A Freshman’s Perspective On Core Camp

Emily Nolasco, freshmen communication major at Southwestern Adventist University, shares her CORE camp experience.

Here it is. What I’ve been waiting for my whole life; what I’ve been practicing for, you could say. College, I am finally here. I have to say with all honesty that I never thought I’d be here at Southwestern. I was planning on Hill College, then on to Walla Walla; but God had different plans for me. So here I am: palms sweating, butterflies churning, nervous as could be with dread settling in at the bottom of my stomach.

First up: registration, oh boy. I love how anyone could tell who the freshmen were. You just looked at them and whoever had their parents by their side was a freshman. As I went through the steps, got my ID, saw my friends, and introduced myself to a new girl, I got more and more excited.

Next up, we had a beautiful commitment service in the church and walked through the Mizpah Gate. There we said hello to the faculty and staff. By this point I was ready to get started and begin the college experience but no, I had to wait until next Tuesday.

Thursday and Friday morning were filled with testing and meetings that were informative and helpful. Then Friday we had some afternoon fun at Splash Station in Cleburne. A few of us played Marco Polo and I got to know people on the bus ride. By this time I was pretty comfortable in my own skin with all of my new friends.

We had vespers that night in the Mabee Center and it was amazingly spiritual and overall a great experience. I woke up Sabbath morning pumped for church, ready to praise God, and that was what we did. We finally had our afternoon naps and after supper we had another awesome vespers.

Earlier we had been split into groups and given an assignment to create a skit or song, whatever we wanted, that showcased a Bible verse. It also had to showcase something that we use in our everyday lives. My team chose the Bible verse Philippians 4:8, 9: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable –if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

That verse is a personal favorite of mine. We chose headphones as the “everyday item,” because what you hear and take in with your mind is eventually what you will give back. Every group had great skits with inspiring messages that made you stop and think.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Sunday we went to the Tarleton challenge, which is basically a ropes course with some team building exercises. I had been through the same ropes course four years ago for my freshman camp at Chisholm Trail Academy. I remember not having any fun and thinking it was lame. Needless to say, I didn’t have high expectations for it this time around, but was pleasantly surprised with what happened. Four years ago I wasn’t as outgoing as I am now. So I decided if I was going to do things; it would be on my own terms.

I went on every high element (such as the poles, and zip line) and I participated in all group exercises. It was a great time, not just because of the course, but because of the people. I made so many new friends and you could say we started to bond as a class. At this point I was so eager to start classes that I wished I could fast forward to Tuesday.

On Monday morning we took a College Base Assessment test, which I’m not going to sugar coat at all. It was a boring, four-hour-long test to see how much we knew going into college. That evening we had Handshake and it was a lot of fun to meet people from other classes. There were many games, and different things to do. I, for one, rode a mechanical bull for the first time in my life and I have a nasty scar to prove it!

Now here I am on my 18th birthday going on day three of college classes, and I have to say I loved every single bit of CORE camp. CORE stands for Character. Opportunity. Responsibility. Eternity. What a great acronym to go by as we start out our freshman year.

It’s going to get crazy, but with things I have learned this past week, and things I am going to learn, I believe that I’ll make it. After all, if I were at Hill, would I be writing this great article as a communication major with an emphasis in journalism? I do not think so. I strongly believe that this is where God wants me right now. He has great things in store not only for me, but for the rest of my freshman class. Go Class of 2016!

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