Jennifer Cook

About Jennifer Cook

I am a senior at Nyack College Rockland campus. I'm a business major currently doing graphic design, web development, and marketing for a small salon in downtown Nyack. I love travel, reading, writing, beauty, and design. Connect with Jennifer on Google+

The Four People who Helped Me Become Valedictorian

13162373_10207679532699084_676881542_nOne of Nyack College’s 2016 valedictorians, Tehillah Eskelund is graduating with a B.A. in Psychology. She grew up in Centerville, MA, where she loves to frolic on the beach in a sundress, sit in trees and read books (yes, she is nerdy and proud of it), and go on impromptu adventures with friends. Here’s what Tehillah had to say when I asked her who helped her reach the incredible accomplishment of valedictorian!

Tehillah: Two of the people who helped me become valedictorian were my mom and dad. My mom always pushed me to do my best, even when it hurt, and she was willing to comfort me through all the tears that that implied. She probably worked just as hard as I did for these four years, just being a support to me. I am so grateful to her for it! My dad also pushed me and supported me, and he inspired me to love learning. Every time I mentioned something new I had learned, he would be sure to engage me in an exciting academic conversation on the topic.

My brother, Luke, also helped me become valedictorian. He’s been a sense of comic relief while on campus, always ready for a laugh (but willing to give me a hug when there were tears). He’s been a trustworthy friend. Two other people who have helped me throughout college are Angie and Olaf Valli. Their home has been a safe haven for me, a place of peace where God is ever present. Never once have they closed their doors to me, even though they have their own full schedules. They are a second family to me, and I love them like my own.

There are so many other people I could mention who have filled these four years with joy, but it would fill a book to mention them by name! I have made some incredible friends here at Nyack, and leaving them will be one of the hardest things yet. Thank God for Facebook!

Three Lessons I Learned about Worship

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Between chapels and small groups over the past four years, I’ve probably been involved in corporate worship here at Nyack about 400 times. There are several things I’ve learned from chapel speakers, my fellow students, and worship leaders, but Nyack College as a community has taught me so much about worship.

  1. There’s no one way. Worshipping God is so much more than singing worship songs. I’ve always loved attending creative arts chapel because I believe it’s a glimpse into heaven. The dance and step teams do routines, students do special music numbers, and there’s often works of art being created during the service. We still sing worship songs corporately, but it means so much more to do so while surrounded by so many other forms of worship.
  2. There’s no right way. This point really hits home for me. When I first came to Nyack, I was a little self-conscious because the people around me were much more expressive in their worship than I had ever been. I began questioning my relationship with God and wondering if my lack of outward expression was a sign of a deeper issue. In spending more time worshipping corporately and talking to people I looked up to, I realized that there is no one right way to worship God. He meets everyone where they are at and is satisfied by any form of expression as long as it comes from our hearts.
  3. Don’t take anything for granted. Scanning in for chapel three times a week can get mundane. I often had other things on my mind like what classes I had later on that day and the homework I was getting behind on. In my last few chapels, however, I’ve begun to wish that I had been more intentional about enjoying my time in chapel. Participating in Nyack College chapel truly is a unique experience and I doubt I’ll ever find a worship community quite like this one.

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Three Business School Lessons

In my time at Nyack, I’ve spent over 2,000 hours in class. Yeah, really. When I graduate, I will have accumulated 128 credits. The amount of credits you get per class reflects the number of hours you spend in the classroom during the week. There are about 16 weeks in each semester, so I’ve spent over 2,000 hours in class over the past four years.

Since Nyack is a liberal arts college, those 2,000 hours combine history, english, Bible, and other general education courses. Those definitely taught me a lot, but the lessons I learned in my business classes are the ones that I hope to use most in the years to come as I move into the workforce. Here are three of the most influential lessons my business professors have taught me:

  1. From Professor English: over deliver. English always says, if you under-perform, you’ll get fired; if you do exactly what everyone expects, you’ll be overlooked; but, if you over deliver, you’ll get promoted. He has story after story of people who have gone above and beyond in the workplace and have went on to be extremely successful.
  2. From Professor Abadir: don’t sue anyone, it’s not worth it. This might sound like a silly thing, but years after taking Professor Abadir’s Business Law classes, I’ll never forget this point. We spend class time talking about the laws surrounding business, many which have to do with patents and protecting your ideas. What he emphasized over and over was that, most of the time, it’s not worth it to sue anyone, and lawsuits are usually more trouble than their worth. This advice came from a true place of humility. Abadir would always emphasize the importance of examining your motives and never doing anything for the sake of your pride.
  3. From Dr. Hartl: business and ethics do mix. A class that really taught me a lot was Business Ethics with Dr. Hartl. She opened the first day of class talking about how much she dislikes hearing people say that it’s impossible to act ethically and succeed in business. She went on to disprove this idea every class day for the rest of the semester. Hartl taught me, with real-life examples, the importance of doing what’s right and how it always pays off.

