RUSH: Don't miss it

Northwestern’s campus is always hopping. Whether it be new and exciting activities coming about or old traditions resurfacing, there is always something going on for students to get involved in. I’m here to tell you about RUSH, Northwestern College’s student dance concert.


RUSH is a dance concert every student is invited to participate in. Every year, the theatre department holds tryouts where anyone who auditions is cast; all they ask is that you learn a simple dance to show the choreographers what you can do. Don’t worry though–there are multiple nights before auditions where choreographers teach you the audition dance.

After auditions take place, every student is placed into a dance group where they spend the following month learning and practicing an original dance. Every group is filled with people from different activities. You could be placed in a group with people you don’t interact with regularly, but because of RUSH, you might end up becoming really good friends with them. Some of the best friendships have been formed from people participating in RUSH.

RUSH also offers students the ability to step outside of their comfort zone. Not everyone is a dancer or likes to dance, but RUSH gives those people the opportunity to do something fun and not have to worry about what other people think. Unlike some activities, where students may be worried about competition or trying to please others, RUSH takes a step back and allows the space to become an environment filled with joy. RUSH has the addition of having a reputation for being one of the most joy-filled events on campus.

The process of creating RUSH is also one that brings joy and excitement to the students. Being that each dance is created and directed by students, it gives them a chance to do virtually whatever they want to with the songs they choose. This also allows for the dancers and choreographers to work together to create art. No choreographer can make an original dance happen on their own, so RUSH gives students the opportunity to collaborate and make something they all can be proud of.

RUSH is performed three nights in the spring and anyone is welcome to come and see the show. Tickets only cost one dollar, so it is affordable for an evening of fun and entertainment. Plus, theater professor Drew Schmidt engages the audience in some “pre-show shenanigans.”

This is one event that you are not going to want to miss.

Derrick Jansen is a junior from Sully, Iowa. He is a theatre major with an arts administration minor. Derrick is heavily involved in the theatre department as he has acted in several shows and done behind-the-scenes work for others. He also helps through his work study position in the theatre scenic studio. Derrick has participated in RUSH for the past two years and will continue to do so in the upcoming years. Derrick has also been a part of Northwestern’s orientation staff.

I’ve met some of my best friends at Northwestern

My high school friend group was tight.

Weekends for us meant spending significant time together going on ridiculous escapades. We went to every Friday night football game together, danced like maniacs at our homecomings and proms, spent our study halls getting distracted by random YouTube videos and memes, and ran cross country together after school. We went to movies, other states, restaurants, concerts and shows. We spent countless hours in each other’s basements, sometimes watching movies, but mostly just making each other laugh and eating lots of Doritos until we all fell asleep at three in the morning. I was the best, genuine version of myself around them; I was fully and completely known by them, and I knew everything about them.

Transitioning into college was painless, except for one part: I was used to having a large group of close friends, and it was difficult to come to a place where I barely knew anyone and restart the process of making friends.


A lot of things have happened in my social life in the two years I’ve spent at Northwestern. First, I’ve made a lot of new friends (It’s true mom! I do have friends!). With so many friendly people on campus, I can start conversations with basically anyone. It’s not hard to make friends. They can be casual friends, like the people I have class with and say “hi” to around campus. Or the people who live in the same dorm as me and I stop in their room periodically to eat cereal on their couch. Or the friends I eat meals with (having long conversations over a nice burrito is very underrated). As a resident assistant, I also have my residents and the other staff members as friends.

Then I have my best friends. We are authentic with each other; they know my heart and mind and I know theirs. We are intentional with each other—especially in each other’s spiritual lives. We go on crazy adventures together, but we also really love each other and help each other become better versions of ourselves. I can be super weird around them—which is me 98 percent of the time—and they can do the same.

I’ve met some of my best friends at Northwestern. My high school friends will still be some of my lifelong friends, but so will my friends at Northwestern. I cherish my memories with my high school friends, but have also made many new, wonderful memories with my college friends. Like the afternoon when we baked six loaves of homemade bread while dancing in the kitchen to *NSYNC. That night we laid underneath the stars in our pajamas and talked about what amazes us in life. When I woke one of my friends up at 1 a.m. because I just NEEDED to eat ice cream with her (she was mad but got over it). Spending Sundays worshipping and praying together at P&W. Talking about life for a couple of hours on my couch. Those hours we have spent driving in a car just to go see our favorite artists perform. Or all the time we have spent chilling in hammocks to listen to music and be outside for two hours. The nights we’ve had teeth-brushing dance parties in the bathroom.

Northwestern is a place where I’ve met some of my best friends, where favorite memories have taken place, and where I’ve further learned about being in relationships with people.

Living on a small campus means it’s simple to meet people. The dorms make it easy to surround myself with others and be in relationships with them as we navigate life together. Northwestern is a place where I’ve met some of my best friends, where favorite memories have taken place, and where I’ve further learned about being in relationships with people. Thanks to attending Northwestern, I met these people and get to experience all these moments with them— it’s a place where I’ve gotten to know other people, and where they have gotten to know me.

Originally from Ames, Iowa, Lizzy Johnston is a junior who enjoys studying public relations and literature at Northwestern. She is a resident assistant in Fern Smith to some spirited girls, a staff writer for the Beacon, and a member of the Honors Program. In her free time, she enjoys running long distances, eating ice cream, hammocking, making her friends spend time with her, and keeping up with national and world news and issues. She is also a huge movie nerd. Her life goal is to work in public relations for the Academy Awards or be a talk show host so she can get paid to talk to movie stars and geek out over movies.

