Bethany Van Eps
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COOL THINGS I DID AT DORDT
I am involved in the Business Club as the managerial co-president, I’m a section leader in Concert Choir, a theatre scholarship holder, a member of the speech team, and the web publisher for The Diamond. I'm a defender ambassador, which means I sometimes lead tours for admissions, and I’m the Best Semester Alumni Ambassador so I get to plan events and chat with people about study abroad programs. I am also a middle school youth leader at Bethel CRC in Sioux Center(this is my third semester). I was a PLIA leader once and I’ve been a WoW leader twice.
I think I got involved because they were all things I was interested in and the smaller scale of Dordt made it very possible for me to be involved in it all. I’ve always liked being busy and have a problem self-moderating (aka saying no) so the more doors opened for me, the more I added to my plate. But I’ve enjoyed every second of it.
I have met so many amazing people through my involvement. Every activity serves a different major or interest or hobby so the overlap in people in my activities isn’t huge. I’ve loved getting to meet and build relationships with people of different majors from different places with different interests who l, without our shared activity, never would have met. I think that has helped me learn about myself on some level as well. I have discovered that I love being well-connected and having that diverse friend group. My favorite thing is walking to class in the morning and seeing how many people I know and can say hi to on the sidewalk. I kept a list once and it was like 15 people, and a lot of them I know from different activities.
Time management is also a big lesson I’ve learned through saying ‘yes’ to so much. Keeping school, sleep, a social life and co-curriculars all running at 100% isn’t always possible, so there have been lots of late nights locked in study rooms. Memories like that will stay engrained for a while. It reminds me to manage my time better and sometimes to say no when new opportunities arise.
VALUABLE EXPERIENCES AT DORDT
I love the theatre department because I have done theatre forever, from elementary school drama camps to summer community productions. I’ve pretty much always been a part of it in some way, but I have never done it like Dordt does it. The first show I was in was Godspell (which, wow, it was four years ago and I still can’t believe I got to do that as a freshman). From the first rehearsal I could tell that this particular group of artists was different than anything I had experienced because it wasn’t just about the show for them, it was about the story and the characters. Putting on a pretty show is easy enough, but taking the time and energy to truly craft a show, to pay attention to details like motivation, realizations and character development is a lot of work. I’ve loved doing theatre this way for four years because I think it really helps cultivate empathy and shows a respect and reverence for the gift that God gave us in theatre and in artistic expression.
I’ve also met some of the kookiest, most hilarious people through theatre so that’s a bonus.
WHAT I WOULD TELL PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS
My first piece of advice would be to say yes. Go to campus events, talk to people at the club fairs, show up to random club meetings, join a choir for a semester, audition for a praise band. We have the unique opportunity at Dordt to try it all, and as as my time here is drawing to a close I am realizing how much of a gift that really is. Say yes to joining things, or at least checking them out, and say yes to the friendships that might develop there. There are some random super cool clubs on this campus, run by some passionate people who would love to meet you.
My second piece of advice, if you’re worried about fitting it all in, is: take a breath, don’t worry. It’ll get done. It always does. Sometimes it’s at 11:58 p.m. and sometimes it’s only after fighting sleep until 4 a.m. to finish a reading, but it’ll get done, and when it does, the memories of the fun things you did and the cool things you were apart of, will outweigh those of the long nights.