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Student Profile: Cara Smole '22

Cara Smole

 

Class Year
2022

 

Where do you call home?
Williamsburg, VA

 

Major
Theatre

 

If you visited campus before enrolling, what stood out to you the most about Covenant?
I came on a private visit the fall of my senior year, and I stayed on campus with a student. I ended up bouncing between her friends because she was so busy, but everyone was so friendly, and I ended up going to a Bible study in Hannah Bloomquist’s (the RD of Andreas) apartment. Looking back, I got the real Covenant experience: busy, community, Jesus.

 

Why did you choose Covenant?
The professors, specifically Professor Camille Hallstrom. Hallstrom provided a unique Christain perspective on my discipline that I couldn’t find anywhere else.

 

How did financial aid impact your decision to come to Covenant?
Financial aid became the pivotal point in my decision! The Office of Financial Aid was so generous and so willing to work with me. I felt like they really wanted me at Covenant, and they helped me make that a reality.

 

What aspect of Covenant do you like the best?
The community. I have met some of the most gracious, forgiving, and thoughtful people at Covenant, both students and professors. The most valuable lesson I’ve learned during my time at Covenant so far is the meaning of friendship.

 

Which professor(s) has most impacted your thinking, and how?
Hallstrom has proposed so many intriguing questions about the ethics of theatre practice: how language, violence, and nudity affect the audience and actor. I am still trying to process it. We are embodied creatures and what we physically do with our bodies impacts our souls.

 

What do you most enjoy about your major?
I absolutely love my professors. I spend a lot of time with them from classes to rehearsals, which results in more of a mentor relationship. I think I have cried with all of them. That is one of the perks of a smaller department.

 

How is Covenant preparing you to apply your area of study to post-college life?
Since it is a small theatre department, I was able to act twice, stage manage, and direct my freshman year. You can’t get that kind of experience at another school.

 

What do you hope to pursue after graduation?
I would like to join the audition circuit and work my way through small theatres with the potential of working my way into film. My main goal is to enter theatre and film as a mission field, so if that means wiping tables for the rest of my life, then may God be glorified in that.

 

How is Covenant preparing you for success in your calling?
Covenant is helping me to develop my skills, build my resume, and prepare me for the mission field. I have no other way to put it but to say that I am continually taught to go back to prayer, to the cross, and to God’s glory. Alongside wonderful instruction, Covenant has prepared me by making sure that I am rooted in Christ.

 

How is Covenant equipping you for active membership in the church?
Covenant has made me dependent on solid Christian community. Between hall leadership and being appointed “prayer in chief” for one of our shows, I’ve found the importance of purposely involving God in the process of our work and in community.

 

In what ways does Covenant foster spiritual growth?
Because the college requires chapel attendance, incorporates spiritual growth into the curriculum, and encourages hall participation in prayer and praise, it attracts people who take their faith seriously. The student body has had the largest impact on my relationship with God because all of my friends are seeking Him, and while all of us struggle, we can all appeal to His ultimate authority.

 

How have you experienced discipleship at Covenant?
Professor Claire Slavovsky and Professor Kayb Joseph have both taken me under their wings in very impactful ways. My sophomore year, I was able to come to them to process big ideas and personal issues. Both women instilled me with confidence and pointed me back to the cross and the resurrection. They have given me an example of what it looks like to be a strong, intelligent woman of God.

 

How does residence life add to/support your academic, professional, and/or spiritual development?
For me, my building, my hall, and my roommates have been my main support system. It is easy to feel like you are drowning under the weight of classes, work, and extracurriculars, but my friends in Mac are my lifeboat, providing me with a space to have fun, offering a listening ear, and lifting me up in prayer. The community gives me a firm foundation to help feel secure so I can succeed in other areas of my life.

 

How have your relationships at Covenant shaped your expectations for the other communities God will call you to in life?
Pouring into those around you is a give and take. In order to love others well, I need to be loved well. Covenant has taught me this through mentorships with professors and real friendships with roommates, hallmates, and classmates. Giving is not only listening to others but being willing to share your stuff with them as well.

 

What’s your favorite way to spend free time on and/or off campus?
Going to the Cook Out in Brainerd is the best! My favorite thing to do is going off the mountain with friends, rolling the windows down, pumping the jams, getting food, and having real conversations. It’s honestly one of the coolest things!