Welcome to Azusa Pacific University's student blogs! This is the place to see what it is really like to be an APU Cougar. To follow a specific student, enter their hash tag into the search bar. Student Bloggers from left to right (Jordyn A, Curtis I, Evan B, Kendelle A, Lucy F, Craig S, Eric D, Ryan F, Kristen P, Cora J)

 

Recently, my friend Katie (who is also from the Midwest) and I were speculating about the fact that while we have had some fun outings this semester, we still have never utilized the public transportation system this entire year to do something fun. 

In my opinion, once you figure out the bus lines that run through Azusa, an adventurous weekend is that much more accessible. There are countless bus stops on the streets right outside the main campuses. Despite the fact that Katie and I spent way too much time figuring out which one to go to and at what time, the process was a no-brainer from then on: we hopped on the bus, deposited a mere $1.25 into the coin collector and rode about an hour and a half to Pasadena. It was that simple. We talked the bus ride away, just enjoying each other’s company, and then spent the whole day shopping and wandering around Old Town Pasadena. 

We took a snack break and I had one of the best food concoctions ever devised: a macaroni pie from The Pie Hole, a coffee and pastries shop based in Los Angeles with a location in Pasadena. Imagine the most savory pie crust your mom has ever made, delicately sprinkled with herbs and parmesan, wrapped around a savory ball of creamy mac n’ cheese. YUM. 

This weekend was probably a little indulgent, considering I have a project or paper due in every class within the next few weeks before the semester ends, but completely worth it. The exciting thing is that by 2015, there will be a Metro line installed right behind West Campus that will take us to farther places like Los Angeles. But for now, if you decide to come to APU, don’t make the same mistake we did…use the bus lines in Azusa!

Have a great week,

-Jordyn A. 

Closing out the year in Adams Hall 

As this year is quickly coming to an end, there is a tradition that the ladies of Adams Hall must keep up. Every year, the women who live in the hall paint a mural on the wall to commemorate their time here. When you walk through the building, the murals are pretty hard to miss. I mean, this tradition has been going on since the 90s (I think) and the bright colors of years past bring life to the walls.  Some of the murals have pictures of the girls who lived in each room and it’s kind of crazy to see who lived in my room before my roommate and I did.

So this year, the women of Second Westral (West+Central) 2013-14 have begun the process of putting up their mural to leave their mark on this place. So far, we have gone to take hall pictures with our roommates and have begun the actual painting of the design. Once the design is completely filled in, we will put up our pictures on the outer edges along with our room numbers.

Beginning the painting of the mural has actually made me quite reflective of my time in Adams Hall and a little sad that it is coming to an end. Next year we will move on to more apartment style living, much different than living in a dorm. Of course I’m looking forward to having my own kitchen and bathroom, but there is nothing like learning, growing, and struggling through your freshman year amongst forty women. It’s a completely unique experience. I’m going to miss the little things like “Love and Lemonade,” where you get a cup of lemonade and a compliment, and using the “Hottie Potty” where the faces of attractive men are taped to the inside of the bathroom stall.

But it’s not time to go yet, so I’m still soaking in the loveliness of Adams Hall.

I’ll see you real soon!

-Lucy F

ALL ACCESS!!!

Hey there friends!

I had the opportunity to be an Ambassador this year and it has been such an incredible experience! As an Ambassador, I actively participate in All-Access weekends, which is where students can stay in the dorms at APU and experience a day in the life of a student here. I have gotten to know so many new and wonderful people, both APU students and prospective students alike. You spend time in the dorms, go to a VIP party, participate in college life activities, and get a view of the school as you consider (and hopefully decide) that APU could be for you!  College life activities include dorm movie nights, hall events, March Madness celebration, sports games, recreational activities, and even just enjoying hanging out with friends. 

There have been four preview weekends like these called All-Access; I have had such rocking girls in my room each time and in our core group for each weekend! I encourage you all to be involved in something like this as you search for the right school and on the other side, when you enter college.  I think the best part of the whole experience is being able to impact students, get to know them, and show them the school that I love!

More than anything, you should all know that you are being prayed over and that no matter where you decide to go for school or do in the future, God absolutely has incredible plans for you!

Blessings,

-Kendelle A

Hello, friends!

This past week, our group embarked on a five-day road trip through Africa where we left our home in Cape Town and traveled to our new home in Pietermaritzburg, where we had the great opportunity of meeting up with the other South Africa cohort (with Ryan F!). Travel week was a phenomenal experience and was certainly one of my favorite weeks spent here thus far. Throughout the expanse of the road trip, we stopped at various places along the way including: Cango Caves, Bungy jumping, a wild animal encounter, Port Elizabeth and East London.

