Student Profile: Novella Long '18

Novella Long

 

Class Year
2018

 

Hometown
Ringgold, GA

 

Major
Community Development

 

Minor
Spanish

 

Residence Hall and Floor
Andreas Hall, the Fritz

 

Favorite place on campus
The lawn between the library and Sanderson with all the giant rocks. It is such a peaceful place to study and take quiet time in the mornings.

 

Why did you choose Covenant?
It was definitely a God thing. By my junior year of high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life or where I wanted to go; nothing felt right or fulfilling. People around me just kept mentioning Covenant in passing, and finally a friend gave me a pamphlet. Once I read through it, it just hit me: “This is it. This is the only one.”

 

Did you visit Covenant as a high school student? If so, how did that visit impact your decision to attend Covenant?
I visited Covenant in the spring of my junior year of high school, and that really sealed the deal. The main thing that stuck out to me was the obvious presence of God—in the halls I toured, in the classes I sat in on, in my tour guide, in the advisors I met. Coming from a public school, I had never heard of God and academic affairs in the same conversation, and I had never been around such Christ-filled people who were my age.

 

How is Covenant unique?
I think Covenant is unique in the sense that the student body willingly asks Christ to abide in the community. Serving the Lord doesn’t feel like a burdensome requirement. I think we’re unique because no one really has to force us to serve God; Covenant provides a community that is conducive for spiritual growth, and you can see the whole campus taking advantage of that in some way and it is so beautiful.

 

Describe Covenant in three words.
Relational, Loving, and Challenging.

 

What has been your favorite experience at Covenant?
Singing in the Stairwell in Andreas with everyone is probably the coolest experience I’ve had; I do it almost every Sunday and it just never gets old. Shouting “Were You There” at the top of my lungs, rejoicing with everyone, and shaking the walls with praise is such an amazing feeling.

 

What is your favorite class so far?
I might be a little biased, but my favorite class so far has been Theory of Community Development with Professors Fikkert and Corbett. It’s challenging, and it has opened my eyes to see the world in a more informed way. It’s opened my heart to understand how God has called Christians to seek answers to hard questions and problems. There is also a lot of hope in it, with teachings and examples of how we can start to address brokenness in the communities around us and the places God calls us to.

 

What makes hall life at Covenant unique?
I think there is a very interesting dynamic to hall life at Covenant. Halls like mine are close knit and there is a great community there. At the same time, the various halls of the campus are so good about interacting and intermingling. It creates this really neat network, where you have this great support system and fellowship with your hall while also being friends with almost the entire campus!

 

What are some things you enjoy about your major?
I really love the way ComDev relates to most anything else I study. Even taking classes like Linguistics or International Relations had impacts on my major, and vice-versa. I think I just enjoy that what I learn in Community Development classes I can also take and apply to volunteer work at my church in the summer, to an internship I’m thinking of taking, to counseling a friend, or to my morning devotional. I feel like my studies in Community Development will be beneficial not only my career, but in my church involvement, in raising a family one day, and just in walking with the Lord day by day.

 

What person at Covenant has had the greatest impact on you, and why?
Dr. Fikkert. At first he was intimidating; I’m only 5’2”, and he’s 6’10”. He sat down with me in his office one day after Theory of Community Development (and in sitting down we were eye-level for the first time), and instead of just demanding my question and giving a brief answer, he asked about my life, my history, and why I wound up here. He made me feel loved and encouraged, not just like another face in his class of fifty. He says “Hi, how are you?” when he sees me on campus, and even stops me to more thoroughly ask how I’m holding up, how my dad is doing, how classes are going. He’s had lunch with me when I didn’t even have a coherent question to ask because I was just overwhelmed by a concept we were studying. He’s prayed with me in those difficult times and has offered words of encouragement that I know the Lord must’ve put in his heart to say. And I know that he’s an extremely busy professor, yet he takes time for any student who asks. That’s so impactful.

 

How is Covenant preparing you for life after graduation?
Covenant puts a lot of emphasis on trusting the Lord and putting him first, even if that means putting away homework on Sundays or taking quiet time in the morning instead of doing that reading you procrastinated on. Making time for God even in such a busy time in my life has added a lot of structure to it, and I think that foundation will help me in life after graduation. It’s so easy to stress about a job or about life, but focusing on Christ has really begun to discipline me concerning stress. Being anxious doesn’t add a day to my life, but seeking the Lord makes the days much more enjoyable and fulfilling.

 

How is Covenant equipping you for active membership in the church?
Covenant is such a service-oriented community. While personal devotion is so important, and while we know that God’s grace is never earned, Covenant has taught me that serving the Lord is such a glorifying thing to Him and a beautiful thing to the church. My heart has been transformed to an eagerness for work in the church, and honestly, I think that willingness and excitement to serve is all God asks for in order to use people for His glory. On top of that, Covenant is definitely equipping me with knowledge and skills for service, in the classroom, on my hall, and around campus.