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President Whitlock Offers Advice for Students as They Begin Fall Semester

August 21, 2014

"Over the next four years, you'll be making some of the most consequential and important decisions you will ever make. In fact, if you were to concentrate some of the most significant decisions you will make in your entire life, many of them relate back to the decisions you make during these four years.

"Because I know God has a plan for you, and that plan divinely includes your investment of time here on Bison Hill, I have seven challenges and hopes for you. Follow these if you want to be successful, if you want to discover that plan God has for you and if you want to fulfill that plan God has given you."

Dr. David Whitlock, OBU president

1. Go to Class. "You'll find your success rate is vastly improved if you'll just do this one thing; and after all, that's your job over the next four years. Our core values include academic excellence and a focus on learning. Commit to going to class, every single day."

Sounds simple, but it's so important. This is why you are here.

2. Join a campus organization. "Your success as a college student will greatly increase if you become involved in a campus organization. Get involved with clubs and activities."

Did you find your place at Un Cuerpo? Still looking for the right organizations to plug into? We have over 60 student organizations waiting for you.

3. Get involved in campus ministries. "We do better when we behave as God designed us and God designed us to live in community."

Worship. Small groups. Service. Missions. Opportunities abound in campus ministry at OBU.

4. Be a friend. "Reach out to others and make a friend. Actively be a friend to somebody."

Be on the lookout for other students who need a friend. It may be some of the most significant ministry you ever do.

5. Join a local church. "There are lots of good local congregations here in Shawnee where you can plug in and be involved. It's not going to feel the same as your home church and it's not going to have the same familiarities that you enjoy about your home church. But that doesn't change the accountability we all have to live in community with a group of believers outside of OBU. Your new church will be different, but it'll be good."

Get active in a local church and serve the Lord where He leads you. Don't wait several weeks, don't wait a semester…do it now. Ask God where He wants you to worship during your four years on Bison Hill.

6. Make wise and healthy decisions. "As you set the trajectory for the rest of your life, you'll adopt a propensity for decision making from things like what you eat to things you choose to do and places you choose to go. Make healthy decisions. Be smart. Make wise decisions that don't trip you up with long term negative consequences."

Spend time with the right people who lead you down the right path. The choices you make now will last a lifetime. Make the right ones.

7. Engage a diverse world. "Part of my prayer for you is that not only do you pursue academic excellence and strive for excellence in everything you do, but that you go out and engage a diverse world. Don't just prepare to engage a diverse world after graduation or some day down the road, but do it now during your four years on Bison Hill. Make a difference now."

Use your faith along with the knowledge and experiences learned here to tell others about Christ and to impact the world around you. Don't wait for the future to make an impact on others. Do it today.

Have a great semester and make the most of your time on Bison Hill.