Jamilah Felix

About Jamilah Felix

I am a Communications major at Nyack College's Manhattan campus. I love reading, eating, watching movies, and then eating some more. I'm excited to be a light to those around me using the gifts God has given me.

Financial Aid Struggles

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“Student Financial Services.”

Did you shiver reading those words? How about: “financial aid office,” “plus loan,” “payment plan.” These words are oh so familiar to many of us college students. These words can also be the source of unwanted amounts of stress and/or pressure. The fact of the matter is that higher education in America costs money. Lots of money. Of course things like scholarships and grants exist in order to help the maximum amount of people get a college education, but full ride scholarships aren’t too common and grants can only go up so high. Often times, students end up paying out of pocket for their education. Those monthly payments can be an even bigger source of stress than the school work.

Last year, one of my friends had just moved to America that year and her parents weren’t 100% on board with the Christian education (primarily because of the cost of the tuition) and refused to support her financially. Their logic was since she chose to come to Nyack, she could pay her tuition herself. She signed up for the monthly payment plan, but fell behind and was constantly worrying about it. Her other friends and I constantly prayed with her and kept her calm. However, throughout the semester she never lost hope. She never lost faith. And she never stopped believing. She believed God would come through for her. She believed her tuition would be paid and she would be able to continue attending Nyack. She always said, “I’m just trusting God. That’s all I can do.” I admire her so much for that because little did she know, I was believing God for the same thing that semester. Her faith inspired my faith, and faith works. I know faith works because both of our bills were paid that semester and the next. We are both also enrolled for the Fall semester. The fact that I got the opportunity to finish my first year was a miracle from God. I’m so happy that miracles still happen – and on a daily basis, too!

There are people out there who want to attend school this fall but financially it just isn’t lining up. I want to encourage those people to HAVE FAITH! Please, have faith! Believe that He can perform a miracle for you, because He can. Believe that all your needs are met. Believe that He loves you and wants the best for you. But of course, faith without works is dead. So do what you need to do to get your faith to where it needs to be so you are able to believe in Him for your tuition. Sometimes those monthly payments are high and sometimes that loan looks crippling. Amounts of money that high require amounts of faith that are just as high, or even higher. So exercise your faith with confessions and learning verses that support the fact that God is able to pay off your tuition. Keep your mind open to all the different routes God can use to grant your request. Don’t forget that God uses people.

I believe that those who need tuition miracles will receive them in time for the upcoming Fall 2016 semester. Do you believe with me?

Things To Do in New York City over the Summer Part 4

In the final installment of our fun things to do in New York over the Summer series, we’re going to explore all the special “hidden” places that can contribute to an exciting summer.

When I was younger, I read a book series about an all girls private school that trained young women to be spies. The girls lived together in a giant house that stood on acres that also housed other buildings that were used for not only their regular schooling but also spy activities. Nearby neighbors and civilians were told and believed that it was a boarding school. In the first book of the series, the narrator, a girl named Cammie and a student of the spy school herself, spoke about how she had long ago found all the secret entry ways in the mansion and knew where they went. Some of them were known about by her whole group friends, and others were known only to her. I also thought it was funny that in a spy school where there were a plethora of other spies (not to mention numerous teachers who knew how to spy better than any of the students) no one knew about these secret passageways or at least knew that Cammie knew about them. Cammie used these passageways to think, heal, and hide and New York City has “hidden” areas that can do the same. Now if I’m being honest, this is New York, and with 8 million people living here secret spots are hard to come by, but lesser known spots are a dime a dozen.

Get a better view of New York City on a terrace

Two areas that are hidden from people’s prying eyes are terraces and rooftops. We all know terraces exist and love to chill on them, but people walking down the street don’t actively look high and low for terraces. They’re exclusive. You have to either have one yourself or know somebody. The exclusivity is what makes this “hidden” place a great area to spend your summer. Watching fireworks and holding a barbecue from a rooftop, or hanging with friends on a terrace is always a good time.

