Ten Things I Learned After Working a Summer at Asbury – Asbury University
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July 29, 2016

Empty study desks and chairs in Kinlaw Library
Students aren’t cramming for tests in Kinlaw Library, but summer at Asbury is busier than you might think.

— by Rachel White ’18

I had the privilege of working at Asbury University this summer, and I’ve learned a few things about what happens on our lovely campus from May to July.

1. Spicy chicken is still a fad.

You thought only Asbury students were passionate about this lunch item, but when the bell tower strikes noon and the Caf is open, staff workers are crossing their fingers for those iconic crispy fillets. I’ve watched guests file through the main lines, filling their plates, and thought, You have no idea that you’re eating the very energy source that keeps this campus running.

2. The library is eerily empty.

I ate a salad while reading a book in the library once earlier in the summer. I was very aware of my lettuce crunching. It was the only sound in the universe. Regardless, after an afternoon of people, an empty library served as a peaceful oasis for this literature-loving introvert.

3. People visit from all over the world and sleep on your mattress.

I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that the dorm room you call your own was used by another human, probably several times, over the course of the summer. We opened our dormitories to Salvation Army officers, ImpactU students, and Asbury alumni. Fortunately, we have a thorough custodial staff who will deep-cleaned your humble home in time for your return.

4. Asbury staff workers are even better than you thought.

Asbury faculty aren’t the only campus rock stars. Asbury’s staff work faithfully behind the scenes to make Asbury all we know it be. I was so impressed by how talented these individuals are at their specific jobs and how much they love doing it. They are also extremely passionate about students. That means you. The next time you run into the custodian in your dorm, hold the door for a Phys Plant worker, or sit near an administrative worker at lunch, introduce yourself and let them know you appreciate them.

5. Hundreds of Asbury alumni come to town for a weekend-long Reunion.

Generations of Asbury grads flock back to Wilmore for a few days of celebration, worship and fellowship, some with graduation dates as early as 1946. These men and women share memories with one another while eating in the Caf, strolling across the green, or lounging in the Student Center. Then they fill up Hughes auditorium for an annual Hymn Sing. Chills ran up and down my arms when I heard Asburians of all ages singing God’s praises, loudly and proudly, together in one voice.

6. Physical Plant is an actual building.

I’m pretty embarrassed about this one, but before this summer, I thought Phys Plant was merely a signature at the end of the occasional email informing me of an emergency light testing. But it’s an organized workplace as efficient as any other office on campus. With rooms full of equipment and shelves stocked with maintenance-related inventory, Phys Plant is the kind of place my dad would love to spend an afternoon exploring. All summer long, the men and women at Phys Plant keep campus manicured and landscaped, clean the dorms from top to bottom and repair the damages we left behind during the year.

7. No one actually lives in Alumni House.

It’s an office full of alumni appreciation. One of their biggest responsibilities of the year is coordinating and executing everything that goes into Reunion. During the school year, while we students are following the flow of classes during the day, advancement staff is busy planning all the details to ensure our alumni feel welcome for their return to campus.

8. Playing ping pong in the Stuce is significantly less humiliating.

With no one watching or keeping score except your competitive boyfriend, ping pong can be really fun.

9. The Caf is a stomach paradise.

Mostly because it means I pay with a meal ticket from my boss instead of cash out of my own pocket. I successfully exhausted eating out this summer. A home-cooked meal felt like a special occasion. I was sick of having to choose a restaurant and watch my checking account suffer. In the Caf, options were already narrowed for me, so I could relax.

10. We haven’t completely worn out the word “community.”

We exhaust the word community when we try to describe a student’s experience at Asbury. But when you shake hands with an inspiring staff worker, the understanding of community becomes even more personal. When you hear stories of how Asbury graduates continue to further God’s Kingdom in their communities, you swell with so much school spirit that you consider memorizing the Asbury fight song (yes, we have a fight song). And when you hear generations of Asbury graduates belting out hymns together in Hughes auditorium, you realize that community isn’t just a word Admissions puts on a brochure. It’s a tradition that began long before your freshman year and will keep multiplying after you graduate.

I go to a really good school filled with really good people. I couldn’t be prouder.


This post first appeared at Odyssey.