Eliana Wiseman

Day 1: A New Beginning

Meet our new freshman—Eliana Wiseman! College is quite overwhelming when first adjusting to its culture, and Eliana isn’t immune to it. She describes the extremely long food lines, finding her first community of friends, and her experience after Fall Bible Conference.

My first ever weeks at Cedarville largely brought me peace that surpasses all understanding for the first time in my life. It surprised me how calm I was during my move in day and the first weekend. Right away I faced a few obstacles that just did not affect me much at all. One of those obstacles was not eating a real dinner on my first night here. I heard warnings to get food early the first week, but when they say early, they really mean early. I took two steps in, a look around at the line for dinner, and two steps back out. My first night was punctuated with dinner eaten in my dorm room. While that is not the most aesthetic outcome, I was not discouraged about how my first day ended. The following week was busy and crazy in many ways, but I handled it just as smoothly. 

  The only time I have felt conflicted so far was the night before classes started. The feeling came on at the end of Fall Bible Conference. We had an altar call and all these people were going to the front. Everyone was clapping and fired up for God. That was so amazing to see, but I was also overwhelmed. I felt like God was trying to tell me something that I could not hear clearly. I was so far in my own head that I knew I would not get far dissecting it unless I could find a quiet place to reflect. 

  I went out to the lake after the Bible Conference away from the noise and just sat there for a long time. I knew I wanted to talk about what I was feeling, but it was also evident that none of my friends back home would be able to help. I was blessed that I have family here to talk to, and it was extremely helpful to just say it all out loud. I didn’t conclude anything that night, and I still don’t have all the answers. I don’t know how much comfort this is if you’re feeling confusion for any reason but know that you’re not alone in that confusion.  

   Even though I’m lucky enough to have established relationships at Cedarville, I had also met so many amazing and understanding people here that would have loved to listen to me. My Cedarville community is so positive. Whether the community I have now is temporary until I find lasting friendships, or I’ve found my greatest long-term friends already, I don’t know. I know I have people to eat dinner with. I know I have upperclassmen to help me with things. I also know I have people who want to glorify God with me. If I’m seeking to glorify God, then I know everything else will fall into place. 

“Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt His name together.” ~ Psalm 34:3

Day 28 : Experiencing Campus

It’s only been a few weeks since Eliana arrived at Cedarville, but she’s already making the most of it. Intriguing classes, musical recitals, and spontaneous visits from friends are filling up the days. Even through the seemingly fast-paced nature of the beginning of freshman year, Eliana still finds time to slow down and appreciate the goodness of God.

Leaves are changing, classes are in full swing, and I still do not have a fixed meal schedule. I’m finding out that time flies when you are a college student. I have been busy with school but so many exciting things have happened too! My Intro to Broadcasting and Journalism class had a guest speaker on entrepreneurship, and it really got me thinking about owning a business and everything that comes with that. He answered any questions I had about being self-employed and made the unknown a little clearer. I have always been interested in that sort of thing, but it seemed too scary to jump into. 

Another thing that happened was I went to a faculty recital with my roommate. Most of the people were there as a music requirement or a humanities requirement. I was there to meet the famous (or infamous) professor that has a stuffed ape to enforce punctuality. I soon found out that while I may have shown up for the primate, I stayed for the outstanding performance! It will always astonish me how talented someone can be after twenty years of practice! I hope I can be half so talented in that amount of time.

The most exciting thing that happened was one of my close friends visited Cedarville as a surprise! I had no idea she was visiting. We had dinner with some of our friends here and talked for hours on the BTS steps. We even checked out the improv comedy show on campus where I was informed I would be great at improv comedy. It was an unexpectedly fun night, and I was glad I had done all my homework for the weekend ahead of time.  

