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Be Invested – Ashley Barnhart

It’s a new year. New semester. New classes. New goals. New this and new that.

My 2016 will undoubtedly be filled with newness, and I’ve never been more excited. Think back to your elementary years when you got a new bike, new crayons, a new puppy, new something. Remember how excited you were. I equate that feeling with what I’m experiencing now.

As of January 1st, I’ll be in a new city taking on new challenges. Denver, Colorado will be my new home. I’ll be completing my 16 weeks of student teaching in a kindergarten classroom at Tollgate Elementary and working as the Director of Junior Competitions for the Colorado Golf Association—I could write an entire blog about what that fancy title means for me, but in sum, I get to share my passion for the game of golf with kids. New city. New living quarters. New people—students, coworkers, bosses, and friends (hopefully). New commitments. But in reality, it’s nothing but a new perspective.

In knowing that I will now be experiencing two of my favorite things (education and golf) from a brand new perspective, my challenge is to simply to be invested. Now is the time in the blog post when I should stereo-typically include a Webster’s definition or an inspirational quote by a famous athlete or philosopher. But the two simple words “be invested” are enough. Perhaps this means planning stellar and engaging lessons for my kindergartners even though I’m not seeking a job in education for 2016. Perhaps this means confidently contributing ideas regarding new golf-related projects at work even though I by far possess the least experience. In all of its newness, this year will give me plenty of opportunities to be invested no matter where I’m at or what I’m doing. I challenge you to do the same.

Whatever being invested truly entails, I am ready to focus on it. More than anything academic or athletic, my last 3.5 years as a Jimmie have subtly taught me about investment. How? We have staff members that work tirelessly to keep campus as beautiful as it is. We have athletic directors that beg athletes to suggest potential improvements for the department. We have professors that regularly invite students to their houses for conversation and fellowship. We have coaches that coach from three states away because they are determined to finish what they started. We have administrators that listen to us at breakfast in the cafeteria, Jimmie basketball games, and in their respective offices. We have students that lead organizations, direct theater productions and serve as assistant coaches in addition to taking 20 credit hours. This campus is full of people who are deeply invested in who they are and what they do.

As I move to Colorado, I will be challenged to become the classroom teacher instead of the student, act as the golf tournament director instead of the player, and find new friends instead of having built-in college classmates and teammates. As new opportunities present themselves, find something to be invested in. Actually, you shouldn’t have to look for it. No matter where you are or what you are doing, follow the lead of those around you and join me in being invested this new year.

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Posted:January 15, 2016

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University of Jamestown at a glance

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Campus Demographics

Placement Rate

1,100 students from 30 states and 20 countries
(Undergraduate 2017)

Student to Faculty Ratio - 12:1