Leaving the Bethel bubble

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Many Bethel students recognize some form of the “Bethel Bubble,” the idea that Bethel’s community is somewhat sheltered from the outside world. But whether they view it in a positive or negative light is up for debate. As a senior myself, I’ve often felt the pressures of life inside the Bethel Bubble, and have had many conversations with fellow classmates as to how they relate to the “bubble’s” effects. As campus is drawing near to graduation 2017, what is it like inside the minds of current seniors leaving the Bethel Bubble, as well as seniors who have already left its “sudsy” effects? Every individual had a different take on their time at Bethel, and every story is helpful in grasping the overall picture. Meagan Fisher, a current senior majoring in philosophy and English, reflected on her experience at Bethel College, as well as the future she’s currently working toward. “Being on the track team has been a huge part of my experience,” said Fisher. “The team feels like it’s a third of the school and so that helps you to get to know a lot of people.” Concerning her feelings on the future, Fisher said, “I’m excited about what’s coming next and know that I know what I’m doing, for at least the next two years. I’m going on to Princeton, but I’m definitely going to miss the friends that I’ve made here, but it’s kind of a part of life.” She went on to add, “Occupation-wise I still have no idea what I’m going to do or even want to do, but I feel like as far as being prepared for the next schooling that I’m going to take part in, I’m just pretty well-prepared here. I think Bethel doesn’t always do the greatest job of preparing people to interact with the world outside of Bethel, but I’m not sure if that necessarily applies to me, since I’ve been outside of Bethel several times,” Fisher states. Fisher also spoke a bit about her feelings about leaving the “Bethel Bubble.” “I remember a chapel speaker a while ago talking about how he couldn’t replicate his college experience out in the real world, and I think that’s definitely a thing here, because there is an unreasonable amount of Bible studies that you could be a part of if you want to, and we have chapel that’s mandatory and that’s not out there in the real world, so I think in that side of things you definitely have to be intentional with it in order to continue doing those sorts of things outside of Bethel,” said Fisher. “But I think Bethel tries really hard to get people to be open-minded and have those hard conversations, which people don’t really want to have, so I think in that side of things people are pretty well-prepared to leave.” Jessica Carter, who recently graduated from Bethel with a B.A. in Music with double concentrations in violin performance and music theory, also spoke about her experience in the Bethel world. “It was a very distinct experience from St. Mary’s, where I transferred from, because St. Mary’s was a party school, and Bethel definitely is not which is good,” said Carter. “It fit into my personality and upbringing. I had likeminded classmates and continually saw a Christ-like love and openness.” Carter also spoke about her plans since graduating. “I’m searching for how I can use my degree and move into my desired field,” she said. “I currently am looking at IU for Music Composition, (and I was) accepted into an intensive in Chicago and am cast into Bethel’s production of ‘(the) Miracle Worker.’” “The unknown of the professional world can be a bit scary, which is the part about leaving Bethel that truly scares me,” said Carter. “Just having to find the opportunities that are available on my own.” Regarding her expectations of leaving the Bethel Bubble, Carter shared, “I didn’t really feel as though I was ever really a part of the Bethel Bubble because I had no block or freshman orientation due to transferring in. But I did get the feeling of structure from classes and a busy schedule; friends were also basically on demand,” Carter stated. Finally, Victoria Gural, another recent Bethel grad who majored in vocal performance and is currently working at Disney in Orlando Florida, said of her experience at Bethel, “I enjoyed my time at Bethel, although being a recent graduate I kind of wish that the senior experience class had dealt with more issues such as taxes and health insurance . . . adult world issues.” Gural also shared a bit about her future plans. “I’m planning to stay down in Florida for a while; the people are lovely; the weather is lovely and I just all around enjoy it,” she said. “I’m hoping to go seasonal at some point but we’ll see.” Lastly, regarding her experience with the Bethel Bubble, Gural stated, “Making friends is more difficult without the built-in times and friend groups that occur at Bethel. However, I very much enjoy life outside of the Bubble because I always wanted a bit more of a chance to make my own choices; I’m greatly enjoying adult life,” Gural stated. Each person also shared some advice they’d like to give next year’s graduating class. “Enjoy it while it lasts, it does go by really fast,” said Fisher. “But also, know that you are ready and it is going to be okay; if you can survive here and do well than you’ll be all right in the real world too.” “Fill out your graduation application,” said Carter. “Also, don’t let senioritis get the best of you because when classes are over . . . they’re over and you can’t get them back. Don’t rush it, enjoy it! Carpe diem.”  


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