My favorite experience was undoubtedly jumping off the highest bungy jumping bridge in the world. Jumping off the bridge was such a reminder for me to live with abandon. To be open to circumstances and experiences that may push me outside of my comfort zone. I have learned it is in those uncomfortable experiences where I see growth in my comfort zone expanding to the point where I boldly do things I would have never previously imagined myself doing.

Whatever adventure this week brings, may you make the most of the opportunities that are presented and be transformed by those you meet along the way.

-Kristen P

This little gem of a video—featuring our students, sports teams, professors, student leaders, admissions counselors, and even our president (at the end!), John Wallace, displays nicely the atmosphere at APU. I remember when I first applied to APU; I had post cards in the mail personally written from my admissions counselor, phone calls, emails that made me feel like I was known as my own persons, and when I came on campus…I remember thinking that everyone was so happy and nice! It was almost weird for me. 

In reflection, this is what makes APU feel all the more at home for me now; I think APU has a great balance of being authentic and real, while also cultivating a thriving and encouraging environments for students to grow. You are more than just a number here, you have a face and a name; you have a place. 

Peace to you!

-Cora J

God First. Get rowdy. Go Cougs. That is what the Azusa Pacific student section, The ZU is all about. When you go to your first game, you know right away where the noise is, it’s The ZU. You won’t find a louder, funnier or more enthusiastic student section in NCAA division II than The ZU. They promote every team and go out to support them even more. Not only do they create an atmosphere of contagious excitement, they put on some of the coolest events on campus! Everywhere from dances to rallies, the ZU keeps APU rowdy.

Our school is filled with unique individuals who contribute to our University in every way. Supporting our athletes is one way that the student body comes together under God and exciting sporting events. Our school has won championship titles every year and as our school gets bigger, so do our athletes. Come to Azusa to be part of an excellent fan base filled with not just students but alumni who never forget about their undergrad experience and continue to have APU pride. 

-Curtis I

dryboneswillsing asked
Hey! My name is Julianne. My friend Rachel and I are both coming to APU next year. I'm looking for some rooming/dorm life advice. Just in general. Any advice you have for us? :o)

Hello Julianne!

Congratulations!! I am so excited you will be coming to APU next year, this is such a crazy season for you full of unknowns and anticipation but it is such a fun place to be!

This is such a great question! I will actually be a freshman RA in the fall so I am excited to answer this for you the best I can! As far as a roommate goes, if you are paired randomly, know that God has already hand-picked exactly who your roommate will be and that He has such purpose in who He has placed you with. Allow yourself to be surprised by the relationships that will inevitably form. Things will be different than you expected, and that is okay. Embrace where you are placed and the people God has chosen to journey alongside you through this new chapter that has already begun. 

As far as the dorms themselves, there are four Residence Halls and you can read more about them and even see pictures of each Residence Hall here. Each Residence Hall is so unique and has its own personality but regardless it will be your experience, and it is what you make it! Regarding preparation in coming to APU, specifically with dorms, APU actually has a Pinterest you can find here where they have a board For the Future Cougars with helpful links for decorating ideas and information that is useful!

If you have any additional questions at all, please do not hesitate to ask! We are so happy to help in any way we can!

-Kristen P

The best and worst part of living in California for 7 months out of the year is…the sunny weather. I am a huge fan of beaches and sun and freckles but sometimes the constant brightness exhausts me. In contrast, when the sun is masked with clouds, this unexplainable tranquility permeates me and the campus as a whole.  I feel more calm. I can think better. Cloudy weather gives me a chance to slow down and settle in. And this is exactly what I did this past week on a cloudy day. The first picture you see above is a view from the picturesque Darling Library on West campus, where I get my best work done. There’s something wonderful about observing the chaotic assortments of people walking by from behind a clear glass window in a quiet library. The water adds a nice touch. 

The picture below is from the same day. I was walking to work and was struck by the way the dark mountains looked and how light still came down through the clouds to illuminate the day. The view of these mountains from a different spot on West campus is what first excited me when I toured last winter. I know a lot of you come from mountainous areas, but Wisconsin is completely flat, so I just couldn’t stop staring at something so simple, yet so beautiful.  

This reminds me of a current personal goal that I want to share. Lately, I’ve been really consumed with technology. I’ll wake up and check my phone. Then, I’ll spend countless hours on my laptop doing homework each day. Afterwards, I’ll watch a TV show or hop on Pinterest. I despise this. Recently, I attended a showcase for APU’s Dance Company, and there was a dance entitled “Just Look Up” (or something to that effect) about a girl who couldn’t unglue her eyes from her phone. I want so badly to do just that, whether this means reading more or spending an hour less on the computer each day. It is by no means an easy goal, but it is something to work towards. 

