“Oh, the Places You’ll Go with APO”

By Marisela Martin

This semester has been really busy for me and, as the year gets closer to the end, I have found it to be very hard to stay motivated. However, through the busy times this semester, I have had the amazing opportunity to rush and join Alpha Phi Omega.

Alpha Phi Omega (APO) is one of the largest collegiate fraternities in the nation and even has chapters in Australia and the Philippines. Established in 1925 in Lafayette College by Frank Reed Horton and 13 other students, APO has dedicated its mission to service.

Now, you may be asking yourself why this girl is pledging a fraternity, but APO is co-ed, so anyone can join! Although, freshman cannot join until their spring semester, APO is the perfect organization to join if you are called to service.

With APO, not only do you get to serve the local community, but you also get the opportunity to do so with amazing people from all different walks of life. In the last month of pledging, I have served with some great men and women and will soon be proud to call myself an Alpha Phi Omega member.

So if you feel inclined to serve others and want to join a group of spontaneous and interesting people, you should definitely look into APO the next time you think about Baylor organizations!

Spring into Spring

By Jaziah Masters

“Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!” Sitting Bull

Walking around campus can be a chore, particularly during times of the year when one is prone to freeze or melt. But, I believe early spring gives us an almost perfect in-between in terms of weather.

I’m not too much of an outdoors type of person. However, I have quickly realized that spring is an excellent time to be one. As I walk around campus, I can’t help but to simile at the natural emersion. Winter has seemingly been evaporated by the sunshine of spring. More so, People have taken notice.

March madness is one thing, but what is going on this March is something a little different. Campus is vibrant. Campus is booming. Campus is green (even more so). There are people coming and going from seemingly everywhere. The joys of springtime, in my opinion, can never be overestimated.

As the weather breaks, one of the best things I noticed is that we are all allowed to enjoy the weather more. Going from class to class is a delight, one even professors cannot help but to take advantage of.

spring cultures

The picture above is of my World Cultures class. We were able to have class outside for the first time in, well, forever. I can’t remember the last time I had class outside, especially before college, but the opportunity was just too great to pass up. It took little convincing for our professor to side with us. But honestly, is there a better way to discuss US History than outside, basking in the sunlight? Not to mention the fact that it makes a wonderful picture!

Another thing I mentioned earlier that I also have noticed is the fact that more and more people are visiting. Almost every day, I have run into tour groups or just families visiting. I must admit, it’s a great time to come visit, just after the cold, but right before it gets too hot.

Not just visitors, but others are also taking advantage of the wonderful opportunity that the weather has provided. I’ve passed several different photography set-ups where seniors are taking their senior pictures. I’ve also spotted several student groups hanging out on Fountain Mall. Catching this area at sunset during this time is always a sight to behold.

Overall, campus, like a plant, is blooming. Spring is probably my favorite time of year to take in the beautiful Baylor campus!

Spring Beginnings

By Aaron Carter

It’s been just over a week since Spring Break and Baylor is starting to buzz again. After a short lull while we students shuffled about the post-break doldrums, we’ve gotten back into the grind and are ready to face the rest of the semester. Everyone is outside, it seems, taking in the sun and greeting warmer weather. Some of us are energized by the weather, others of us are starting to feel the pressure. When the weather gets warmer during the Spring semester, it comes to some of us as a looming omen. Finals first, then the end of another semester, another school year, and even, for seniors, the end of a chapter of life.

Although, I don’t think it does any good to think about Spring in that way. It isn’t the season about endings, after all. Being worried about what comes next is hardly the best way to spend these days. For now, the weather is warm enough to be out in shorts, but not hot enough to drive us into the air-conditioning. The waking grass is a bright apple green and the trees are starting to bud.

Take a walk. Baylor looks stunning right now, all dressed in green leaves and golden sunlight. It’s more than a shame to spend all your time studying or working. It’s a loss. If there is ever a time to allow distraction, it’s now.

Also, if you can’t spare the time to go out right now, then hold fast. Dia is coming.

Being Present

By Aaron Harder

Have you ever had those moments when you just zone out? Not because of what was going on around you was boring, but because you had so much else on your mind. I find that during times of stress or business I have a hard time staying in the moment.

However, I sometimes struggle with paying attention to things when life is great. Staying present and in the moment can be challenging, but important.