I’ve learned a lot of facts at Nyack College. I can go on about Porter’s Five Forces, the 4 P’s of Marketing, and the difference between stocks and bonds, but I’m sure the conceptual lessons are the ones that will take me far in the years to come. My time with the business professors at Nyack has taught me how to think like a CEO, act ethically, and work hard no matter what. These lessons will take me far in life, and it’s no lesson I ever could have learned from a textbook.

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An Open Letter to the Freshman with 100 Friends

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College is great, right? You showed up at the beginning of the semester all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed ready for this next part of your life.

You’ve gotten to know your roommate, and the two of you are friends now. Remember how you were attached at the hip that first week? Maybe it lasted, maybe it didn’t, but it doesn’t matter because you both met a lot of people in the first month or so.

The best thing about college is how often you see people you know. That kid passing you on the path to Boon is in your Intro to Philosophy class, and the two of you like to joke about Danaher’s football stories. The girl in your Information Literacy class lives two doors down from you. You randomly sat next to her on the first day of class, and ended up commiserating about how many stairs you have to climb to get to your rooms on Christie 4 center.

The best part about having these friends is that they all have friends. You met Katie on day one, and she introduced you to Matt, Andy, and Stacey. You ran into Matt at a basketball game and he introduced you to his roommate, Jeremy, Jeremy’s girlfriend, Eliza, and her best friend Rebecca. Every person you meet has connections to more people. At this point in the semester, it seems like you’ve had at least one conversation with every person you see around (even a few seniors!!)

Now you’re in the last few weeks of the semester. Things with finals are getting crazy, but your roommate always has her friends over so you can’t sleep as much as you might like to. Eliza seems to spend all of her time with Rebecca and Jeremy. You just found out Rebecca has a crush on Matt, and you feel like those four really only every hangout with each other. Even Katie has seemed less available. She hangs out with a lot of her nursing major friends and always talks about how much they all have in common.

Today, you ate lunch with Andy. The two of you have a few classes together, but it really seems like you enjoy a lot of the same things. He went to high school with a girl named Lynn who he introduced you too. You were in the cafeteria for over an hour talking about how much you love to watch FRIENDS and can practically recite the dialogue of every episode. On your way back to your room, Lynn texted you and asked if you wanted to do homework in her room later. “Sure!” you texted back. She lives in Simpson, but it’s worth the trip.

As you begin your hike up the Christie steps, you wonder what happened to all the friends you met week one. You don’t have any more classes with the boy from Philosophy, and the girl from a few doors down seems to keep to herself. You thought you would have a ton of friends in college… isn’t that what it’s all about?

Let me let you in on a little secret. I have 6 weeks left of my college career and there are two things I’ve noticed. One: I’ve never had more acquaintances, and two: I’ve never had fewer close friends. I rarely see the kid from philosophy anymore, and we don’t even greet each other when our paths do cross. Jeremy and Eliza broke up, and everyone in that group made new friends. Katie transferred, and the girl from Information Literacy dropped out and is now living back at home in Massachusetts. Let me tell you, though, Andy and Lynn are my best friends. We do everything together, and they feel like family to me.

Alright, so all of those people and their stories are made up, but it’s not too far from what I’ve experienced with some of the people I’ve met over the last four years. The point is that you meet a lot of people in college, but if you expect to have a hundred best friends, you’ll spend all your time spreading yourself too thin. With classes, work, and all your other responsibilities, you won’t have the time or energy to invest in every single person you meet, and if you try to, you’ll likely fall short.

Trust me, though. You’ll find those few people who will end up meaning the world to you. Most friendships will come and go, but a few will last forever. Enjoy them while you’re all still living in the same town.

3 Things Not to Say to a Graduating Senior

ffae78e3-0604-44da-976c-6a6b31bf9b5fThe time is quickly approaching– the time when I’ll walk across the stage, grab my diploma, and graduate from college. It’s definitely a time filled with emotions, and many people have congratulated me on my almost graduation. Among all the good wishes, there’s also been a lot of repetition. If you know a senior who is graduating, here are a few things not to say, and suggestions for what to say instead.

