Student Profile: Matthew Tueller '19

Matthew Tueller

 

Class Year
2019

 

Hometown
Auburn, CA

 

Major
Biology, Pre-med

 

Concentration
Biomedical

 

Residence Hall and Floor
Andreas Hall, Bloodfield

 

Favorite place on campus
Either Andreas lobby or somewhere with a good view like the breezeway under Brock.

 

Why did you choose Covenant?
I googled “prettiest Christian schools” and Covenant was number one. They also ended up giving me the most financial aid, so I kind of chose it for its good looks.

 

Did you visit Covenant as a high school student? If so, how did that visit impact your decision to attend Covenant?
No.

 

How is Covenant unique?
The campus is seriously beautiful. Most campuses are in the middle of a town, but ours is on top of a mountain. That creates a calm environment up here, and then it's a pretty short drive into Chattanooga so I never end up feeling isolated. Beyond the campus though, the people are incredible. I have found more people who have seriously become like family than I could have ever expected. That’s honestly the best part of being here, having people who feel like family when I’m so far from home.

 

Describe Covenant in three words.
Beautiful. Growing. Community.

 

What has been your favorite experience at Covenant?
I probably couldn’t pick just one thing. I guess my favorite event was 80’s skate night. But my favorite experiences are staying up till 3 a.m. just talking to people. Those conversations are seriously my favorite thing to do.

 

What is your favorite class so far?
General Biology 1 with Dr. Morris. He’s literally the best. Dr. Morris was just such a good teacher and it seriously affirmed that biology is what I want to be studying and pursuing.

 

What makes hall life at Covenant unique?
It’s unique because you find people from all sorts of places and backgrounds. And I know this is going to sound annoyingly cheesy, but we have common ground in Christ. So, you get to seriously know the heart of people who have lived totally different lives in totally different upbringings. And we can spur each other on to love one another and to see how fully loved we are in Christ, and I don’t think you can expect that kind of communication in many other schools.

 

What are some things you enjoy about your major?
I love learning about the different processes that go on in our body to see more fully how crazy intricate this creation is that God put together.

 

What person at Covenant has had the greatest impact on you, and why?
Probably my friend Jacob Hooker. He lives in the hall next to mine, and honestly don’t remember when we became friends but somewhere along the line it happened. He has opened my eyes to truths about God that at some point in my walk with Christ I forgot. I had become more legalistic than I realized. My life with Christ was not one of peace, but one of performance where I was constantly seeking to prove something to God. Or maybe to affirm to myself that I’ve really “changed.” Jacob just opened my eyes to the fact that I cannot live the Christ life. I can’t even come close. The point of the Christian life is not the life of the Christian, but the life of Christ himself. Seeing that I don’t need to relate to God by my strength, but can find rest for my soul that God relates to me in my weakness brought so much peace back into my life. It’s become a joy again to love my neighbor, not a forced labor out of worry that God may reject me if I don’t. Jacob just opened my heart to a grace that is actually sufficient. I know now that I cannot achieve the perfect standard of God, but also that I cannot out-sin the gospel. My focus no longer has to be on my Christian performance, but can rest on the perfect performance and love of Christ. And I know there is no condemnation for me now, and that truly nothing will separate me from the love of God in Christ.

 

How is Covenant preparing you for life after graduation?
It is definitely teaching my how to organize my time even though I’m actually the worst at time management. I’m also learning an absolute ton academically. I’ve also had to learn how to confront people and situations head on and honestly. I see too many people have a conflict just bubbling under the surface but no one seems to want to talk about it. And that allows a simple conflict to become a huge issue. I’ve seen that just confronting the person (obviously gently and with as much love as you can, but also clearly and honestly) resolves any sort of dispute so quickly. This is extremely important with roommates. So many people just let situations stew in their brain till they basically resent the other person, when in reality, things could get solved with a twenty minute conversation, where both parties are just honest about what’s bothering them and how they feel.

 

How is Covenant equipping you for active membership in the church?
I mean Covenant definitely stresses the importance of church, but I think the best part is that no one forces you to go. If it’s forced it won’t last. Demanding someone go to church doesn’t create a church member later on. I think that’s another super good quality of Covenant is that you’re pretty free. Not a lot is forced on you. You get to choose. I think the people I’ve met have led me to find an incredible church (Relevant Church), and being in an environment of church goers makes it more comfortable to find a church in an unfamiliar place.