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Photo by Mackenzie Lee

Photo by Mackenzie Lee

It was a scorching day in the middle of August. The sun was beating down on my burnt shoulders, and I was petrified. What was I thinking? Why did I come here? These people were practically strangers. Why did they care if I did this or not?

“Mackenzie, look how easy it is!” yelled a crazy person before running and jumping off the highest cliff I had ever seen at Heber Springs.

After 30 minutes of uncertainty and extreme butterflies, the encouraging words from these new friends made a difference. Somehow my planted feet left the ground, launching me through the open air and high above the lake before being submerged into the water below.

That day was the beginning of countless lessons on friendship, faith and fearlessness that came from my freshman year at Harding. Many challenges and opportunities worked together to forge me into much of the person that I am today. Old fears were conquered and new interests emerged as unimaginable doors opened.

To all of those freshmen out there wrapping up your first week of college life, I encourage you to remember these three tips to make the most out of your freshman year.

1. Keep your eyes open.
You are surrounded by possibilities. Throw away any stereotypes you may have heard about a club or event, and experience it for yourself! Always be on the lookout for different ways to get involved including service projects, intramural sports or local small groups. Make conversation with that person that sits behind you in chapel instead of looking down at your phone. Make it your mission to encourage one person each day as some of your friends may struggle with the transition to college life.

2. Embrace the all-nighters.
Developing good study habits early on is a great idea, but I can’t say I followed this piece of advice too often. Did you stay at Sonic with everyone until curfew instead of working on that stack of homework? Return to your room, make a fresh pot of coffee and learn to embrace the all-nighter. Hang out in your dorm lobby or study room with friends. The work always gets done somehow, and the memories will be priceless.

3. Savor each day.
As tempting as it may be to visit home every other weekend, choose to spend quality time with new friends instead. Your investment will pay off in dividends in the years to come. Find creative things to do around Searcy, check out one of the many great hiking trails up in the Ozarks, or spend a slow Saturday morning at Midnight Oil. Each day is a gift, and your time this year is precious. Remember to always savor each day and thank God for the gift of being able to attend a university like Harding.

Mackenzie Lee (‘14)
Director of Missouri Safe and Sober

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Whether you’re beginning your first semester in Sears or ending your college career in Legacy Park apartments, moving out of your home and into your new space can seem like an overwhelming task with an underwhelming amount of square footage.

Here are a few steps to remember when packing up and picking things out:

1. If you don’t need it, leave it.
One of the biggest mistakes I made moving into the dorm my freshman year was feeling like I had to bring everything I owned in order to make the place feel like home and have access to all of my stuff. But in reality that’s exactly what it was — stuff — stuff that I had to wash, dishes I had to clean, and, of course, laundry I had to lug around. Needless to say, if you don’t need it, leave it and know that it will be waiting for you as you return home for breaks.

2. Maximize space — minimize hassle.
Before your loved ones leave you to fend for yourself and before you unload everything into your tiny closet and cabinets, make sure to find the best configuration for your room setup. Be sure to consider bunking your beds as this makes for much more floor space. Be mindful of outlets, windows and access to anything you may need before you put everything in its place.

3. Respect or regret.
Moving into a new environment with new people can be a sure shock, but to ensure a healthy living situation and a room of relaxation, respect one another’s things. If you don’t respect, you may end up with regret as your roommate may have stolen back the shoes you were planning to wear the next day.

4. Personalize and accessorize.
One of the greatest parts of moving into your room is finally having a blank space to create your own work of art or pursue your passion for studying … In my case, I was finally leaving a banana yellow room that had been the same since I was 8 and entering into a brand new dorm room full of people and possibilities. Make your room the way you and your roommate agree for it to be and enjoy all the fun there is to making it your own. Use adhesive strips, and get creative with ribbon, paper clips, photographs, stacking, mirrors, lamp lighting and accessorizing. You’ll never know all the potential of a place until you truly utilize your abilities and accessories to create your nice, new, Harding-approved home.