Basements are New York treasures

Basements are underrated. With a proper pool table, an mini fridge, and central air, a basement can be the perfect place to hold your summer parties and chill sessions. You don’t even have to leave the house which is a dream come true for a lot of folks who are still recovering from their last semester.

Of course, the right people, the right place, and the right time all contribute to finding the perfect spots this summer. They don’t have to be out of sight, out of mind, but sometimes the less people and more secluded, the better it is.

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View from the terrace at the Westhouse hotel in Manhattan

Getting Ready to Go Back to School

We are weeks away from the start of school. I can already hear the collective sighs of students all over the tri-state area. Thankfully, I am personally very excited for school to start back, but that doesn’t mean that back-to-school commercials and advertisements don’t catch me off guard every year.

imageAbout 2 weeks ago I was visiting the Forever 21 in Times Square and was shocked (though I really shouldn’t have been considering back-to-school ads on television start earlier and earlier every year) to find a chalk board highlighting their Back to School deals. It was at that moment that I felt the summer get sucked out of my body and begin to be replaced by thoughts of higher education. However, this transition from summer to school doesn’t have to be as dramatic for you. There are a few things you can do to get yourself ready.

1. Buy your books
Or rent them. Or download them. Or ask a friend to loan them to you. Or borrow them from the library. However you plan on getting your books this year, get them early. Having and touching and reading your textbooks before starting classes can jolt your mind back into school mode. Whether students want to admit it or not, textbooks can be pretty interesting. However, they often don’t get the chance to fully immerse themselves in everything new they are learning or get the chance to read recommended references due to time constraints or general stress. Then on summer break, the last thing students want to do is study on their own. This is their time to recuperate! That’s why this transition period is helpful. You can brush up on old subjects and give yourself a precursor to the new things you will be learning in these weeks leading up to the first day of school.

2. Reminisce on the good times
If you’re returning to the same school you attended last semester, chances are you made friends and created good memories. So I suggest thinking back on the good times to assure yourself that the upcoming semester is not going to be strictly stress and late nights, but unforgettable moments as well. Reminiscing on happier times can even build your excitement for the new semester.

3. Get reacclimatized
Try and dedicate part of your day to making the trek out to your school. This is certainly easier for Nyack Manhattan students than for Rockland students, but the trip will be worth it. I understand spending that extra $2.75 or buying a New Jersey transit or LIRR ticket to not even go to class is not totally appealing, but I can tell you that physically being on the campus beforehand will assist in putting your mindset into school mode.

4. Accept it
It’s coming. It’s happening. Don’t be in denial about it, just accept it. The sooner you accept it, the easier this will be. School is starting back, and you’re starting with it. “The day will happen whether or not you get up.” – John Ciardi

Money Saving Plan for College Students

Were you one of the 156,000 people that got a summer job this year? Summer jobs are nice and convenient because you are able to both stay busy in your off season and make money. It’s truly a win-win situation – except for the working part which can be annoying for some. It’s so tempting to wake up on pay day, see the money in your account, and then proceed to spend every last cent before the next paycheck even sees the light of day. However, this is inadvisable and actually able to be combatted through proper preparation, a money-saving plan, and a willingness to follow through with your plan.

Step 1: Make money
The first and easiest step… of course there are only two steps, but this really is the easier of the two. Earning money can consist of getting a job, profiting off of an idea, joining and starting a business, etc. As mentioned before, getting a job is probably the most popular choice. Especially among teens and young adults, summer jobs are essential. A thorough Google search regarding “How to Answer Interview Questions” or “Questions to Expect in an Interview,” or “How to Make a Good Impression at a Job Interview,” along with advice from family and friends, can help you land a job.

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After you get the job, you’ll need to keep it. Just because you were hired doesn’t mean you can’t be fired just as easily. Set as many alarms as you need to get to work on time, and always work your hardest even if you don’t feel the need or want to.

But don’t be lax about non money-making opportunities just because you now have a job. Always keep any eye out for occasions that may involve your current major or anything that you’re interested in. Use the summer time to continue to grow and learn.

Step 2: Save the money
When it comes to saving money, some people take drastic measures.  So I don’t care if you have to buy a ceramic piggy bank to keep yourself from spending too much. Do what is necessary mentally and physically to keep yourself in check.

