Changin' like the Fall Leaves

Captured this radically colored tree outside of Northwestern’s Christ Chapel

Captured this radically colored tree outside of Northwestern’s Christ Chapel

What’s up, everyone. My name is Justin Hullman, and I’m a freshman from Lincoln, Nebraska (“ROOTS” as my fellow soccer dudes would shout out). My time at Northwestern has been eventful, to say the least. Deep-rooted friendships, challenging classes and endless opportunities have been in full effect thus far. The tests are my favorite part, of course, but I want to share with you guys how much of an adventure it’s been exploring all three of these avenues as a freshman at Northwestern.

Like the changing leaves of fall (check out the picture attached), my transition into college has been quite similar. Graduating from a large public high school, I was aware that Northwestern was going to be a huge adjustment for me. From the familiarity of my day-to-day lifestyle back home, to sharing a community bathroom with 20 other college guys, I’ve definitely had to adjust to this unique season of life. As an autumn leaf-colored tree retains its green leaves until the final transition into the fall, I also have bits of home with me that have catapulted me to embrace the newness of college. I’ve always been a people-kind-of-guy, so I was stoked to come to NWC and do life alongside so many people. With that comes the transition—which can be somewhat tough, no lie.

Oh man, but let me tell you. The people are what make this giant switch from one season of life to the next so awesome. Living in Coly (the oldest all-male dorm on campus) has brought about spontaneous “what are the odds” situations and many late-night talks. Listening to people’s stories and how God is at work in their lives is what I’ve determined to be one of the coolest gifts God gives us. Being a Red Raider in general welcomes you into a vibrant community that’s all about facing the valleys and mountaintops that life brings. I have a family here, and I’m so humbled to be able to say that.

Growing up, I always had a passion for school. Don’t ask me how it happened because, to be honest, I couldn’t even tell you. In the tail-end of high school, God called me to pursue pastoral ministry. Having a vision to serve within an inner-city church post-college, I entered into NWC as a religion major. With hopes that God would rock my world with the stuff I’d learn from my top-notch professors, it’s safe to say that I totally underestimated His answer to those desires.

In the classroom I’ve learned about the effects that mass media has on society, and I’ve been diving deep into the Old Testament. My learning has also been able to travel. Yes, you read that right! A few weeks ago my youth ministry class and I took a trip down to Kansas City and listened to the author of one of our books speak at a conference. We couldn’t just do only that, of course, so we snagged some BBQ and jammed out to live jazz music! Experiences as such with my classmates/professors have been examples of how special studying at NWC truly is.

While looking at colleges, finances were one of my concerns, so I contacted Northwestern and began asking what I could do to make It work. The Lord continued to write His story for my life and presented many open doors to me. I made the choice to attend NWC over a handful of other schools, and it’s proven to be the right call.

The family here has welcomed me with open arms and has already brought about so many opportunities to thrive. One of the activities that I’m plugged into is that I’m on the Red Raiders men’s soccer team. Few things compare to playing the sport you love with a group of brothers you’d do anything for. I’ve learned so much, not only about soccer, but also about how to be a man of God who lives with integrity, character and devotion. Another amazing opportunity I’ve been blessed with is that I’m in a “spiritual multiplication” group with a group of fellow NWC guys. We meet once a week and discuss how we can share the love of Christ to others around us. As iron sharpens iron, we’ve been able to sharpen each other’s faith. As a freshman, I couldn’t ask for a more complete set of opportunities!

If you made it to the end, thanks for sticking around and reading my first ever blog. I’m a rookie in more ways than one, so my hope is that you at least learned one thing from this ramble of mine: God is good all the time, and all the time God is good—even as you transition from one season of life to the next.