Lessons Learned in College: How to Make Friends

As you can imagine, friendships in college are very different from friendships formed in high school or prior. College is a big time of growth and change for most people, and that includes relationships. I’m a junior this year, and I live with a girl named Molly that I met in my dorm freshmen year. Molly and I became fast friends for several reasons, but I think the biggest bonding moment for us was when she jumped out of a dryer at me. Yes, you read that correctly, and yes, I will explain.

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Lip Sync 2011

Tracy Berg (left) and Bailey Dekker show off their Lip Sync prizes from 2009

Every year George Fox University has a Lip Sync competition. Every year students put together wild mash-ups of songs ranging in genre from classics to the latest hip-hop beats. And every year the acts get more and more outrageous. This year was no exception.

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Medallion Search 2011

From left to right: Tracy Berg, Dan Kephart and Spencer Eager with the medallion
College students aren’t known for having a lot of money. In fact, I would say that we’re known for doing just about anything for money, including digging through bushes and spending our free time researching our school’s history. At least that’s what many George Fox students do to win money during our annual Medallion Search.

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Coming Home to Fox

Tracy enjoys an Otter Pop outside her apartment

For me, moving back to school changes each year. There’s always the same goodbye dinner at home, the same bittersweet farewells to friends, the same drive up Highway 99 to Newberg. However, coming onto campus always feels different each September. I’m in an apartment instead of a dorm this year, and I feel much, much older. Okay, I feel a little bit older. I mean, my roommates and I did watch “Horton Hears a Who” together last night, but I am cooking a couple meals for myself, so that’s different.

It usually takes me a few weeks to adjust to being back in school. I forget that I have homework to do or classes to go to, and I just want to sit in the sun and eat Otter Pops all afternoon. I have found, however, that if you manage your time really well and work hard at getting your homework done early, a red cherry Otter Pop on the bench out front will taste even better.

I love coming back and meeting new people, as well as seeing old friends. My four roommates and I are already planning a trip to the coast this weekend, and I can’t wait for our first trip of the year into Portland. Voodoo Doughnuts here we come!

I have discovered one thing that never changes – your college experience is always going to be what you make it. I came to George Fox University hoping to push myself, to learn, to grow, and to make lifelong friends and lifelong memories. So far, I’ve done that every single year. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen in the next nine months!

What are you going to do with your college experience?

A Leap of Faith

It rains a lot in Oregon. That’s just something we deal with here at George Fox University. When it rains, the ground tends to get a little soggy and muddy. Some days, though, the sun comes out and dries everything up, and the grassy areas become firm instead of squishy.

I like to take a shortcut across the grass when I walk to work, but if it’s just rained, I can’t always tell how the ground is going to feel. It cuts a solid minute off my walk, and sometimes I risk it when I’m running just a tad late, but I hate it when I’m part way through the grass, and then it gets soggy. There’s no way of knowing whether or not the grass in the middle of the field is going to be soft or firm without taking that risk and walking out into it.

This may sound a little cheesy, but that’s exactly how I felt choosing a college. I really couldn’t tell what I was getting myself into until I was halfway into it. No matter how many times you visit a school, or look at its website, or talk to current students, you just can’t know for sure how it will be for you. And that’s where that element of trust comes in.

When I first visited George Fox, I knew it felt right, and I thought it was where the Lord wanted me, but that feeling wasn’t tangible until I was actually here. I took those steps to come to George Fox without really knowing what the middle of the field looked like. But you know what? From where I’m standing now, right in the center of it, I can tell you that for me, this is a pretty solid grassy field.

Are you willing to have some faith and step out of your comfort zone to find the right school for you?

Meet Tracy!

Name: Tracy Berg

Birthday: April 23rd, 1991

From Corvallis, Oregon

Sophomore – Business management major

Favorite place in Newberg: Bald Peak State Park

I chose to come to George Fox because after I visited the school my junior year of high school, every time I’d say the word “college” I would picture myself walking across the quad here. It just felt right.

Random fact: The only item on my bucket list is to visit every continent. So far I’ve crossed off North America, Europe, and Africa.

Swing Dancing the Night Away

Dan Kephart, me (Tracy Berg), Sarah Roberts and Spencer Eager after dancing the night away.

There are a lot of perks to being a part of a small college. For example, at George Fox we only have one cafeteria, and that fits everyone just fine.

When you have a fairly small student body (1,800 undergrad students), your whole school can attend the same dance. Freshman and seniors, blowing up the same dance floor. Gotta love it!

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