet).
I have so much I want to talk about, so I made a very weak outline down at the bottom of my Google Keep note. Since I have been taking my ENGL 101 Class, I have been seeing the importance of pre-writing, but I still don't follow it to its extreme.

So, yeah, I have started college! I am attending Liberty University and it is quite a different experience. As you all know, I was homeschooled for the longest time. I remember talking to some of my friends and pushing them to check out my blog posts and the like and they would say that they were "busy." Now I know what "busy" means: it means you go to classes and they send you back home with work you can't keep up with. Now I have been educated.

So, yeah, now I really know what "busy" means. End of story.

But not end of story.

But before I continue on with story, I have been thinking about the word "honest." I think about some of those Christian artists who try to justify swearing by saying that they are speaking from an honest or emotional stand point. I know the English language doesn't have all the words in the world, but it definitely does have enough words to communicate most messages. If you can't rhyme or contain it in a verse, then don't. I don't care; just keep your Speech pure as the Lord directed us to (Eph. 4:29, Col. 3:8). (And please understand that this is coming from one who is not perfect. If anyone says I am hating on people who swear, then that would mean I am hating on myself as well.)

Back to story.

Those I personally know here where I live knew how much of a struggle it was for me to chose my major. I was undecided for the longest time, but a week or two before classes started (from what I remember), I picked an audio related major. I don't remember the full name of the major, but that doesn't matter. It will dive into a little bit of music, but namely focusing on the production side of audio. I will also touch on a little video work while pursuing that major. Next semester (unless Good Plans Went Wrong), I will be taking an introduction to graphics arts class and a introduction to editing class. Super duper excited for those classes!

So this semester, I am taking general education classes. As mentioned above, I am taking english, communication speech, math, New Testament survey, and "religion." I have finished my requirements for university core competencies and "theatre." I will go into detail about each class.

But before I do, I will say that there was one mental strategy that I did: not think that I was now a college kid. All I knew was that it was school again and that I am now going to a school I have never gone before. That's all what I knew to think. I couldn't digest the fact that I was in college. In fact, I still am kinda digesting that fact. It kinda is more of a label than a mental reality, but I honestly might tax myself too much to digest it. I do not know if that is a good idea or not, but that is the state of mind I chose to have when I started college.

Of course, the first day of school, I was a lil nervous. Previously, I had gone through DeMoss Hall to find all my classrooms and found them successfully. I so wanted to be in class on time and not forget where the rooms were. I remember going to my English classroom for the first time. I was practically 5-10 minutes early, but I saw that the class was more than half full. (Needless or needful to say, I was kinda shocked.) I asked some assistance where my section was sitting (all ten sections meet together on Mondays, and we split up on Wednesdays and Fridays in different rooms) and walked over to my GSA. He looked at me, and for a moment his face was clouded with confusion. Then he realized that my name was backwards on his attendance sheet as "Patti, Christopher." (Lord, please help these people.) He, smiled, welcomed me, and said that he's heard good things about me (from a former co-worker of my mom's). I smiled and took my seat and began to talk with some of the kids sitting near me. That is one thing I am determined to do while in college: meet new people.

I believe that English is, in fact, my heaviest class. During the course of this class, I had to write three essays. And there was something I had to do that I never really had to do before: research.

I remember back in 12th grade, I wrote a research paper and the topic I chose was the Sabbath. Since me and my dad preached over at the English service we attended (and my dad is getting his master's in a theology related major), we have a ton of commentaries and theology related books around the house and I enjoy reading them. So it was no biggie to read through those books to find my information on the topic. True, I did do a lot of reading, but most of the finding was no biggie.

But have you heard of a "database" before? It is this website with a ton of articles that I can't believe anyone finds the time to read. It's crazy!! The first essay we were allowed to use Google, but even that was hard. I mostly stuck with ProQuest as my database of choice because I felt comfortable using it against all other databases. Boy, I honestly had a very hard time. I had never done something like that before.

So, yeah, I have experienced research like never before. A shocker.

In addition, we had to do something that I have never heard of before: prewriting. We are given assignments that help us prepare for our essay. And I'm thinking, "Oh, that's like writing a rough draft!" Well, that comes after prewriting. I would say I have done prewriting before but it was never termed as "prewriting."

But I am doing decent in the class. We all know that I am not a horrible writer. I know I am not the best writer, but I am still a writer. I write for all I know. (If you ever need encouragement to write, check out the "I Write In The Dark" podcast by Jase Rosenburg on your favorite podcast provider or over on Anchor.)

On my first essay, I got an 80%. The main reasons why I got an 80 was because the essay was a little too short and because my argument was either weak or not well supported. My second essay, which was a rebuttal essay, was a better essay and I didn't have to do as much research! I was very pleased with the essay. I also received an 80, and I believe that there were a few times where my writing was a little weak or not doing what its supposed to do and I didn't fix format everything according to MLA standards.