When shopping at any store, it’s best to go in with a game plan beforehand. Since I can get easily distracted when I’m shopping, I keep track of how much I’m spending by adding it up in my head. (Of course, you can always use the calculator on your phone as well.) By doing this, I already have a good idea of how much the total will be and this prevents me from being caught off guard if I spent 50 when I only meant to spend 20. I also round up all prices to whole numbers and add about a dollar to account for any tax.

Since its Summer, you’ll want to spend your money going to movies, water parks, the zoo, or even just get a scoop of ice cream. Bad news: all these things cost money. Good news: activities like these are always offering discounts, free admission days (the Bronx Zoo is free on Wednesdays), and student deals. You get extremely good at sniffing out student discounts when you’re in college. This blog post is perfect to get you started.

Ultimately, self-discipline is key when learning to save money. You’ll have to discern between what you actually need and things you want while also remembering that’s it Summer and it’s okay to “treat yo’self” every once in a while. Thank God He gave us the spirit of self-control!

Things To Do in New York City over the Summer Part 3

In part 3 of our list of fun things to do in New York City over Summer break, we’re talking about cultural institutions and the like.

The amount of cultural institutions in New York is endless and museums are a big part of it. Some of the more popular ones are: the Metropolitan Museum of Art (a.k.a. the Met. Heard of it?), the Museum of Jewish Heritage, The Cloisters (a branch of the Met), the Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Paley Center for Media, Parsons The New School for Design Gallery, and the American Museum of Natural History. However, some of my personal favorite museums not listed include MoMA PS1 (a more laid-back, contemporary version of MoMA), New Museum (a chill, funky little museum filled with colorful, weird exhibits and colorful, weird people to match), and the Studio Museum in Harlem (a museum dedicated to the art of African-Americans).

But wait, museums are not the only cultural institutions you can enjoy. Everything from historic places to botanical gardens can be found right in these 5 boroughs. Since there are so many, (too many to list, you would fall asleep reading) I’m just going to list my favorites and the places I recommend you go this Summer.

Wildlife Conservation Society
– WCS includes the Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium, Staten Island Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, and Queens Zoo. The aquarium is right by Coney Island, so it’s a good pairing with the amusement park, and the Bronx Zoo has lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!) and has free admission on Wednesdays.

New York Botanical Gardens
– Honestly, I’ve never been to a botanical gardens that I have disliked, and New York’s is no exception. Even though it’s usually a summer activity, the botanical gardens are also beautiful during Christmas. The lights and decorations are wonderful and they offer a holiday train show that is a smash with kids. But of course, it offers an array of summer activities as well. The plants are in bloom or have already bloomed around this time of year – making for a beautiful experience.

Wave Hill
– Another popular botanical gardens is Wave Hill. Considering how gorgeous the park is year round, I’m always surprised at how few people have visited, or even heard of, Wave Hill. It’s way too pretty to be so underrated.

New York Hall of Science
– When I was younger, I associated science museums with boredom. Thank God I came to see the light. Science museums are filled with fun experiments and interesting facts. To me, it’s a cool way to spend a Saturday.

Museum of Moving Pictures
– Call me crazy, but I never thought to visit a museum about the wonders of moving pictures until recently – and I loved it. Film and television fall under my Communications major, so it’s particularly interesting to me for academic reasons in addition to my general interest in movies. If you’re a media buff, I suggest you take a visit to this institution.

My friends and I made a last minute decision to visit the Bronx Zoo this week. Considering a lot of the animals were sleeping, (I’ll give them a pass since it was hot outside) we had an absolute blast. I got excited and freaked out over the giraffes, and was unconvinced that the neon-colored tree frogs next to the reptile exhibit were real. They looked like plastic and were too pretty to be real….until they hopped. Multiple times throughout the visit, I thought about how blessed I was to be able to do this, and about all the other places I just as easily could have visited that day. The opportunities for fun in this city are limitless.