Here are two reasons it is important to be in the moment and to be present during happy times:

  1. DON’T PUT ALL OF YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET. This might sound negative, but if you are really excited about something in your life (you start dating someone, get into your top college, get a puppy, etc.) it is easy to put all your excitement and joy in that relationship, school, or thing. However, this can be dangerous because that relationship or thing may not always be there. If it leaves, so does your joy. Life is much bigger than any one relationship; activity, college, or thing so enjoy all life offers.
  2. VALUING OTHERS. I notice that when I have something in my life that is a big enough deal to me (what college I want to go, what job I will do, who I will date etc.), I spend most of my energy thinking about this thing. Sometimes, so much so that when others are talking to me, I tune them out so I can think about whatever it is that’s on my mind. However, not listening to someone can be incredibly devaluing, you’re insinuating that whatever they have to say is not as important as what you want to think about. Do not tune others out, what they have to say is important, and listening to others is a great way to practice selflessness.

 

I am not saying that choosing a college, dating someone, or getting a puppy is not important, these things can be incredibly important. However, listening to others is equally of value and importance. Being present in a conversation or class values whoever you’re talking to, plus learning how to stay present and in the moment will teach you how to enjoy that big moment you’re looking forward to even more. The next best thing to one source of joy is two sources of joy, so stay in the moment and enjoy where you are at.

Why I Chose Baylor

By Susannah Mohrmann

Many of you who are reading this blog are probably trying to gain perspective on whether or not Baylor would be a fit for you. Currently, I am in the last semester of my junior year and I just made my graduation plan. My time at Baylor is going quick and the “real world” is slowly getting closer. 3 years ago I chose Baylor, to this day I would still choose Baylor and after I graduate I know I will want to still be at Baylor. I have been so blessed by this school and I am not saying any of this because I write for the Admissions blog or because I work for Campus Visits, I truly do love this place.

I went to private school my entire life and at first I wrote Baylor off as a “safety school”. I came from a high school where 17 of us chose Baylor and although I hardly ever run into any of those high school classmates, it is always nice to see them. I believed enrolling at Baylor would be the similar to the private schools I grew up going to. However, after taking a tour and staying the weekend with a friend, everything I assumed proved to be false.

Baylor has a community like no other. There is a real sense of family here with professors who love the school, and students who love the school. It is big enough where you can still meet people everyday and small enough where you feel like you know a ton of students. There are so many things to be involved in here from organizations, majors, on campus jobs, to traditions and so much more.

Big 12 football is a also real thing here. Before coming to Baylor I did not understand football at all. Now, I can proudly say I have been to every home game during my 3 years here. I stood for 11 hours the day we were on ESPN College GameDay and we won the Big 12. I have rushed the football field twice, I have been on ESPN twice during the games. I can finally say that I love football!

Whenever prospective families ask what I love about Baylor I say: “I love the small school feel and the big school traditions.” I’ve met incredible people, friends, Wacoans, and professors. I would not trade the last three years for anything. Come take a tour you will not regret it- that’s what helped me decide.

Spring Break, Baylor Style

By Frances George- A Baylor Parent

A month or so ago, my daughter called out of the blue and announced, “I think I’ll come home for spring break.” Call me a bad mother, but I thought that was odd and told her so. Oops.

Instead I launched into a Mini Mother Sermon (do you ever do that?) that went something like this:
“Honey, this is your next to last spring break. EVER. You know, you don’t get those in Adult Land. Go and be with your friends at a wonderful destination and make memories. Get the most out of this unique and marvelous season called college! Home will be here waiting for you at Easter.”

In the end Mary Scott ended up going skiing in Colorado with ten other friends and had a ball after the 17 hour drive to the ski resort. (I received a text saying “I’m here!” at 4:23AM…. It was a beautiful sight even if it was the Sunday morning of Daylight Savings Time!)

Each day we received pictures of fun on the slopes, a day at the spa, tubing, dinners in the house, fun playing out in the snow, ski lift pictures, and sitting in the sun on the deck. By mid-week a phone call came and she said, “Mom, I’m so glad I’m here! We have had the best time. You know, we didn’t really all know each other that well when we came but now we’ve gotten really close and have had the best time being together! We have been able to relax, play games at night, pack lunches each day and just enjoy hanging out together.” Your normal spring break report, right?

Well, this is the part that makes Baylor, once again, so uniquely great. One day, Mary Scott called right in the middle of the day and I asked why she wasn’t skiing. She said, “Mom, I just decided to stay in today and have some quiet time alone. She told me “I wrote, had a long quiet time in the Word, prayed, listened to sermons and thought about the future. It was nice to just be still. Thank you, Mom, for letting me come.” How many college students do you know that go on spring break and take a mini retreat in the middle to dig deep in scripture, ponder their future, and then call to say “Thanks”?

After a week of skiing and relaxation, it was time for her to return to school. And very early Saturday morning, I received another text from Mary Scott at 3:23 AM claiming, “I’m back! Such fun!”