  1. “What are you going to do when you graduate?” This is a classic. I understand a lot of people are genuinely interested, but we’ve all been asked this question at least a hundred times, and most of us don’t have an answer. Instead of asking what our future plans are, ask about how the year has been going so far. Consider asking, “what’s been the best part about senior year so far?”, “Have you done anything especially fun recently?”, “Are there any classes this semester that you’re really excited about?” Seniors spend so much time thinking and talking about the future, it’s nice to talk about the present every once in a while.
  2. “It’s all going to work out.” If you did ask a senior Question #1, and their response is that they’re not sure about the future, refrain from telling them this. Honestly, as someone who’s unsure of what my life will look like in two short months, someone telling me that everything is going to be fine, doesn’t help much. Instead, if you’re an adult, talk about how you felt graduating from college. If you’re an underclassman talking to a senior, tell them you can’t imagine being in their shoes. If you think it’s going to work out, tell them why– don’t just leave it at that.
  3. “It seems like just yesterday you were a freshman.” Yeah, I know. It seems like that to us sometimes too. Seniors often reminisce about freshman year and talk about how quickly time has passed. It often seems like the past four years have flown by, but I also look at my freshman self and see how far I’ve come. I was very different when I started college, and like to think I’ve grown up a lot since then. I’ve sat in hundreds of hours of classes, written thousands of papers, laughed, cried, and eaten a lot of food from the cafeteria. Though it sometimes seems like freshman year was just yesterday, seniors have come a long way since them and often view themselves as being in a completely different stage of life now.

Whatever you do talk about with your friends who are seniors, don’t stop talking to them about life! This post was not at all meant to discourage you, but quite the opposite– teach you how to talk to them better.

Top 10 Things I’ll Miss After Leaving Nyack College

A week and a half ago, one of my best friends said these words to me: “In exactly three months, we’ll be walking at graduation”. Nothing stops you dead in your tracks quite like those words. Three months?! You mean, in just three months, undergrad will be over and I’ll have to face the real world?!

I’m taking the necessary steps to prepare myself for that day, but in the meantime, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on my time at Nyack and the things I’ll miss the most. In no particular order these are the things I’ll miss the most about college.

  1. My friends. I know I said “in no particular order” but this is definitely number one. I love living right next door to my best friends and running into my friends as I walk to class. It’s a luxury to see old and new friends around campus and spend time with them. I’m going to miss how accessible those relationships are.
  2. Chapel. There’s one thing that Nyack offers that I haven’t found anywhere else: an authentic worship experience. I love going to chapel, being surrounded by my peers, and being led in worship by talented musicians. I get to be in one place with my classmates, teachers, and friends, and engage in that one thing we all have in common. There’s something so beautiful about worshiping in unison with the people who are a part of your everyday life.
  3. Interested adults. Members of the faculty and staff at Nyack have exhibited a true interest in my life. Whether it’s helping with future plans and job searching, listening to concerns I have about my classes and personal life, or helping me in tangible ways, my professors have poured more into my life than I ever expected. Dr. and Mrs. Poston have been incredibly awesome mentors to me and have given me a bed to sleep in and a home to relax in when I needed it the most. Professor English has sat and discussed my future with me. I could talk about my professors all day. The list of great things they have done for me is extremely long, so I’ll spare you.
  4. Limited responsibility. This is one thing I’ll miss about college life in general. I love not having to cook my food or clean my bathroom. The thing about Nyack, though, is that the people who work in the cafeteria and the people who clean my bathroom do so without complaint. These people always have smiles on their faces though I’m sure we college students can be pretty difficult to deal with and clean up after.
  5. Diversity. I cannot begin to explain what I’ve learned from living in such a diverse community. Not only have I met people who see God differently than I do, but I’ve learned so much about how to co-exist with people who see life completely differently. Sometimes, it’s taught me to be secure in what I think and believe, and other times it’s taught me to be accepting and willing to change. This is something I never expected to learn while at college, but I’m so glad I did. I know I’ll have an advantage in the workplace because of what Nyack has taught me about living in a diverse community.

I’m sad to leave Nyack. There, I said it. But I also, as time goes on, feel more and more ready to leave. My time at Nyack has taught me a lot– both inside and outside the classroom– and as I reflect on my last four years, I feel prepared to move on and take what I’ve learned with me when I go.