With all the excitement, I have tried to find the quiet moments and take breaks when I am busy. The other day I left math class and intended to go back to my dorm to get some work done. Except at that moment, I spotted the prettiest leaf on the ground. So instead of walking straight back, I decided to go leaf hunting on my way back to the dorm. If I had not been distracted by the leaves, I would have spent the walk expecting more work ahead. Instead, I took the time to marvel at the world God designed and arrived at my dorm refreshed. I sometimes need to remind myself that I need to balance work and truly living. With so much happening these first few weeks it is hard to imagine what other amazing and terrifying things will happen over my four years. I’m excited to find out, though!

Day 42 : A Sense of Homesickness

Eliana talks about how she is getting involved on campus through theatre and dorm life. However, the many things she is starting to enjoy do not deny the difficult transition from home to school.


I’ve been getting a lot of news from home lately, and it’s hard to see all the things I’m missing out on. I always feel most like myself when I’m with my whole family when we’re all joking, or my brother and I are fighting. It’s difficult to hear about the things that go on at home after they happen. My little brother is growing and doing new things, and I feel like I’m missing so much of him. I know I can’t stand still forever, but change is hard. I feel happy being here though, even if that means missing out on things back home. 

I’m getting involved behind the scenes with the fall musical here. I think I’ll feel more myself when I’m back in the theater world, even if I’m not onstage like I’m used to. I saw a preview of it recently and met the cast, and it all looks amazing! I’m looking forward to helping with it.

My unit has gotten close these past weeks. We watched Cedarville’s Got Talent together, and after that some of us went stargazing late into the night. We all visit each other’s dorms and it’s like a little town with all these new friends in it. I owe it to those girls for being in such a positive state. If I didn’t have anyone to fall back on, I would be having a rougher time. In between the loud dinners at Chuck’s with thirty people there are quieter moments with just a few of us. 

Life here is not all sunshine though. I had the first exam in my math class. I walked into class, feeling confident in myself, until I encountered my longtime nemesis, Scantron test sheets. There’s something about those letter bubbles that just reeks of fear and the ACT. I ended up with a great grade, though. Getting the first big assignments in my classes behind me has given me confidence moving forward. 

I feel challenged here in more ways than one. There are hard and emotional times, but there are so many more happy and exciting times. I’m endeavoring to abide in the Lord when those hard times come and praising Him with the good. It’s more of a struggle than I’d like to admit, but I’m doing it. With this new goal, I feel better about what is coming up and what has been left behind.  

Day 52 : October 7th

My life has been taken over by two things: School and Charlie Brown. That’s not something I thought I’d ever say. I have midterms coming up for a lot of classes. Am I prepared? Maybe. Do I feel prepared? Not at all. On the other side of my life, it’s pretty fast paced backstage at the musical. My job is unpredictable as the sound technician. We never know what problems will arise and I have to think on my feet sometimes. It also involves a little more running than I anticipated. But the cast and crew are so amazing! I get to talk to them all right before and right after the show. 

In between class and shows, I have lunch club on Mondays. A few of my friends and I go to lunch right after chapel. It’s such a fun part of my week. At the end, we all get cake from Chucks for dessert and talk about how crazy people are who don’t like the cake here while we eat. 

I’ve had a lot of visitors lately. I went an entire 50 days with no one coming up and then all of a sudden I had three in rapid succession. One of my cousins and my sister came up and the rest of my family is coming soon! It was a short notice for all of these visits. I barely had time to look forward to seeing them and they were here before I knew it!

Something I’ve thought a lot about lately is how to take the narrow path, whether that’s putting in extra effort into my work, including someone who isn’t normally included, or enjoying the cake at Chucks apparently. I want to be one of the few and recognize when I’m influenced by the world. I’m hoping I’ll be able to do that here. I’m so ecstatic to be getting to know so many people with great hearts for the Lord. I’ve found Cedarville gives back what you put into it and more. I’m trying to get the most out of my time being here, and learning from the people here is a huge part of that. I look forward to gaining as much knowledge and experience as I can over these next years.