My third essay, which was a proposal essay, was a lot harder. There was a very tough family situation that happened (which I will get into later) that slowed down the progress of the essay. In addition, there was a crazy amount of research I had to do for my essay, so that took awhile. It was so hard that a friend worked with me to help me with the research. I submitted the essay on Friday, so it still might be a little bit before I hear the final grade of the essay.

The next class to talk about is New Testament Survey (BIBL 110). The classroom is on the first floor next to another big classroom and right across from them are the elevators. So while the classes end, outside are waiting the stampede of the next classes of students, so it is incredibly crowded. So that was something I took away from the first day: get to class five (or less) minutes before it starts, not as soon as possible.

This is quite an interesting class, I will say. The professor is an interesting person, as he recognizes his flaws and is honest and open about them and that he is fixing them. He has been studying the Word of God for a long time (he is probably in his 40s) and is still a seeker as he is trying to understand the mysteries of God. He is a firm believer in the power of prayer and how through prayer, people can find healing from their past. He also speaks slightly monotone while his voice kinda accents certain words with a higher pitch. When I talked with him, he said that some say that he speaks monotone while others say that his pitch is everywhere. It kinda is a mixture of both.

But due to my love of theology, I will say that I do enjoy this class a bit. It is a little different from reading a Wiersbe commentary, but there are some interesting things I am learning and somethings challenged. My favorite part of the class is when he opens the floor for questions from the students.

Another class that is held on the same floor and in the adjacent classroom is Biblical Worldview (RLGN 105). And that professor is a total nut! It is so awesome because he almost always makes me laugh. He was introducing himself and saying the darnest things. He started talking about things that you have to hear for yourself. It is absolutely hilarious.

But he has taught some amazing things and opened my eyes to different things. One of the first things he taught us was "critical thinking." How many times have we seen things and just accepted it at face value? Honestly, I will say that the Las Vegas shooting is very hard for me to believe at face value. I don't know all the details, but the details I have heard don't make any logical sense. How?

Anyways, I am gonna stop talking about that class for now because I honestly could til the day I die. Die. I did die. And the people came and they buried me. And the worms came and they tickled me. I laughed so hard, I thought I'd die. Die. I did die. And the people came and they buried me. And the worms came and they tickled me. I laughed so hard, I thought I'd die. Die. I did die. And the people came and they buried me. And the worms came and they tickled me. I laughed so hard, I thought I'd die. Die. I did die. And the people came and they buried me. And the worms came and they tickled me. I laughed so hard, I thought I'd die. Die. I did die. And the people came and they buried me. And the worms came and they tickled me. I laughed so hard, I thought I'd die. Die . . .

One of my favorite classes would have to be Communication Speech (COMS 101). It is a class where we mostly give speeches, but such a family atmosphere has been created it is so amazing! We all are happy and excited and there is not one bummed out kid. I remember the first class we just spent time getting to know one another (would get into more detail, but I have so much to talk about and already have been rambling a lot). The first speech I gave was about myself, and I literally went up and just did it and it went really well! I did prep my second speech only a little bit (which was on my youth pastor, whom I am sure I mentioned in my previous posts), but that speech was mostly improv as well. My third speech, which was on the differences between heavy metal and metalcore, but that speech didn't turn out so very well. That speech really needed to be prepped and I wasn't able to do so (or at least neglected it). The fourth speech I did was a persuasive speech in relation to depression and what we can to do lift up those who are down. Again, I didn't prep that speech as much as I should have, but I did write down my outline on notecards and did relatively well. People have complimented me for my speech-giving skills, saying "You weren't even nervous!" (. . . to which I say "LIAR!") "You wake me up without coffee." (. . . to which I say "Ditch the coffee.") "You could be a little more formal in your word choice." (. . . to which I say "Oh really?") and lots of other things. The final speech is a group video, which I am super excited about.

Another class I am attending is MATH 115. The professor actually attends our church, which is very cool. You learn crazy, amazing things about people, huh? But that professor has a great sense of humor and is very helpful in explaining math problems. He understands how some people do have a hard time and really tired to help us any way he can. He also shows us how to perform some problems on Excel, which is very helpful.

In addition, there was a University Core Competencies class (UNIV 101) that I took during the first 8 weeks of the semester. Many students talk about how terrible it is, and I will say that I do agree that it is not the best class, but it is not horrible. I do think that these things should be taught in high school and not while we're in college. Like writing a formal email is something I had to learn before I started college, but that was one of the things taught. Many of the students in the class had negative attitudes and made the class hard to enjoy. But the professor is a really nice man and I enjoyed him! (In addition, there is this library tour scavenger hunt thingy and one of my friends actually narrated the videos! Cool!)

