“Surviving Friends University: Community is the Key” by Kerrick van Asselt

C- Care. Care for everyone around you. Care for yourself. Care for the Earth. Care for the things you do. Care about your schoolwork. Care about going to class, and doing well in class. Care about your classmates and professors. Care about how you are doing, and know when you need to recharge. Care about who you are and what you bring into the world. Just care.

 

O- Open up. Find the people you can trust, and be willing to be vulnerable with them. Love and trust them, and let them do the same for you. Life is going to be incredibly lonely if you stick to yourself. College is the perfect time to reach out to those around you. I guarantee you’ll find someone that you relate to is some way or another. Get to know people, find people and learn their stories, and tell them yours. Open your eyes to the beauty of the people around you.

 

M- Meet people. Learn how to initiate conversation and introduce yourself. Join clubs and go to events. Say hello to people, and be willing to get to know them, you never know who might become your best friend. Be willing to offer a smile to a stranger. Say hello to people when you pass in the hall, instead of just texting. Go get coffee with people. Go as to sit down at the dinner table with a random person in Casado. Get out there and find the light in the people around you.

 

M- Mean it. Be honest. Learn to listen. Be present. Don’t be afraid to put down your phone, turn off the video games and go live in the world every now and then, you’ll be amazed at what you find. Live fully, don’t be apathetic, dive in and embrace everything you do, from your schoolwork to your hobbies.

 

U- Understand. Know that everyone is different: we all have our own stories. Be willing to listen and hear other people’s and realize that it’s not just okay to be different: it’s amazing. Everyone is their own person with their own thoughts and beliefs and backgrounds. You are your own person, so let others be their own person, and learn to love them through that.

 

N- Nice. Be nice. Just be kind to everyone you meet. Everyone has crap they’re going through, don’t make it worse. Learn to love the people around you. Pick up trash and be nice to the Earth. Give people a smile. Hug your family. High five your friends, or random strangers. Do your part in bringing light to this world.

 

I- Invest. Find close friends, and invest in them. Find the groups, teams, and jobs on campus that you love, and invest in them. Be willing to give your time and effort. It’s worth it. You only get out what you put in. YOGOWYPI. Super cliche, but even more true. You’re only here once, might as well take advantage of it.

 

T- Trust God. God is amazing. It’s completely incomprehensible. God is huge. God is everything. Trust that God knows what’s going on in your life and that there are things happening that are beyond your control or comprehension. And that it is good.

 

Y- Yes. Say yes. But in moderation. Take advantage of some of the amazing opportunities life offers. Face your fears. Take risks. It’s never too late to start living. Some of the best memories of your time in college are going to be the times you said yes to a random adventure with your friends, or when you decided to join that club that interested you. Join choir or band or theater, you never know who you might end up meeting that could become your best friend for life. Join the sports teams, be a part of the brother and sisterhoods here on campus.

 

And as a bonus tip: Don’t forget to Love. Love is the key to all of this. Love of self, neighbor, the world, God, school, work, etc. Love is the answer. Love is the key. Love is. Love.

 

Photo made available by Baim Hanif via Unsplash

“The Orville: Tackling Social Media” by Chelsea DeClue

Social media has taken a pervasive role in the daily lives of many internet users. Since 2012, the average daily user has increased their social media usage from 90 minutes a day to over 135 minutes a day. Previously, social media usage has been correlated with an increase in mental health disorders such as depression, low self worth, and anxiety. Still, recent studies have indicated that this increase may be due to the way we use social media, rather than how much we use it.

Enter into the mix The Orville, at times a bizarre parody of Star Trek and at times just bad TV. Terrible humor aside, The Orville does what so many other Star Trek series have done in the past: it explores social issues that are prominent in today’s society. Since the start of the series, the writers have explored the ethical and moral standing of issues such as gender reassignment surgery, theocratic governments, religious based warfare, and the social impact an advanced society can have on a more primitive society.