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Things to Do in New York City over the Summer Part 2: Eating

In honor of summer and the endless amount of things both Rockland and New York City campus students can do to ring in the season, I decided to do a series on fun ways to spend your summer break in New York. Part 1 explored the beaches in New York and the second point on our New York City Summer list is… drumroll please… food!

In part 1 of this series, I mentioned how Long Beach has a superb collection of food trucks affectionately named Shoregasboard – a name derived from smoregasbord. A smoregasbord is a buffet style meal with different types of both hot and cold food. Smoregasburg is another spin off of smoregasbord. It’s an all food flea market (that’s only a description of the market. I’m sure there are no actual fleas on the food) located in Brooklyn – Williamsburg on Saturdays and Prospect Park on Sundays. According to the Smorgasburg website, it “showcases 100+ local and regional food vendors to upwards of 10,000 visitors daily, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Brooklyn.” They showcase both pre-packaged and made-to-order food from a variety of vendors.

Pop-up street fairs are also common in New York. They can span up to 10 blocks, and are found during the late spring, summer, and early fall months. My church is located in the heart of Times Square, and I can’t count how many times my friends and I have walked out of the 10am service onto the street where a street fair, including lots and lots of food, was waiting patiently for us. It was always a convenient way to stock up on mango slices and kebabs before the next service without having to find a deli or bodega.

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Of course, free food is a treat no matter what city you’re in. Last week my mother and I heard that Good Humor was giving away free ice cream in Union Square for 3 hours. It was a gorgeous lazy Saturday so we decided to investigate. Sure enough, right by Union Square park a Good Humor truck was parked on the side of the road and balloons were flying in the wind. Employees wearing red shirts and smiles were tending to the line of patrons waiting for their free ice cream. We were pleasantly surprised to see that they offered 5 different kinds of ice cream from cookie sandwiches, to Magnum bars, to popsicles. They did not disappoint.

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So whether you venture out to a new restaurant, take a trip to a food flea market, or bump into free ice cream day, the food possibilities in this city are endless, so I suggest you take advantage of it this summer.

Things to Do in New York City over the Summer Part 1

As many of you are probably aware, in addition to its Rockland campus located in upstate New York, Nyack College has a New York City location in lower Manhattan. The Manhattan site is a commuter campus, so most of the students that attend it live in the New York City area. However, a lot of Rockland students are from the New York City area as well. Now that school is out they are back, and both Rockland and New York City students have the opportunity to enjoy all the city has to offer this summer. Besides, we live in one of the craziest, weirdest, coolest, most fascinating cities there is, so let’s explore it this summer with a series of Things to Do in New York City over the Summer.

First up on our list of things to do in New York City is the beach!

Orchard Beach in the Bronx, Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk in Queens, and Coney Island Beach and Brighton Beach, located right next to each other in Brooklyn are three of the most popular beaches in New York. However, there are numerous other beaches in the area, including some a little out of the New York range but still within traveling distance. Manhattan Beach which is located in Brooklyn (I don’t know where the name came from, either) is within walking distance from Brighton Beach and is more family friendly with plenty of places to play games and host barbecues. Robert Moses State Park in Long Island is a fancier beach with well-maintained facilities and a quiet atmosphere. Long Beach, also located off of Long Island, was named one of the cleanest beaches in New York and boasts an impressive array of food truck vendors aptly nicknamed Shoregasboard (a clever spin on Smorgasburg).

Over Memorial Day weekend, my mother and I visited Coney Island and Brighton Beach. It was scheduled to rain all day, but the rain stopped around noon even though the sky remained cloudy, so we figured we would go to Brooklyn, buy burgers at Nathan’s, and eat them on the beach. We didn’t take jackets or umbrellas, so if it rained, we were just going to have to get wet. Coney Island wasn’t as packed as it’s known to be over the summer, most likely due to the earlier weather, and we were able to get a burger and wings at Nathan’s on the boardwalk, then make the trek into the (surprisingly dry) sand that leads down to the beach. We took our shoes off and ate our late lunch watching the water and thanking God.