GSL Trip Reports!

If you’ve had any interaction at all with Nyack College, I’m sure you’ve heard about the Global Service Learning trips. If not, here’s a quick summary: Nyack College offers students the opportunity to go on Global Service Learning or GSL trips to different parts of the world for class credit! Taking the place of Global Literature 2, preaching classes, social work electives, and more, GSL trips provide students with the opportunity to learn outside of the classroom and even outside the country.

Though I’ve never been on a GSL trip, it was something that attracted me to Nyack from the beginning, and I was reminded of that this week in chapel. This Wednesday, students from three different GSL trips got up during chapel to give a report of their experiences on these different trips. Several trips went out this January, but the three that were featured in chapel had gone to Nepal, Korea/Japan, and the Philippines.

1426230_1056174191101301_6018435132521224380_nFirst, Chase came to the front and shared about his experiences in Korea and Japan. Though he was there for a class, he learned so much more, and talked about the testimonies of the people he met.  Many of the students who went on the trip are in the music department, but being a music student was not a requirement. They sang and played instruments in different cities, but it was a great opportunity for people of different majors to serve through a similar passion for music. The musical gifts were returned when the people Nyack’s students sang for, sang to them in return. Chase was amazed at the way the people sang and seemed to tell their stories with every note. Though the languages they sang in were different, music provided a platform for forming connections across all the cultural barriers.

12622352_10156444351820054_4029436339454032230_oSecond, Tyler spoke about his experiences on the trip to Nepal. Several ministry students went, but it was also open to students wishing to take Global Literature 2– a General education or GenEd class required for all students. Tyler said he was astounded by the poverty and oppression of Nepal and also amazed by its culture and the overall beauty of the country. Nepal has a lot of problems with sex trafficking, and the Nyack students got to see how communities were being affected by it. It seemed overwhelming at first, as the students did prayer walks through neighborhoods where all the females had been sold to keep their families alive, but the students also got to see God’s work in these seemingly hopeless situations. A missions group has come into Nepal to establish tourist attractions in different parts of the country in order to give families a source of income so they no longer had to sell their female relatives. Tyler expressed how impacted he was by the loss the people were experiencing, but also by the amazing stories of hope.

12552931_10154277601499239_9217797740044262997_nFinally, Theresa talked about her experience in the Philippines. This trip was mostly made up of education and social work students, but– just like Chase and Tyler– Theresa talked about how much she learned outside of the classwork. “I know this sounds cliche,” she said, “but seeing people who have so little made me really appreciate all I have. These people practically have nothing, and they’re the happiest people I’ve ever met.” She went on to detail the poverty of the people, but also their extremely positive attitudes. Having never been out of the country, Theresa felt like this trip had been truly life-changing for her.

Like I said, I’ve never been on a GSL trip before, but hearing these stories made me wish I had gone on one. If nothing else, I’m extremely thankful to be surrounded by students who are globally-minded, and share their life-changing experiences with their peers when they return from trips like this. I’m so thankful that my classmates have the courage to travel, the motivation to work hard, and the willingness to hold on to their memories and let what they’ve learned impact their lives back on the Nyack campus.

It’s All Relative

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In my time at Nyack College, I’ve learned a lot of important lessons. I’ve learned how to live in the moment, I’ve learned to appreciate the experience and wisdom of my professors, I’ve learned how to be independent, and I’ve learned a lot about myself. Just when I think I’ve learned it all, God teaches me something new.

This semester, I’ve been learning that everything is relative. I’m not sure what made me think about this first, but I’ve learned that it applies to countless different situations. Most importantly, this idea has been crucial in the way I relate to others, and the way I view myself.

When getting to know other people, I’ve learned how important it is to view them as an individual person on their own journey. Someone who grew up with protective parents might see a lack of direction as a stressful thing. Someone who has been a Christian their whole life might be underwhelmed by basic spiritual truths. When having discussions with people, I’ve discovered that it’s not always necessary to share my point of view. Sometimes, people want the person they’re talking with to meet them where they’re at. Think about it. It’s meaningful when someone you’re having a conversation with tries to put themselves in your shoes.