Hannah Robison, (’14)
Student publications secretary

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Photo credit: Jeff Montgomery

Photo credit: Jeff Montgomery

This month, I turn the big 3-0. I’ve found that the feeling of “being old” brought on by kissing my 20s goodbye is made even worse on a college campus, where everyone is perpetually 18-22. The gap between each incoming group grows larger, and my grasp on all things current grows weaker. I’ve noticed fashions that I witnessed the rise and fall of are coming back as “retro” and bands I once listened to are having reunion tours. Shows I watched the premiers of now run on Nick at Night and students passing me in the hall call me “ma’am.”

I realize that I am, in fact, getting old. With the wisdom of my 30 years, I have created four ways to help you determine if you, too, are getting old.

There is new technology you just don’t understand. I remember getting our first computer when I was a kid. I could click, scroll and surf circles around my parents from day one. My mother still struggles with how to get on the Internet, which is why I am comfortable sharing that bit of information about her online — she’ll never find it. (Love you, Mom!) But now, I find myself confronted with technology that leaves me scratching my head. Tumblr, YikYak, Reddit … I feel like those are words you try to sneak in when you’re out of real words in Scrabble … I mean Words With Friends.

There is a world of new vocabulary you can’t translate. Bae. On fleek. LOLZ. If any of these words were to come out of my mouth, I would sound like the out of touch stepdad in the Jimmy Fallon “Ew!” sketch. I checked out the moment saying things like “I was distracted because Internet” or “I ate an entire bag of Doritos because hunger” became acceptable. You can find me over here, saying “because of” with the other elderly grammarians.

You were there for the origin of something that seems completely necessary now. When I tell people that texting wasn’t around when I was in high school, I get the same reaction that I gave my great grandmother when she told me she rode a horse to school. I can also pinpoint where I was the moment I first went surfing on the worldwide Web and when Facebook came to Harding. The Internet is like running water now; to not have it is to feel like Laura Ingalls Wilder in “Little House on the Prairie.”

Something that once seemed completely necessary is now obsolete. Remember AOL Instant Messenger? I do. Remember dial-up Internet? I do. Remember a landline with an 80-foot twisty cord? Remember the landline in general? All of these things had a huge presence in my adolescence and have fallen by the wayside in the years since. Now all of these things are wrapped up in a device no bigger than a cassette tape, but don’t try explaining a cassette tape to an incoming freshman.

If these apply to you, then welcome to the club. To become a member, simply raise your right hand and repeat after me: “Kids these days …”

Jennifer Hannigan, copy editor/writer

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HUB blog 8.1.15I don’t consider myself an expert at much, but if there is one thing I like to do and am fairly good at, it is finding a good deal. I like it best when it is for items I or my family must have.

So it makes me glad to let you know you can save the 9.5 percent tax on textbooks, Harding apparel and school supplies at Harding University Bookstore tomorrow.

You see, Aug. 1 is a tax-free holiday for the state of Arkansas, and the bookstore will be open from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Come by and take advantage of tax-free prices on items you or your student will need to purchase in just a few weeks.

Do you live too far away or can’t come by to shop? Place your order online today or tomorrow, and the bookstore will give you the tax-free rate and hold your books and apparel until you return.

It’s always good to save but even better when it reduces your school bill for the fall.

Tom Buterbaugh, editor/designer

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With a network of more than 55,000 alumni of record, Harding University values and cherishes connections and relationships with alumni, and we want to stay in touch with you. Here are a few ways you can stay connected to Harding after you graduate.

1. Visit campus
This might seem a little obvious, but there is just something about coming back and walking the sidewalks you once walked as a student. Though I am an employee, there are places I still don’t venture to often. Visiting the library brings me back to cram sessions for finals. Going into dorm lobbies reminds me of game and movie nights with friends. Contact the college from which you graduated, and connect with former professors and even current students in the programs you participated in. Visit campus, and experience the memories rushing back to you and the nostalgia setting in.

There are a number of great events happening throughout the year that are perfect opportunities to connect with your friends and remind you of your Harding experience:

2. Utilize services offered for alumni
There are a several offices on campus that offer professional services and resources for alumni. Career Services provides resume reviewing free of charge, and as alumni, you have access to the online job search tool that Career Services maintains, which is called Bison Career Search. Specifically, alumni of the College of Business have access to COBA Link, the online job search tool for business majors and graduates.

