How has everyone enjoyed their first few weeks back at school? I know I am really going to enjoy this semester. After two semesters filled entirely with science classes, I have the opportunity now to dive into English and Philosophy. I’m also finally taking the required course about the life and legacy of LMU’s namesake, Abraham Lincoln. I get asked all the time why I didn’t take this as a freshman like most students do. Long story short, I opted for a lighter course load for my very first semester of college, and I simply have not had room for it in my class schedule since then. But I’m excited to be taking it now, and especially from my favorite chemistry professor who also has a degree in history! I also really like my housing assignment this year. The people living in my apartment and the others on my floor are all good friends that I’ve made since I came to school here, so I’m constantly surrounded by people that I love!
Now that classes are in full swing, I’m already looking for fun things to do outside of class. Something I hear a lot is that because LMU is a small, private school in a little tiny town, there’s nothing to do. Prospective students constantly compare us to state schools in big cities and worry that there won’t ever be anything fun happening here. Well, I can tell you that this just not true! LMU boasts sights and thrills that can’t be found anywhere else, so there’s no reason to ever be bored here.
Our Student Activities Director, Rick Stowe, always has brilliant ideas for on-campus activities. In these first couple of weeks, LMU students have been treated to a block party outside the new residence halls, open swim at the Annan Natatorium, and a movie night on the lawn between Liles and West. Some of the awesome things coming up pretty soon include a foam party, Quidditch on the Quad, a concert at the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum, and a cornhole tournament. There’s a different activity coming up for nearly every day in September, and I am sure the fun will continue throughout the rest of the semester.
Together with the Director of Residence Life, Turner Bowling, Rick also runs the High Adventure series, which sponsors off-campus trips for those who love the thrill of the outdoors. Upcoming trips for this semester include white water rafting and camping, and future events will likely include mountain biking and skiing trips. The series also includes our ropes course, which has a 40-foot-tall rock climbing wall and a zip line.
LMU has over 40 other different student activities that each add a little something special to the excitement. There’s a club for just about everything you can imagine, from paintball to photography to choir. And if there’s not a club devoted to your favorite hobby, you can always start one with the help of a few friends and a faculty sponsor! LMU also has its own chapter of many national organizations, including Enactus, Baptist Collegiate Ministries, the American Criminal Justice Society, and the Student Government Association. And our six local Greek organizations are actively involved on campus, hosting game nights and leading the community into action. Join any one of our clubs or organizations and I guarantee your days on campus will be your best!
Many students find that they and their friends can have fun all by themselves. Some of my best nights at school have been spent cracking up to Duck Dynasty, going for a jog around campus, studying for organic chemistry with my classmates, or even playing a board game. Middlesboro, Kentucky, which is just a five-minute drive from campus, has plenty of things to keep students entertained. The Tasty Time frozen yogurt shop is delicious, and the Middlesboro Mall has lots of popular department stores and a movie theater. Even the local Walmart can be a pretty exciting place! My roommates and I take spontaneous trips there throughout the week to get snacks and drinks for our apartment.
The most important thing to remember is that your college experience will only be as exciting as you make it. So don’t sit in your room all alone and let this time go to waste! Introduce yourself to everyone you meet and join a few clubs. The laughs and the fun are sure to follow, and your college years will soon be the best of your life!