It’s one thing to put yourself in someone else’s shoes when discussing a class you’re not in or a schedule they view as hard but seems easy to you. It’s a completely different thing to put yourself in someone else’s shoes when they’re experiencing pain. Pain, I’ve found, is the most relative thing anyone could ever experience. This really struck me in getting to know one of my best friends on a deeper level. Becca and I get along because we see the world in a very similar way, but we currently have very different struggles. In talking to her about these struggles, I’ve learned the value of walking alongside someone despite an inability to know exactly how they’re feeling. Whether it’s physical or emotional, everyone experiences different levels of pain, and everyone is affected by it differently. This was a huge realization for me and it impacts how I view my own struggles.

I tend to be very hard on myself when things upset me, telling myself that what causes me exceptional pain is minuscule to other people. But what I’ve discovered is that circumstances and experiences make all pain extremely relative. While you might have a high tolerance for stress, one negative comment from someone could throw you off completely. The person sitting next to you in class might view things completely opposite. When they are short with you when discussing the 10 page paper due tomorrow, it’s important to consider that their circumstances and experiences are completely different from yours.

Our tolerance for pain in all areas forms the way we express our pain. Though your intentions might be good, your actions have the potential to come across differently. Since all pain is relative, it’s important to remember that you can’t judge others by their actions and judge yourself by your intentions.

3 Ways to Guarantee Graduating on Time

IMG_8125Let’s face it, people always talk about how college is expensive. But few actually think about how being a super-senior is even more expensive.  It’s great to live with your friends, learn new things, and participate in college clubs and sports, but all that fun is not worth the money of staying an extra year. Graduating on time is a priority for most college students, but far too many assume it will just happen. The last thing you want is to get caught off guard in your senior year with more… or less credits than you expected. As a senior in college, I have a few tricks I’ve learned over the years, and a few things I wish someone would have told me freshman year.

  1. Know what you want. When you start looking at colleges, you should have an idea of what you’re looking for. Do you want to graduate on time? Do you want to graduate early? Would you like to live off campus if it’s possible? How does commuting sound to you? Have a clear plan of where you want to live and how long you want to live there. Communicate that with people you encounter in the admissions process and make sure they are doing what they can to help make that possible for you. Already in college? Communicate with Registrar, Financial Aid, and your academic adviser.

2. Know what you’re dealing with. As an underclassman, I couldn’t make much sense of my degree audit. It looked like a bunch of classes, a bunch of numbers, and a bunch of things that I could deal with later. Then, as an upperclassman, I realized that if I had known sooner exactly what it took to get my degree, I might have done it

CTA button for Blog UGdifferently. After you finish reading this, pull up your degree audit and READ IT! If there’s something you don’t understand, make an appointment with your academic counselor and talk to them about it; it’s their job to help you with this stuff. Go so far as to make a plan for all four years. Your advisers usually know what the course offering will be like during your four years and can tell you what classes will be offered when.

3. Know what you can handle. Unless it’s totally necessary, don’t make plans contingent upon you being able to take on a huge amount of work and commitment. If you’re planning to graduate early, take on the added pressure little by little. If you’re hoping to cram 24 or even 18 credits into a semester, realize that you might not being able to accomplish it and make a plan B. Also, if your GPA is important to you keeping scholarships make wise decisions about how many classes you can take at once while still excelling. The last thing you want is to spend a lot of time doing work for a course and ending up with a big fat “F” (or a big fat “W”).

Finally, know what you’re dealing with. Sound familiar? That’s because I can’t stress this point enough. Your degree audit is your best friend. Though professors, registrar, and your adviser really do care about you, they deal with a lot of students every day and you can’t expect them to know your situation completely. So, know what you want, know how to accomplish it, and know your limits. These three things will get you as close as possible to a stress free four year (or less) college experience. Take it from an almost graduate.

Why Double Majoring is a Good Idea

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Recently, I’ve been appreciating the friends I have here at Nyack College. Though we have a lot in common, my friends all have their unique interests and perspectives. As upperclassmen, we’ve had some time to develop our majors, passions, and direction. For the next few weeks, I’ll be interviewing my friends and asking about the majors they’ve chosen and where they see their studies taking them in the years to come.

This week, I talked to Katie O’Sullivan about her choice to be a double major. Here’s what she had to say:

Q: What are your majors? Have you always been a double major?
A: I’m a senior double majoring in English and Religion. I started out studying English and Intercultural studies, but I have always wanted to be a double major. There are just so many fields of study that it’s hard to choose just one.