3. Watch chapel
You can come visit campus and sit in on any chapel throughout the school year, but did you also know you can live stream chapel every day to your personal devices? Just visit http://thelink.harding.edu/tv16 at 10 a.m. Central Time, and spend worship and devotional time with the rest of the Harding community.

4. Connect on social media
Perhaps the easiest thing you can do to stay connected to Harding and its many areas is to connect with Harding on social media. You can find a list of University-related social media accounts here. From academic departments to international programs, you can connect with any area you’re interested in and stay up to date on the latest events and information.

5. Update us on your life
Many areas of campus love reaching out to alumni to build relationships and make meaningful connections with them. There are forms on line here to update the alumni office on new jobs and promotions, life events like marriages and the birth of a child, moves to new areas, and awards and honors. Let Harding know what’s going on with you, and make sure we know where you are so we can let you know about activities and events on campus.

6. And finally, read Harding magazine.
In Harding magazine, we try to cover a wide variety of topics to inform our alumni audience about our growing and changing university. Programs are being added, people are stepping up into new leadership roles, and new areas of campus are being created and expanded. The “Around Campus” section of the magazine features news like this and more, and the “Connections” section highlights your friends and classmates and seeks to keep you informed about their life updates and achievements. Connect with the staff by emailing hardingmag@harding.edu, and share your thoughts and ideas with us. We’d love to hear from you.

Hannah Owens, director of news services

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Director of Photo ServicesFrom the moment we wake up in the morning to the moment our eyes close at the end of the day, we’re often thinking about ourselves — what we need to do before we leave the house for the day, what we want to eat for breakfast, what clothes we want to wear to look presentable, what we need to get done at work, what other people need to do at work to help us get our own job done, and how hungry, thirsty, tired, annoyed or happy we are. Sometimes thinking of other people just does not come naturally.

Maybe it comes naturally for some people, but for some of us, it takes a little practice to be outwardly focused. Here are a few things to try to do on a regular basis to transition your focus on and show love to others.

1. Wake up in the morning and say a prayer for someone else.
It’s not hard for someone who needs prayers to come to mind. It’s everyone —your boss, your neighbor, and your cashier at Kroger. Start your day with someone else’s needs on your mind. Sometimes I pray for strangers I don’t even know. About a year ago, I saw a man walking down the highway pulling a bag behind him. He still comes to my mind often, and I pray for him wherever he is and whatever he’s doing at that moment.

2. Do something nice for someone for no reason.
Has someone ever paid for a meal of yours in a restaurant or in a drive-thru line? Has that person ever been someone you have never met in your life? Have you ever come home to a mown lawn? “Random acts of kindness,” as they’re so famously called, are great ways to turn your focus to others and see their needs. It makes an even bigger impact on you when you do it knowing you won’t receive recognition.

3. Encourage your coworkers.
Leave a kind note on someone’s keyboard. Send an email to someone who you’ve noticed has been working hard or excelling on a particular project. Criticism is easy to give, and there’s a really good chance that your one compliment might be the only positive thing a person hears about his or her performance at work in an entire day. It doesn’t take long, and it doesn’t require a 1,000-word essay of thought. Think of how it makes you feel when you receive praise at work, and let that feeling drive your actions toward others.

4. Send written letters.
Whether it’s scribbled on a worn out piece of paper or scripted on a decorative greeting card, people like getting mail. From thank you notes to “just because” cards, there’s just something so uniquely personal about a note that someone has taken the time to write to you, especially in such a digitally saturated age. Recently, a professor told me that often on a bad day, the folder of encouraging notes and cards comes out as a positive reminder and a little personal reinforcement. Whether it goes in a drawer never to be seen again or it goes in a frame, you can really turn around someone’s day with a little paper and ink.

These are just a few things I try to do to break habits of selfish thinking. What are some ideas you suggest?

Hannah Owens, director of news services

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