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Those moments are of course due to God’s goodness, but also to the accessibility of the beaches nearby. You can get to most of these beaches by metro card, the LIRR, or by car of course. So spending a day at the beach is a breeze and only one of the many things to do in New York City.  So, you have almost no excuses!

Intern Your Life Away

Last summer when I was looking for a job, my friend told me about an internship with NBC Universal. The internship was emailed to her by her old school and she read the description and noticed its media/Communications elements would match my Communications major and sent it to me. I love it because I thought it would match what I was studying perfectly, but had to put off applying because they required a Sophomore or above status during the time of the internship – I was just starting my Freshman year.

Less than a year later, I was talking with a friend about the importance of internships to your college (and after college) career and I remembered the NBC internship. So I went back and looked at the internships they have all over the country relating to my field. Since I’ll be a Sophomore in the Fall and they were doing a new Film internship in New York in the Fall, technically I could have apply, but I had no intentions to. I was always told that I had my first two years to really figure out what I wanted to do but by my Junior year I should have an idea and subsequently start doing internships and even start looking for jobs. The thing about that logic is that we should be gearing up for our after-college lives during our entire college experience. (Even during the summer.) There’s no harm in starting early.

A lot of people don’t have a clue about what they want to do after college. And a lot of people don’t have a clear clue. They might have a hazy idea though. Considering most people don’t fully understand their goals and/or purposes in this life until they hit 40 or 50 – it’s okay to be a little bit lost in your 20s. In fact, it’s okay to be a lot lost in your 20s. During your Freshman and Sophomore years, and the summer months in between, try new things. Join clubs, take interesting classes, be open-minded. You’ll learn a lot about yourself in the process, and consequently learn a lot about who you are, what you like, and what makes you happy.

After learning about yourself (and dodging questions from family members about what you’re going to do with your degree after college), you should be ready to find an internship. Of course, internships are not jobs. They’re not permanent. Some of them don’t even pay. So if you completely hate an internship – yay! You’ve narrowed down the list of things you want to do with your life. Chances are it just wasn’t what you thought it was going to be, which is the case with a lot of things in life – like jobs and even whole careers. That’s why internships are so important. And that’s why you should do more than one. I doubt there is such a thing as too many internships on your resume. If you try one and hate it, do another one that focuses on another area. If you try one and love it, still do another one that focuses on another area. You might find you like that area more (or less) and this way you have an idea for what you can do and what you need to improve on. That’s literally what your college years are for. So intern your life away!

4 Summer Tips to Stay in Tune with God

For many students, Nyack is one of the few places where they can immerse themselves in all things Christ-like. Other places might be their church or Bible studies. Sometimes work and home environments are not conducive to feeding your Spirit the right things and you can subsequently get out of tune with God. Because of this, spending 4 months away from a school that has an environment that is conducive to staying in tune with God might be a challenge for some students. So to help ease that struggle this summer, here are a few ways to keep your Spirit appropriately fed over the break

1. Read Your Bible
Uber important. Reading your Bible daily and getting to know Jesus better will make your walk with God so much easier. An easy way to ensure that you are reading every day is to do a Bible plan. I’m currently doing one on my phone so I get alerts reminding me to do my reading. I know it can be hard to read your Bible every day, even with a Bible reading plan (especially when you reach Leviticus and start to fall asleep reading about all the rules for appropriately killing and eating animals. Leviticus 17, anyone?), but pray and ask the Holy Spirit for the willpower to do so.

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2. Find Worship Music
I believe that there is a difference between Christian music and worship music. Worship music’s explicit goal is to praise God. Listening to worship music albums is a great way to praise God. If you don’t often listen to worship music outside of church, you can start by finding out what type of of worship music you like (YouTube different versions of a song you know), find a particular album that matches your preference, then put it on repeat. Make it your goal to learn every word, every drumbeat, and every hand clap until you can sing that song to God in your sleep. My current jam is Gateway Worship’s live album Walls. I fell in love with their style of worship back in 2010 when I lived in Texas and regularly attended the church, and I have kept up with their music ever since.