Q: What would you like to do with your majors after you graduate?
A: I’m not completely sure what I want to do with my degree yet, but I definitely would like to do something overseas. Right now I’m thinking about international relations and law.

Q: Would you recommend double majoring? Why or why not?
A: I would most definitely recommend double majoring, especially if you have multiple interests. If you’re committed to academics, it’s a great way to get the most out of your college tuition.

Q: In what ways have your majors affected your everyday life?
A: I got to go study in Oxford this summer, where I took classes on C.S. Lewis, philosophy, literature, and religion. Also, understanding world religions, including Christianity, makes a huge difference in how I’m able to evaluate literature and the views people present in writing.

Q: What advice would you give to a new student who has decided to pursue a double major?
A: I would encourage a new double major to go for it! I would say to be prepared for a lot of work, but if you’re starting a double major you’re probably a hard worker already. 🙂

The Life of an ICS Major: Flexibility is a Skill

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This week, I talked to my good friend, Rachel Kunker, about her experiences about being an Intercultural Studies (ICS) major at Nyack College. This is what she said.

Q: Why did you choose to be an ICS major?

A: I chose to be an ICS major because I really want to serve God with my life. As a freshman, I did not know what area to focus in specifically and knew I wanted to be a missionary. Studying ICS seemed the best option for me to be able to get a good overall idea of missions. Since I love other cultures, it was very easy for me to stay in ICS and actively engage in the courses offered.

Q: What year are you and what do you hope to do with your major?

A: I am a senior. I am hoping that my major has equipped me to assist me in any job I take. I am still unsure what profession I want exactly, but I know that my degree in ICS has equipped me to work in a world full of many different cultures. I now understand people better. I would love to work either overseas or in diverse cities in America, applying what I know both about other cultures and other religions.

Q: What is one theme you have learned so far in your ICS classes that has really impacted you?

A: One of the most major lessons I have learned so far in my ICS classes is the importance of flexibility. Through classes focusing on the importance of adjusting between cultures or working with people from different backgrounds, I have begun to see the importance of flexibility as a skill.

Q: Is there anything in your major that has surprised you?

A: I was surprised when I learned about the way different people think. All cultures have different worldviews which cause them to hold different mindsets, beliefs, and everyday behaviors. I have learned the importance of keeping an open mind, understanding that holding up three fingers does not universally mean the number three. I have learned to think critically, to avoid fickle judgments, and to really begin to understand the mind and heart of those around me.

Q: How does your major impact your daily life?

A: My major impacts my daily life because it involved people and digging into Scripture. I have learned what it means to work with people who are different form me, to include everyone in group decisions. I have learned what it means to defend the faith, to learn about other religions and be able to give a Christian response to the opposite truth claims. All-in-all, ICS has prepared me to be a better person, understanding others’ perspectives, learning what it means to work with people who are different from myself, work in a cross-cultural environment, and actively engage Scripture.

Too Close to Home

I’m in college, I go to classes, my school is up on a hill just outside a bustling, downtown, and I’m a Christian. These are a few reasons why the school shooting in Oregon feels like it was right in my backyard.

When I first heard there was a mass shooting at a college, my heart sank. It hurts to know that people in circumstances similar to mine had their lives cut short. Once I heard more details of what happened, I only became more distraught. The school was nestled up on a hillside in a townunnamed where violence like this was not at all commonplace. I’ve spent the last three years walking around a scenic open campus, and sitting in classrooms with my peers, not giving a second thought to the possibility that our lives could be suddenly put in danger.

Nyack College students have more in common with those killed in the shooting than I originally thought. The shooter in Oregon was targeting Christians.

Again, being a Christian college student in the middle of her Fall semester at a school on a hillside makes me very much like the students at Umpqua Community College. When I think about the shooting, I spend half my time heartbroken for those affected, but the other half of my time thanking God that it wasn’t me.

But, here’s the thing: why wasn’t it me? Why wasn’t it my school? Though Nyack College is an open campus, it is very safe and has never left me feeling in danger. But, extraordinary circumstances are just that, and none of us know if someone will look us in the eyes tomorrow and choose to kill us because we profess to know Jesus Christ. What would I do? What would you do? What should we do?

I’m not going to talk about gun control, mental health, or campus safety, but instead I want to insist that we not remove ourselves to far from this tragic event. This sort of thing could happen to any of us, and I want to ask if we’re ready for it. Are you ready to die for Jesus? It would be foolish to brush off the news of this shooting because, quite honestly, it hits far too close to home.

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