Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Preparing you for a year of academics
My name is Janelle Wills and I am one of the Kaleo program interns this year. I am so excited to meet you all very soon and I am already anticipating the incredible ways that God is going to grow you throughout the year! As you are preparing to jump into the Kaleo program in September, I want to give you a little heads-up on the academic component of the program.
When I was a student in the Kaleo program during the 2012-2013 school year, academics played a huge role in how God was shaping and transforming me. As you know, the Kaleo program is so much more than fun out-trips and crazy adventures. It is an opportunity to dig deep into Scripture, to stretch your heart and mind, and to grow in godly character as you learn from some of the best professors Briercrest has to offer! For me, academics pushed me to wrestle through important truths that grew to shape my entire outlook on life and faith. I hope and pray that each of you takes full advantage of this opportunity to be radically shaped by academics. Trust me, you will not regret it. ;)
In order to make the most of your academic studies, it is important that you have an accurate expectation about what is coming. I’m not gonna lie – sitting through class lectures, reading books, and writing papers is going to take up a lot of your time and energy. At times course work might feel like your worst enemy. But push through the challenges and I believe academics can produce some of the best rewards. There is no way around the academic requirements of the program, so you might as well embrace it and give it your all. Your hard work will be so worth it! So do not underestimate the benefits of striving for academic excellence. Invite God to challenge and change you as you honestly seek for the truth and as you give each course your best effort.
Although I want to stress the weight of academics, I also want to ease some of your worry. Here are a few practical tips that will help you strive for academic excellence and make the most of your studies at Qwanoes:
#1. Don’t fret! Anytime God calls you to do something He also equips you to do it. He asks you to give Him your best and then He uses that for His purposes. One of the big things I learned as a Qwanoes/Briercrest student was how to be content with doing the best I could with the time I was given. Even if academics is not one of your strengths, continually give it your best shot in every circimstuance and trust God to walk with you in the process.
#2. Don’t procrastinate! Know your deadlines, use your time wisely, and hold each other accountable. The class schedule has been specifically structured for your success, but at the end of the day it’s up to you to get things done. Stay on top of your readings and assignments and you will find that the workload is totally manageable.
#3. Utilize your resources! Read your syllabi, attend academic workshops, use the Qwanoes library, talk to your professors, ask your leaders for help... Everything you need to do well is made available to you, so take advantage of that.
#4. Learn together! One of the cool things about the Kaleo program is that you get to do everything in a close community of like-minded people. Share what you’re learning with others, explore hard concepts together, and help everyone reach their full potential. In a community, success means ALL of you succeeding together.
#5. Take action! The Kaleo program is unique in that it incorporates so many opportunities to practice what you are learning in real life situations. Be intentional to apply new concepts as you engage in church ministry, camp ministry, community life, leadership opportunites, and outdoor adventures. Your desire to learn and grow will continually increase as you demonstrate genuine character growth in your daily life.
As you wrestle through new and challenging concepts, I hope that you ultimately pursue God above all else. Be stoked about academics as one of the ways God is going to reveal himself to you, and be ready to respond when He shows up amidst the mundane, the stressful, and the engaging demands of the Kaleo program.
See you soon! : )