Become a phonathon caller

Believe it or not, one of the most fun and memorable parts of my experience at Northwestern has been my on-campus job. Northwestern’s phonathon team is more than just your average work-study. It is a fun study break and a work-study all in one.

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The goal of the phonathon program is to ask alumni, parents of former students, and friends of the college to financially support Northwestern College by donating to the Northwestern Fund for student scholarship aid. Because of the donations through phonathon, 1,000 dollars could be taken off each student’s tuition in the past years.

Callers also inform people about what is happening on campus and update records over the phone. These calls also lead to great conversations, catching up with alumni and hearing about their experience at Northwestern.

The phonathon team works in both the fall and the spring semesters, making calls for up to three hours a night, Monday through Thursday. Your personal work schedule is flexible, so you can easily work around homework and other extracurricular activities you may have.

If you are outgoing and would like to get paid to chat, or are shy and are looking to develop your communication skills, phonathon is the perfect job for you.

Why you should join Northwestern’s phonathon team:

Money. You need this. An added bonus is that your pay increases each semester you work.

Resume builder. Phonathon is an excellent experience to put on your resume. The ability to communicate is one of the most important skills you can offer. Also, having experience working in sales is always helpful, especially if you are a public relations or marketing major. Phonathon provides you with relevant work experience right on campus that you can add alongside your list of internships.

Snacks. Maggie Hulstein, the phonathon director, makes some spectacular cupcakes. Enough said.

Games. If earning money for yourself and the college is not enough of an incentive to make calls and get donations, the phonathon team likes to play games to keep things fun and competitive. Tallying points for pledges, updated information, and new donors to shoot baskets in the back of the office during breaks makes each day exciting.

You get to thank the donors who support you. This is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a phonathon caller. You have the opportunity to call many of the generous donors that make it possible for you and other students to afford to attend Northwestern. These people are so fun to talk to and love to hear from the students they are supporting. You brighten their day and they brighten yours. Everybody wins.

Emma Van Drie is a junior political science and writing major at Northwestern College originally from Minooka, Illinois. She plays on Northwestern’s tennis team and is a student government representative. She also has been a member of phonathon team for the past four semesters.


Summer of interning

Summer is finally here! And while that means being warm and spending weekends on the lake, it also means finding something to fill your free schedule. After spending a number of summers working various part-time positions in Orange City, I decided I wanted to work somewhere within my field of study. I wanted to get an internship.


I did not know where to begin so I made an appointment with the Career Development Center (CDC) to get help finding an internship. They gave me different websites to start my search and answered all of the questions I had about intern positions. I continued to meet with the CDC until I felt I could figure out the details on my own. After a few months of searching for an internship without any luck, I put the idea on the backburner.

Lucky for me, Northwestern is great at keeping students informed about new job and internship opportunities. I started noticing emails about different companies in Iowa that were looking for a graphic design intern. I began to think about becoming an intern again. When one opportunity finally caught my eye, I decided to apply for the position. And here I am–writing this post from Des Moines where I was accepted as the graphic design intern at an advertising agency!        

I am so thankful Northwestern had the resources and information I needed to search for the perfect intern position for me. If I hadn’t gone to the CDC, I do not think I would be where I am this summer, learning so much about my field of study. Interning is an incredible opportunity and I highly recommend heading over the CDC to learn more!

Called to serve

Two of my biggest passions are summertime and missions. This summer I get to experience missions in a way I have never before, and I could not be more excited to spend my favorite season doing something I love.

 This photo was taken on a previous mission trip to Haiti.

This photo was taken on a previous mission trip to Haiti.

Starting June 3, I will be serving at Robin’s Nest, a children’s home in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Robin’s Nest typically houses 36 children and provides them with a safe, nurturing home where they can grow physically, mentally and spiritually. Robin’s Nest is a very cool ministry because they strive to show Christ’s love to each child and help them grow in their faith.

I am able work with Robin’s Nest because of a program at Northwestern called Summer of Service, or SOS. The SOS program has been such a blessing to be a part of throughout this whole process. Last fall, I received an email from an SOS student coordinator saying I had been recommended by someone as a good candidate for the 2018 SOS team, and I was so excited. First of all, someone thought of me for this process? That gave me a lot of confidence and assurance to just put in my application and trust God with the rest. Secondly, this program sounded amazing. God works through our desires to travel and serve him where we are called.

So I applied, interviewed and got accepted to go to Jamaica with one other Northwestern student. (It is important to note, though, that the whole SOS team is made up of 17 students going to sites all over the world.)

While in Jamaica, I’ll be serving in a variety of ways as the Lord reveals where help is most needed. Some of my everyday tasks include meal prep and cleanup, helping with homework and entertaining the kids. Each Sunday at Robin’s Nest, the interns prepare a “Children’s Church” message for the kids, and I will be helping with that as well.

What am I most excited for?

God works through our desires to travel and serve him where we are called.

I am so pumped to meet the children and begin building relationships with them. I cannot wait to get to know the children individually and see them grow and develop during my seven weeks in Jamaica.

What do I need prayer for?

While I could not be more excited to go, I am aware that this is a totally new experience for me. I am leaving behind family, friends and everything that is familiar for the summer. I would love prayer for a calm heart and open eyes to see how God wants to use me this summer.

Kelsey Lang, an Orange City native, is pursuing two majors: public relations and political science, with hopes of possibly attending law school after graduation. Kelsey is a junior this year, and in addition to studying, she’s a member of the Red Raider track and cross country teams. She has enjoyed working with the freshman class as a speech fellow and works in the library on campus.