Have a great week :)

-Jordyn A

Spring Cleaning

…it’s more than just a clean desk or a vacuumed floor; it’s a mindset. Spring cleaning is not just the physical aspect of cleaning up the mess that accumulates due to neglect (for example, my desk in the top picture), but it is also cleaning the junk that accumulates in your mind after weeks and weeks of school, friends, emotions, etc. 

There is nothing better than a clean space to help you through this last push of school. Sometimes just being able to see your desk can do wonders not only for your academic motivation, but also your mental stability. I encourage you all, as well as myself, to do some more spring cleaning this week. Throw out the junk you don’t need and focus on the renewal of your mind and spirit. If we set aside the time to prepare a mess-free space for work, bible study, or even a good nap, the work that seems to pile up around us will become much easier to handle. 

Hope everything is going smoothly wherever you’re at in life right now! I would love to hear how you guys are doing, or any thoughts/questions you might have about APU! Keep in touch!

-Evan B

Getting on that homework grind

The last two months of any given semester are usually the hardest. In high school it was always full of review sessions for the large, cumulative test that was quickly approaching. This post is going to be about how I balance my homework with the other happenings in life. 

As my pictures show, I spend a lot of my time doing homework in front of my computer. Since I am an english major, my homework is usually reading and/or writing. And on top of this, I am taking an upper-division Bible course that is reading and writing intensive. All of this combine means a lot of alone time with my books and computer for writing. For an introvert, this probably sounds fine, but for me, as an extravert, I get sleepy and need to do something with people!

My friends and I have get togethers where we all are in the same room, with headphones on, doing homework—we call it a “homework party.” It’s a party because you are with the people you love. This is what I, as an extravert, should be around to stay productive. If the party gets too distracted, and we need to reel it back in, we would relocate to one of our libraries here at APU. And for all you fellow procrastinators out there, Marshburn Library on East Campus is open till 3am. 

Cracking down on homework is a wonderful feeling, mostly when you get back in the groove of things, but for me, I need breaks. The top picture is of when my best friend, Reese, and I went and threw around a frisbee. We both took a break from our busy day of homework and spent some time chillin’ outside, talking about nothing.

When it is time to get back on that homework grind, don’t be afraid to take a little break! From what I have read, it helps your studies. And remember, don’t let the studying get the best of you!

Love,

-Eric D

As you may remember in one of my previous posts I am headed to the beautiful East African country of Tanzania this summer for two months through APU’s Center for Student Action. Quite basically, we are going on a mission trip to install water filters, work at a food distribution center, and just love the people we meet. Now before we hop on a plane to love and serve God abroad, there’s a lot of pre-trip preparation that we must do.

  •  First, we meet every week to discuss fundraising, trip planning, and to just get to know each other. In our last meeting we played a charades game and we had a blast. Also, one of our leaders usually provides a snack. One time my leader Danielle brought blood oranges from her family’s tree. She said it looks like the African sunset, which makes me even more excited to witness it in real life.
  • Second, we serve together. In a little retreat, we went to Downtown San Diego (about two hours from APU) with the organization we will be serving with in Tanzania, Friends and Family Community Connection, and worked with the homeless. Those who are homeless were able to come get a pancake breakfast, get their feet washed, and help package food to send to places such as Tanzania and Haiti. It was an extremely humbling experience for me to wash the feet of someone rejected by society and take time to talk with them and listen to their story.
  • Lastly, we are bonding. How scary would it be to go to a foreign country for two months with people you don’t even know? Also, when we are in Tanzania, we need to be focusing on our relationships with the people there and not with each other. So in addition to our meetings, we try to make time to be with each other. From little Disneyland days to coffee shop study dates, we are all growing in friendship.

There is so much to do and so much to worry about before we even get to Tanzania, but I know as long as we are in the hands of God it will all be ok. I believe that He is going to do wonderful things through us. One of the most exciting parts of it all is that I will be able to share about my trip with all of you! That’s right, I will be blogging about my time in Tanzania this summer! I cannot wait to take you all along on this journey with me. Trust me, it’s going to be wild.

I’ll see you real soon!

-Lucy F

It’s Birthday Season!!!

Hey friends,

So this past week, I celebrated my 19th birthday! Birthdays are very different in college than when you are living at home and attending high school; both are great in their own ways.

In college, you parents are not there to wake you up singing happy birthday and making your favorite food for breakfast or dinner.  Instead, your friends typically step up and surprise you in the best way that they are capable of with limited resources.  My roommate and suite mates decorate my room, bed, and desk with balloons and wrote kind notes, and gave me sweets!! This was such a surprise to come back to after my classes! 