The last thing I mentioned was "theatre." Prior to the start of the semester, I auditioned for an audio drama that the school produces and for theatre productions that the university stages. For the audio drama, I was surprised to see that the person holding the auditions attends my church. I basically talked and told him stories using different voices. Oh, I also signed up to potentially help theatre productions from a behind-the-scenes standpoint. And lastly, I auditioned for theatre itself. With that, we had to sing a song and do a minute long monologue. The song was chosen and we practiced it together as a group, then individually sang the song and did our monologues. My monologue was based upon the Prodigal Son skit I was part of for VBS. (People were like "A VBS script doesn't count!" Nut, the Prodigal Son is an emotional story.) But I learned one thing: I don't know how to sing. Well, I am not as bad as other people, but I am not as good as some others.

Anyways, I did get cast for the audio drama, for which I was super excited about. I honestly wasn't so sure if I wanted to be part of the theatre productions because I'd have to get in weird costumes and dress up like weird people and other weird things. I dunno, I prefer to be in my jammies behind a microphone than to do stage acting, though I might give that a try.

But, yeah, I recorded my lines for the Encounter audio drama, which was an amazing experience. I kinda went in expecting to use one of my weird voices for my major character, but the directors wanted me to steer closer to my natural voice and personalize it for the character I was to play. It was quite a struggle, but I trust the producers that it will sound like amazing in the end. If you are curious, please to go to check out Season One. You won't hear me til Season Four, but it is a great listen!

Anyways, that is an overview of my classes. I guess I should answer how am I enjoying school as a whole.

It is work, of course. This is something I have never experienced before and am learning as I go along. It is different being crazy busy; I didn't know it would be like this! There's ALWAYS homework and stuff to do. Not that that is bad, but it is very different for me. I do get very stressed out about the work I have to do, but I try not to let it keep me down or discourage me or let others be discouraged for me.

That is one thing I am trying to do: not be the frownie on the street and make everyone think "What is up with him?" No, I want to be an encouragement to the people I meet. I want them to know that people care for them and that God is amazing. But I am learning that I can't do all that on my own; God is the one who supports me and only through him can I be the ambassador that I am supposed to be. It is something I am coming to realize day by day.

I do not live on campus; I live with my family. Of course, a university directs its activities to the students who live on campus and commuters can feel left out. So groups of commuters, called commuter tribes, group together and do activities together. We go to events together, including sports events and convocation, which I will talk about both in a moment. But we compete with three other tribes and have a great time together!

One of the ways Liberty tries to further the spiritual growth of its students is Convocation. It is the largest weekly gathering of college-aged students and it features speakers from all different walks of life. The first convocation of the year featured William Byron, Jeff Gordon, and William Hendrix. I have met a handful of the people who come to speak and perform, including Chris Tomlin, Mike Donehey, and Mac Powell among others. Some other speakers, such as Bob Beaudine and Alex McFarland have been so kind to pray for me. I have heard many great, inspiring messages. I love convocation!!!

In addition, sports games are a great way to unleash stress and have fun. People have started to know me as THEBEAST!!! I usually am one who screams and dances because I have team spirit. I don't really care so much about the game, unless we lose, but it is fun to let go of some of the stress. ESPECIALLY when Andy Mineo's "You Can't Stop Me" starts to play. But the Mineo x Wordsplayed collab of "Dance (You See It)" is very appropriate when I start to jam.

I have talked a lot and I will continue on in another post about some things I really wanna talk about (namely in relation to growing up), but I mentioned something earlier on and I feel like its best I address it in this post than to wait.

As you may remember, I mentioned that we visited my grandpa during the summer and I got to see him twice. But sometime during the school year I heard that grandpa wasn't doing so well. I didn't get a lot of information. But one day, the whole family jumped in the car to drive to Connecticut to see my grandpa for the last time. I couldn't believe how much he had declined in health and how shrunken he looked. We tried, for the last time, to tell him that Jesus is the only way, but he was sleeping like a baby and could barely communicate with us. I was in tears and very upset. About a week later, we learned that he had passed away. Honestly I didn't really cry when I heard the news because I didn't know him so well, but it was pretty tough.

I remember in 2015 we all took grandma's death pretty hard. And in 2016 I took my Korean grandpa's death surprisingly hard. But it was seeing grandpa not doing well that was harder than actually hearing that he passed. I personally thought that was a little interesting. I remember that after grandma died, I kinda turned to music to help heal the hole. And then after my Korean grandpa died, I was a little (more than just a little tho) wistful for the future in terms of love. That was in terms of both reaching out to God more and also wandering down the mental path of love. I will jump into the love thing in the sequel to this post, but all I honestly want is God's will, even though I am starting to wander back onto the path of wishing and hoping things work how I hope they will. Yah, I will stop with that for now. If you have listened to my Anchor station or have had personal conversations with me, you may have heard me talk about it but I will write down my feelings down in a post soon.

So much more I can say, but I will get to those later. So excited to share all that with y'all! I have turned 18 and have officially become an adult and I will share with you some things I am realizing, things that are now realities, and where my brain wanders and hopes for.

Y'alls are awesome! God bless you and I hope you enjoyed reading.

In Christ,

Christopher "164" Patti

This post first appeared on Christopher 164, please read the originial post: here

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The Journey Of My Life - Starting College


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