Dear Future Yellow Jackets,
It’s an honor to write a few words introducing you to campus and sharing what I’ve learned in the past three years of life as a Yellow Jacket! My name is Jake Johnson, and I’m serving as the Student Body President for this next year, which means I’ll hopefully be able to get to know a lot of you! Besides working in student government, I study political science, used to work as a Writing Center tutor, and am fascinated with history, politics, and leadership. I’m from a couple of different places, but I grew up mainly in Oklahoma and Colorado, and now my family lives in Hawaii, which is mind blowing!
Even though I’ve grown up in several different places, the one place that I truly call home is Cedarville. It’s the place where I grew deep in my relationship with the Lord and my relationships with others. It’s the place where I began to build healthy habits of daily Bible study and intentional community. It’s the place where I’ve learned more about myself and the man God has made me to be. Because of that and a thousand more reasons, when I think of Cedarville, I think of home.
During my time here, I’ve had the blessing of being involved in lots of things around campus. I played ultimate frisbee on the club team, went to debate tournaments with Cedarville’s debate team, served on Class Council my sophomore year, joined the service organization Alpha Chi, worked as a Writing Center tutor for several years, studied “abroad” in Washington, D.C., for a semester, managed the campaign of an SGA president, hosted several events for the student body, including Elliv, and worked as a Community Life Coordinator in Lawlor Hall. As I write all that out, I’m blown away by the opportunities that Cedarville has given me to grow, not just in my field of study but as a follower of Christ. And what’s great is that all of the opportunities are there for you too! Your journey as a student will be different than mine because we’re different people, but opportunities for growth and community are everywhere — you just have to have your eyes open to them.
One of the greatest joys I’ve had at Cedarville is being involved in student government, and this year, I have the privilege of serving as the Student Body President. In this role, I represent the voice of the student body to the administration, communicate the voice of the administration to the students, and boost campus morale. While those are my responsibilities, my heart is to encourage every Cedarville to PRESS IN. These two words represent a call to action for every one of us to make the most of our 1,000 days here at Cedarville. If we press into the Lord, into community, and into the life that God has given us, we’ll be positioned perfectly to enjoy this unique season of life to the fullest.
While I have a lot of insight and experiences to share with you, I definitely didn’t start out that way. When I was in your shoes, I remember showing up to campus nervous about where I would fit in and not sure exactly what I wanted to do. But, the great thing about walking with the Lord is that He never requires us to know what tomorrow will hold; all He cares about is how we’re living today. Not only that, He walks with us each step of the way!
Here are a couple of things I am so grateful that I was told as a freshman/wished I was told as a freshman on how to not just survive but thrive during freshman year:
- Pray. I could just stop at that one word, but I won’t. In high school, I didn’t have a rhythm of prayer throughout my day and to be honest, it was an afterthought most of the time. But during my freshman year at Cedarville, my desire and appreciation for talking to the Lord grew and grew, and during the loads of time that you’ll have walking in between buildings for classes or back to your dorm, say a prayer. It’s amazing how talking with the Lord reorients our perspective and reignites our love for others.
- Don’t stay up too, too late. This is one that I learned the hard way. Have fun and laugh till you cry, but try to get to bed at a decent hour. Those 8 and 9 a.m. classes come fast.
- Seek out people who know more than you, write out some questions, ask them, and listen to what the other person has to say. This could be your RA, one of your professors, or just a good friend. You can learn a lot by just listening to those around you, and your growth will be exponential!
Thanks for sticking with this blog post and reading some of my thoughts. I cannot wait for you to experience Cedarville this year and enjoy a year surrounded by a Christ-centered community. It’s the best.
See you soon!
Jake Johnson | Student Body President
Majoring in Political Science, Class of 2021
Favorite Place on Campus: Stevens Student Center
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Strawberry
Favorite Word: Communicative
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