Five things to do before leaving the nest

By Luke Hertzler – Horizon News & Features Editor

A chapel about the Syrian conflict meeting in the Hesston Mennonite Community Center.

1) Grow in the personal and spiritual aspects of your life.

John Sharp invited Bible and Ministry students over to his house for brunch at the end of last year. It was a great celebration of all the education, growth, and mentorship that went on through the classes. When first beginning out at Hesston, it is significant to be intentional about accepting professors into your life and seeking out opportunities to grow in your faith. Take time to get to know your professors outside of the classroom through moments described above. Attend interesting chapels because you want to, not because you have to, interact with peers at revamped campus worship sessions, and sing your heart out at hymn sings (the best ones being in the racquetball courts).

Sophomore Bruno Cadillo Quispe working in the library.

2) Find your passions in life along with friends you’ll have for a lifetime.

This semester I used windy days to create rollerblade wind sailing. Some of my friends have brought back childhood games like the floor is lava and sardines. On Bel Canto tour we even created our own game from Candy Land pieces and called it Escape from Candy Land. To really seek out your passions, choose classes that are interesting to you and that you’ll enjoy taking. Also try new things. You may realize you really enjoy lifting weights, teaching others, hands on learning, ceramics, racquetball, and other things. Really put your mind to the things that you want to do and pursue them. Make lots of friends and do creative activities with them. Anytime throughout the year you can make friends with someone. Spark up a conversation at a meal with random people, be involved in clubs and sports teams, and immerse yourself within mod living.

Freshman Ivonne Ledesma shops at Nest@112. Photo by Jenna Ratzlaff

3) Engage in the local community of Hesston.

I’ve visited The Nest@112 to buy a handmade scarf as a Christmas present, homemade potpourri for my mom, and even flowers from their florist. They also offer stylish and simple signs, pillows, clothes, and furniture. For a brother mod activity I took my boys to Stutzman’s Cabin to hang out, listen to music, fish, paddle board, explore, play cornhole, throw frisbee, and fellowship with food. Since this is the town that you live in, you might as well interact with the locals, businesses, and areas around. Forget Walmart and buy local, seek out a church to attend on Sundays, become a big brother or a big sister, attend local high school sports events, and get into the school spirit by cheering on the Larks in all 14 sports on campus.

4) Explore the wider community and invest yourself in it. 

For instance go on field trips to places such as:

Travel Kansas at Coronado Heights. Photo by Michael Oyer
  • The Wichita art museum
  • Etcetera thrift store
  • Book Reviews bookstore
  • Meridian Grocery
  • Prairie Harvest
  • Coronado Heights

Find culinary gems – beyond Newell’s and Druber’s – when you and your friends are hungry such as:

  • Rene’s, a cheap burrito shop in Wichita open 24 hours
  • The Hana Cafe, a great place for sushi
  • Bogey’s, a shake stop that has over a hundred different flavors
  • The Breadbasket, a homestyle restaurant with a German buffet

Attend events and experiences such as:

  • Wichita Thunder hockey games which always has a great atmosphere
  • Food truck rallys that provide a good option of well-made food and drinks
  • The Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale that has good verinikka
  • Winter Jam concert which is only $15 at the door
A beautiful sky in Shickley, Nebraska. Photo by Chris Lichti

5) Explore areas outside of Kansas by taking advantage of school/sports trips and breaks.

Before the school year even started I took a trip with the soccer team to Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp in Colorado for a week of service, soccer, and fellowship. At the end of the year there are opportunities to take school trips to places such as Philadelphia, Japan, and Thailand. For Thanksgiving break I visited the metropolis of Shickley, Nebraska with local Chris Lichti. I enjoyed meeting his friends and family, playing football in the annual Shickley Turkey Bowl, attending a Nebraska Huskers football game, and eating a lot of food.

The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience. ~Eleanor Roosevelt

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