3. Hang out with Friends
You know those friends you have that make you want to read your Bible more, make you want to evangelize more, and make you want to pray more? You should stick by those friends this summer. The right company gives rise to the right behavior. And if you cannot think of anyone in your circle of friends that brings that kind of behavior out of you then it’s time to find some new friends. Just because you’re away from the environment that you would usually expect to find these kinds of friends, doesn’t mean that you can’t find them. Aside from making friends at your church or youth groups, you just need to pray and ask God to bring the right people into your life this season. I do this every new season, and I delight in seeing all the new people God brings my way. And the topic of prayer brings me to my final suggestion…

4. Pray
Yet another fun, convenient way to get to know Jesus better! Simply talking to Him throughout the day will help you both get through your day and strengthen your Spirit. Keeping in constant communication with Him is not as humongous of a task as it seems if you actually enjoy the conversation. So don’t limit your prayers to God to only asking for things and pleading for a certain outcome. Doing this associates prayer time with times of need when prayer is simply talking with our Friend, our Savior, Jesus.

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NYC Nyackers Go Global during the Summer

It’s no secret that due to its long history of international immigration, New York City is home to hundreds of nationalities. Many people of these nationalities have found their way to Nyack College. Dominican Republic, China, Jamaica, Guyana, Mexico, Ecuador, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago (yay!), the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, Colombia, Puerto Rico, and Nigeria are the countries that are represented in this school that I can think of off the top of my head. Of course there are many more. It’s like a mini United Nations.

All these countries coming together under one roof to earn a faith-based higher education is both remarkable and beautiful. However, this beauty goes beyond the New York City campus when the knowledge (both knowledge of their studies and new knowledge/revelations of God) that these students gained throughout the school year is taken back home to their home countries as well as to other countries.

One of my friends is visiting her home country of Nigeria with her family this summer. She hasn’t been back in a while and is extremely excited about it. I’m excited for her not only because she’ll be going home and seeing her family, but because I know how mature she is spiritually and how much she loves telling people about Jesus. (She’s an A+ evangelizer.) I’ve also seen her grow immensely in the past 8 months, and I know that Nyack contributed to where she is now spiritually. Another one of my friends is going on a Global Service Learning trip to Mexico with her Business class. Even though most students go on these trips for the experiences and the college credit, they are setting a serious Godly presence in these countries while they are there.

Even students who are not leaving the city this summer can have impact on a global scale. Students have friends and family members who live outside of the country who they talk to on a regular basis. One of my friends moved to New York from London and still talks to her friends there almost everyday. I have family in Trinidad and talk, text, and email with them often. The modes of communication we have in 2016 makes spreading the Gospel easier than ever before.

I personally feel this is a major part of who Nyack is and what Nyack does: nations coming together to learn about God and grow in Him, and then spreading this Good News to even more nations. It’s global evangelization at its best. It excites me to think about how many lives outside of New York City will be touched this summer by New York City Nyackers. The Presence of God causes all sorts of wonderful things to happen, and this summer, we are taking that Presence global.

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5 Ways to Not Miss School Over the Summer

*in my best Adele voice* This is the end… hold your breath and count to ten…

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Well, no need to hold your breath and no need to count to anything because the end is here. After a solid two weeks of bunking down in the library or locking ourselves in our rooms to study our little hearts out, the semester is finished. We made it through the last 4 months, and some even made it through their final 4 months. (Congratulations to the Class of 2016!)

As happy as I am that the pressure of deadlines and schoolwork is no more and I have a little more time on my hands to do whatever I want to do (sleep), I know that I’m going to be so bored in a month. Maybe even 2 weeks. I know this doesn’t apply to everyone because some people are so happy for the 4 month break that even seeing a school could cause them to practically combust. However, I also know people who plan on hanging around campus this summer even though they don’t have any summer classes. I guess that Nyack atmosphere is addicting. So for those who low key miss school but don’t want to admit by dropping by the campus over the summer, here are 5 ways to quench that campus thirst.