Third spring break in the books. One more to go. More memories to treasure. New friends along the way. In a day when so many students in so many other top tier colleges spend their spring break on one long continual binge of the “wild life”, Baylor students are a cut above; as someone once said, “These students are top drawer.” They have so much fun together and are grateful for every minute. Even though I personally knew only four of the eleven on the trip, I was not worried one minute about any of the group. You see, I have come to understand what constitutes a Baylor student and because of that, I knew they would look after each other and would be wise.

Studying the Word, breaking bread, laughter, snow, memories for a lifetime. This is the stuff of college as it should be.

This is the Baylor difference. It may not seem like an enormous thing but spring break at Baylor is just another reason why we love this school. The simple things sometime speak the loudest. Won’t you join the fun, Spring Break, Baylor- Style!

7 Traditions All Baylor Freshmen Should Know About

By Maggie Malone

With the recent announcing of awards for Baylor’s annual Sing participants, another great tradition has once again come to a close. In addition to Sing, there are so many great traditions to experience here.

Sing1. All University Sing Teams from Greek organizations compete in Broadway-style performances complete with their own themes, song choices, and costumes. Hours and hours of work are poured into each act. The one exception to mostly-Greek teams is called Sing Alliance, a group made up of any student who wants to participate in Sing. Tickets sell out fast so be sure you buy early!

Christmas2. Christmas on 5th Street Christmas at Baylor! This event happens right before finals week, and it is a good opportunity to chill with friends, sip some hot chocolate and enjoy the lights on campus. Also, there are talented choirs that perform, carriage rides, a live nativity, fantastic petting zoo and the annual tree lighting!

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3. Baylor Line One of the major experiences of being a freshman at Baylor! While wearing your personalized gold jersey, you and the rest of the freshmen run through the stadium before every home football game and line up to welcome the Baylor Bears onto the field. And by this I mean that there is a mad dash of hundreds of freshmen pouring onto the field. Right afterwards, the Line is able to enjoy fantastic seats … right behind the visitors’ bench! Sadly, because I perform with the marching band, I have never gotten to experience this tradition. But how do you join this esteemed Line of glory? You attend …

images-64. Line Camp Yes, we have Line Camp! And while it’s not mandatory for freshmen to attend, I highly, highly recommend it. You get to learn not only about the Line, but also about the rich history of Baylor University. You get to make your first friends at Baylor while having tons of fun. Hint: They have an amazing slip and slide.

Dr.Pepper

5. Dr Pepper Hour Every Tuesday in Barfield Drawing Room, Baylor serves up some delicious Dr Pepper floats! These floats are a nice cold treat, especially in the summertime when it gets really hot outside. Besides it being a great meet-up for friends, sometimes there are tables lined up featuring activities, clubs, study abroad information, and more! Bonus, you may even spot our president, Judge Ken Starr, and our mascot, Bruiser!

 

Mass Meeting

6. Freshman Mass Meeting This late night tradition during homecoming week is an important part of the Baylor experience. Freshmen gather together to listen to the story of the Immortal 10, some of Baylor’s finest students. I won’t spoil it for you, but it’s a great one. Afterwards, freshmen then go to help prepare what will become one of the greatest bonfires you will ever see. 

Dia

7. Diadeloso Ah, spring. Season of new life, warmer weather (hopefully), and Diadeloso! Meaning “day of the bear” in Spanish, and affectionately called “Dia” by Baylor students, this day off from school is a great chance to take a break from life and just have fun. It’s a university-wide holiday, which gives students the chance to hang out, go on a day trip, or just have a good time on campus. Baylor usually brings in cool shows to entertain as well. Last year we had an exotic petting zoo, a talented magician, and, at the end of the day, NEEDTOBREATHE. Grab your Dia tank and get out into that sunshine!

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I’ve only listed seven, but, as Baylor is an old university, we have plenty more traditions old and new to enjoy!

Lecture of a Lifetime

By Jaziah Masters

Recently on campus, Baylor welcomed one of the most inspirational leaders I have ever had the privilege of listening to. Bryan Stevenson serves as the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative. As part of the Academy for Leader Development lecture series, Bryan Stevenson was well informed on the idea of what it takes to be a leader. His message of social justice was not only for those who aspire to be lawyers, litigators or other legal occupations, it was for students of all majors. Stevenson believes that all people are capable of social change, and this was a consistent message throughout his lecture.

In anticipation for the lecture, we were encouraged to look at the TED Talk that Mr. Stevenson gave. Before I continue, I would encourage everyone to stop reading right now and go take a look at this particular talk.

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Stevenson brings up some good points, presented in humorous anecdotes. It is obvious that he is passionate about his work, and that passion inspired me to pursue something that I would love just as much, if not more. Stevenson is changing the world. The work is slow, and the work is tiresome, but at the end of the day, Stevenson is in fact making the necessary changes. He claims that we are all called to change the world. We can all play our part. This was the message echoed in the lecture Stevenson gave on Tuesday night.