The seventh episode of the series, “Majority Rule,’ opted to explore the impact of social media on society. A quick warning, spoilers will follow.

In “Majority Rule”, the crew of the USS Orville arrive at a planet that resembles 21st century Earth to find two anthropologists who have been out of contact for over a month. In a deviation from the judicial system we might be familiar with, Sargas 4 utilizes a form of social media to pass judgement. Every citizen is linked into a “main feed” by wearing badges given to them when they turn 18. Each badge has two buttons, a down vote and an up vote, which affects their overall standing within the “main feed.”

Each person’s standing in society is affected by their down vote totals. They are encouraged to share videos of other citizens to the “main feed.” The morning news broadcast consists of various apology tours for those who have reached so many down votes. After 1,000,000 down votes, a person is considered a felon and must go on those apology tours. After 9,000,000 million votes, they’re considered guilty. After 10,000,000, they’re “corrected,” a process which removes all negative traits to prevent recurrences of undesired behaviors, before being reintegrated into society.

This “main feed” system is used to decide other things within society as well. At one point in time during the episode, it’s shown that something such as accepting a new vaccine or diet is dictated by the majority vote. As one of the Sargonian characters mentions, something is right or wrong based on what the majority says. Something’s acceptability or someone’s guilt or innocence is dependant solely upon the majority opinion. The majority rules.

Now, without going into much further detail about the episode itself, we can naturally expect that the crew will get caught up in this system to some end result or another. It wouldn’t be a Star Trek parody otherwise, and naturally in that Trek fashion, the main characters eventually all escape with their lives, but not without making an impact on the planet below. In the closing scene, our main Sargonian character ends up abstaining from the next vote, her perception of the system forever changed by the visitors from space.

Ultimately, that’s all that social media is. A game of perception and people using that game to their advantage. Sure, we don’t use Facebook to determine if someone is guilty or innocent of a perceived crime, but as we’ve seen recently, Facebook was allegedly used by Russia to attempt to change our perception of the candidates during the 2016 election. It’s used to promote both sides of the vaccination movement, gun control, environmental issues, or any number of other things which impact our lives and the lives of those around us. But we also use to it make judgements about our own lives as they compare to the lives of those around us. Regardless, the view we are given is a matter of the perception the presenter wants us to see.

So the next time you log into Facebook and are inundated with all the negativity of the world, or you finding yourself feeling hopeless at it all or see your cousin in Wisconsin pregnant and wanting a baby of your own, think of The Orville with all its hokey humor, and remember: there’s more sides to the story than you’ll ever be given through social media. Then turn off the feed and go pet a kitten. No one needs to spend 135 minutes a day living in a game of perception.

Photo made available by Jakob Owens via Unsplash

Feeling Stressed?

If you didn’t know already, here on campus we have a free mental health counselor. As a student of Friends University, you have an unlimited access to this benefit until you graduate. We all have those rough moments in our lives where we just need to talk to someone. Also, college can be overwhelming and down right stressful. Luckily, you have someone you can talk to at any point during your college career. If you feel like you need to talk to someone or have something to get off your chest then call Lindsey Moss at 316-295-5675.

 

Photo made available by Thought Catalog via Unsplash

Authenticity and Acceptance by Ethan Harvey

Our generation is obsessed with authenticity. We want real food, real sugar, real music. We want our organic Chipotle, locally-grown fruits, sustainable shampoo, handmade, hometown, biodegradable, non-GMO, fair-trade everything, even to the point of being the generation that is slowly putting the biggest fast-food-giant out of business. However, our desire for authenticity stops there—on the outside. If we look outwardly real, then no one can tell that our hearts are still as fake as they come, right? In a fantastically ironic turn of events, our desire for the authentic is only skin deep. We want to eat, drink and use something real, while our relationships, goals, beliefs, and lives are as shallow as they come. This spring break, I had the opportunity to witness true authenticity, and to be challenged to recreate that authenticity in my own heart, as well as my own life. Continue reading “Authenticity and Acceptance by Ethan Harvey”

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