I also got another very exciting surprise…My dad flew into town to surprise me for my birthday and took me out to celebrate! I got the best of both worlds and was able to celebrate and be celebrated by my friends and my dad (who represented the rest of my family as well).  Although it is different celebrating a fun day away from my family, it is nice to know that my friends care about me and love me as they show it through this act of kindness by making me feel special on my day. I also love getting a sneak peak into other birthday celebrations as we have journeyed through the year celebrating many other people’s birthdays; all incorporating their own special touches in celebrating their friends and their own special day.  

Blessings,

-Kendelle A

This is how I have spend the majority of my time in the last week.
Coffee in hand, laptop out, and brain on. The end of the semester tends to result in much studying and writing, little sleeping and feeling that some days there is little time for much else. Ahh, yes. It is that time of the year. I have a love/hate relationship with this most of the time; I enjoy learning and studying quite a bit, (in fact, the most recent paper I finished was one on a public policy and I thoroughly enjoyed writing it, I admit!) but I also can grieve the fact that I cannot be enjoying my friends for hours on end and doing other things I love.
The point being; it is hard to push through. It is hard to find purpose when the piles of work seem inevitably endless. If you are a senior in high school this year and lucked out in the work department with not so much to do, congrats! I know that even in that, finding purpose can be hard when you are so distracted with things to come!
So take time and think about it, what is your purpose? What are your goals? What is your vision, your dreams and goals? I would love to hear! 
Please ask us any questions you may have, concerns, we are here for you :) 
-Cora J

This is how I have spend the majority of my time in the last week.

Coffee in hand, laptop out, and brain on. The end of the semester tends to result in much studying and writing, little sleeping and feeling that some days there is little time for much else. Ahh, yes. It is that time of the year. I have a love/hate relationship with this most of the time; I enjoy learning and studying quite a bit, (in fact, the most recent paper I finished was one on a public policy and I thoroughly enjoyed writing it, I admit!) but I also can grieve the fact that I cannot be enjoying my friends for hours on end and doing other things I love.

The point being; it is hard to push through. It is hard to find purpose when the piles of work seem inevitably endless. If you are a senior in high school this year and lucked out in the work department with not so much to do, congrats! I know that even in that, finding purpose can be hard when you are so distracted with things to come!

So take time and think about it, what is your purpose? What are your goals? What is your vision, your dreams and goals? I would love to hear!

Please ask us any questions you may have, concerns, we are here for you :)

-Cora J

Greetings from South Africa!

Amidst the business of finals (because school is still school—even in South Africa) and finishing up our service sites, last weekend, we had the opportunity to explore places we had not yet been to in our time here in Cape Town.

During our full weekend we: went to Robben Island, explored underground Cape Town, and went on a kayaking adventure to see the local South African penguins. Although it was a full weekend of adventuring and site-seeing, I was able to take a step back to reflect on my time here thus far.

I made a list of the ways I have grown and changed since last year, and the wisdom I have acquired from those around me that I hope to take home and incorporate into conversations when I go home.

Wherever you are on your journey, I encourage you to reflect on where you’ve been and where you are going and those key people who have shaped and molded you into the person you are today.

Enjoy your week, friends!

-Kristen P

Shakaland

No shakaland is not just for surfers… it is named after the Zulu warrior, King Shaka! This week for our Zulu class we had the opportunity to travel and spend the night at Shakaland, a mock-traditional Zulu village!

At Shakaland my fellow classmates and I experienced what life was like for the original Zulu people. It was a wonderful weekend to be submerged in what we have been learning in class about the ways of life, food, traditions, and so much more. Our students got to dance with the people, live in grass huts, throw spears, and even speak a little Zulu to the traditional people who live there!

One of my favorte phrases in Zulu is “Yebo, sawubona” which means “Yes, I acknowledge you”. More than just a greeting, this phrase is a sign of respect, affirmation, and regard. Learning the language of the Zulu people has been challenging nonetheless, but it has played a huge part in my cultural experience here. 

Since we have been working at service sites for two weeks now I have really been able to use my Zulu there. Not only with the workers, but also with the kids, and people of the township. The ministry that I work with goes into the township (slum) and will provide transportation for people who are sick with HIV/Aids, TB, and more. This week I was able to pray for people in Zulu in their homes, and was able to (somewhat) communicate with the local community members. 

It seems like everyday here I am challenged to understand other cultures, comprehend what it means to be a learner, and not be afraid of something just because it is out of my comfort zone. I am looking forward to sharing more of my experience here in South Africa with you!

Until next time,

-Ryan F