The talk centered on the issue of injustice in America’s justice system. He addressed some surprising facts that I don’t believe most people normally give much attention to. But by the way Stevenson spoke about his experiences he was able to make the topic not only relatable, but also allowed the audience to practice empathy. It was a powerful message, and not the only topic discussed in the lecture…

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Stevenson was able to share with us his wholehearted belief that we could all be change agents. He gave us advice on how to rethink both ourselves and our ways, so that we would be open to opportunities that would allow us to service our community, both near and far. Because of Stevenson, I think defiantly about what it means to be a leader. Stevenson created a much needed dialogue on campus.

The biggest takeaway that I will give from this lecture is a simple phrase, “Hold on to the idea that you can change the world.” Everyone, in his or her own special way, has the capacity to do so, and I am grateful to Stevenson for bringing this message.

Fueled by Distraction

By Aaron Carter

One of the more nostalgic parts of my childhood is in the form of a restaurant that my family frequented when I was about five. It was a cheap, Greek-style place, with torn up carpet floors and dusty, fake plants hanging in every ceiling corner. Back then, you still had to specify that you wanted to sit in the non-smoking section. The glasses were a strange yellow color and all the food seemed like it had been fried. The placemats were thin white paper with an odd tan border design that looked like it had been borrowed from an ancient city somewhere.

I remember when that place got a TV. Everyone was excited. When that happened, instead of specifying whether or not they wanted to sit in the non-smoking section, customers began to specify whether or not they wanted to sit near the TV. They always did. Even some smokers abstained just to be near the screen. It was a major attraction.

Of course, we were all excited, especially my brother and I. It seemed like the future was finally moving in. I remember telling him that some day we’d have TVs that could fit in our pockets and play video games with graphics that were on par with the Nintendo 64. We would never be bored again.

Now, almost every dine-in restaurant has a TV. And if there are none in the dining area, there is nearly always one behind the bar. I used to make fun of my dad for spacing out and becoming absorbed by the screen. We would strategically position ourselves so that he wouldn’t face it and we could talk with him without worrying about him getting distracted. Today, there are screens everywhere, and I find myself getting distracted just like my dad, but not just by TVs. Everything has a screen now.

I’ve learned pretty quickly that I can’t actually study if there’s a screen in front of me. If I put my phone on the table next to my homework, it takes less than a minute for me to pick it back up again and click it back to life. It takes effort to have a conversation that goes further than simply skin-deep. If I go to a restaurant, there is almost nowhere I can sit where there isn’t some flash of light and motion ocurring in the corner of my eye. It takes work to stay focused.

I’m no Luddite, but it gets out of hand at times. I see students doing math problems at the library with a laptop open so they can take momentary breaks to check up on some notifications. I even see some people trying to read a textbook with their phone sitting on the page. It’s not an effective way to work and it’s definitely not an effective way to connect with a book, a writing project, or a person.

Even if you don’t think you are distracted, try eliminating screens from your view, just to see how much of a difference it makes. I know once the TV was set up in that restaurant, my family stopped engaging at the table as well as we used to. I also know that once we all had smart phones, interaction became shallower than a tide pool. Something tells me that it would be easy to get back to really focusing on each other if the screens weren’t such a big part of everything. It’s better to just plain focus than it is to have to continually refocus.

Interested in Intramurals?

By Maria Dillman

While Baylor may be known for its amazing Big 12 athletics in football, baseball, basketball and so on, a little less televised but nonetheless important activity is INTRAMURAL SPORTS. I’m pretty convinced these are one of the best activities to take part in at Baylor. Okay, I say that about everything at Baylor but just hear me out.

There are options to play any sport you could possibly think of. Everything from dress-up dodgeball tournaments, flag football, taekwondo, quidditch (yes, Harry Potter would be proud), to rock climbing and ping-pong. I try to sign up for every sport imaginable. Not just because I think I’m sporty or actually semi-decent at any sport, but also because it is

intramuralsjust a good time! You can make a team with your friends or student organization and then compete against other students. There are more competitive teams down to teams that just want try not to break their ankles or make a fool of themselves while getting a little change of scenery from the library. The seasons for each sport last about three weeks depending on the level and what type of sport it is. (For example, the big sports such as basketball and soccer last longer than say, a bowling tournament).

Being on a team is a great way to build comradery amongst your friends. You are fighting for a common goal and working together to accomplish something. It’s fun to cheer each other on and celebrate the wins and even encourage each other in the losses. Plus, if playing sports was something you were really into in high school, participating in intramurals is a great way to carry the tradition forward and continue in something that you love. Through the blood, sweat, and tears, it’s just one more way to make that much more out of your college experience. So no matter if it’s a win or a loss on the field, playing intramurals is definitely a win-win situation.

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