Photo: A Transfer

A Transfer's Life for Me - Part 2

First-Year Reflections


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

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I wrote at the beginning of the semester a blog describing my transition into JBU’s community as a transfer junior and the many difficulties that have come with that.  I am writing this blog as a follow up, and also to shed light that there are students walking on this campus that truly feel out of place or are having a hard time assimilating into the JBU community and how to reach out to them.

Ever since I wrote my last blog I have really struggled with what it means to “grow” within the student life here at John Brown University.  People don’t seem to understand that it is scary to be new, and it is scary to not be known.  While people acknowledge these facts with a sympathetic “wow the transition must be tough” or “Hey let’s get coffee sometime” rarely is action actually followed with these comments both by faculty and students.  I try to not look at these facts as a critical outlook towards JBU because less than a year ago I was part of the group at my last college that didn’t fully appreciate what it must mean to be all alone in a new place.  The reality of my first couple months here have actually given me a softer heart towards people who are equally struggling.  My mind often goes to the Walton students.  They are not only starting a new school, but at the same time they are transitioning into a new culture.  This outlook has given me greater perspective that although I feel alone there is always someone out there that needs a friend.

This leads me to my initial idea of growth.  I have struggled with this because my mindset hasn’t been one set on growth.  My mind has been so transfixed with my tribulations that I haven’t focused on what I could be doing to improve my situation, or improve the situation of those around me.  I have heard many solutions to this with some being “just get plugged in” or “ serve with a ministry locally” and the truth is I have tried both with the outcome both times of me just being confirmed that I feel very out of place here at John Brown University and Arkansas in general.  This has caused with me to wrestle with God “what is even my purpose here”?  This constant wrestling has led me to the constant pursuit of obtaining a “growth mindset” and also realizing that I am very selfish because I have only been thinking of myself.  While I know this is a tough season I look at it now as an opportunity to continue to reach out and grow through this season of my life.  As I stated before I now see things differently.  I was always well liked and had many friends, and because of that my heart was not sympathetic to those who were not well liked.  I look at this season as an opportunity for me to not necessarily to be reached out to, but for me to reach out to those who might feel alone.  I do not want to be the person who is casually throwing out the “let’s get coffee sometime” and not mean it.  I want to be a person that is desiring genuine relationships and that is what I intend on doing.  For those of you reading this both faculty and students please go and reach out to someone genuinely with the intent of getting to know them.    

Blog HomePosted By: Ethan Underwood - 2/21/18 4:00 PM



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