1. Keep in touch with friends
We add new people to our friend repertoire every semester, so it’s essential to keep up with them all. On the last day of classes make sure you have everyone’s number, email, AIM, pager, pigeon call, or whatever it is you use to contact people, and make sure they have yours. If your last day of classes have already come and gone, contact your friends through your school’s message system (like Edvance360) or text a mutual friend for their contact information.

2. Do something fun over the summer
Don’t be the one that comes back from summer break with no stories. When your professors are doing ice breakers on the first day of class, don’t stand up and say, “Hi my name is [insert name]. My major is [insert major]. And.. uh… I didn’t really do anything fun over the break.” Do at least one fun thing that will make these 4 months worth it.

3. Get a job
I don’t mean to sound like a dad, but you knew this one was coming. Getting a job will seriously help you keep your mind off of the boredom you’re experiencing. And since summer jobs are temporary, you have the luxury of picking a job that has the potential to be fun. You could work at an amusement park, your favorite retailer, or you could flip the script and work at your school. What a nice way to satisfy your ache for school without having to admit that you miss school. Working on campus is the perfect excuse for being on campus all the time.

4. Mentally prepare for next semester
If you already know what your classes next semester will be, you have the opportunity to be ahead of the game. You can look up some information on what you might be learning and if it’s a class you’re looking forward to, you could get yourself really excited. If it’s a class you’re not looking forward to in the slightest (Biology, anyone?), you’ll need this time to mentally prepare. You could even start praying yourself through that class ahead of time.

Disclaimer: This method may have the opposite effect of the title of this blog and alternately cause you to miss school even more.

image5. Look back on the last semester
Believe it or not, these semesters fly by quicker than the Roadrunner being chased by Wile E. Coyote. They go by in a blur, and when it’s over you look back and think, “I know I just learned something, but what was it?” Well, before you throw away your notes from the semester, look back over them. You’ll be surprised at how interesting some of the information is when you’re not trying to cram it in for an exam the next day. Also, go to the library and check out some of the books your professor may have talked about in class. I’m currently reading the Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath because my professor spoke highly of it, and I enjoyed Plath’s poems during the class. Let your education stretch beyond the classroom and into your daily life. You just might learn something.

If you still miss school after doing these 5 things, you might as well buy yourself a calendar and start counting down to September because there’s nothing else I can do. You love school and while you appreciate the break, you’d rather be there. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Using Global Media to be Globally Engaged

As you may know, one of Nyack College’s core values is being Globally Engaged. Because I’m a Communications major, this value means a lot to me and I think it’s important we educate ourselves on the world’s affairs as well as know how to properly engage in them.

When I think of being Globally Engaged, I think of missions trips, Global Service-Learning trips (who just released their 2017 trip schedule!), and the influx of nationalities that attend Nyack every year. However, we can also be Globally Engaged from right where we are sitting, and the first step is educating ourselves on other parts of the world, their cultures, and how they interact with each other. The media is one of the best ways we can study these things. Not every nation’s media system works the same as the United States’. For instance, newspaper circulation is relatively low here; whereas, newspaper is becoming an increasingly used medium in Africa and Latin America due to their growing middle class and literacy rates. (Thank you, Mass Media and Society class.) China’s media is changing all the time and at high volumes, so visiting a country like China would require one to stay on their toes pertaining to how people get their information and what is relevant.

So if someone wanted to travel to Sudan and spread the Gospel, it would be helpful to know that more people receive their news through print materials like newspapers as opposed to television – which is not nearly as popular as it is in the States. Therefore, the missionary saves both time and resources by knowing what the most effective ways are to use the media and to get information out. Therefore, they are not just talking yet having no one hear them, they are using the most effective forms of media to get out information about Jesus quickly and effectively.

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This isn’t something most people think of when they imagine traveling to different countries. They prepare to learn different languages, exchange currency, and even brush up on the country’s culture and foods so they know what to expect. But learning about how the media works in said country is usually an afterthought, if it is even a thought at all. It’s important that we, as representatives of Christ, don’t go out there proclaiming His name but being misinformed or ill-informed about the best ways to do it. The media is one of the most powerful tools of information dissemination we have today – after word of mouth, and learning how to handle it properly is essential.

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