Student Highlight | Kendall Elms

Kendall Elms, a senior at MBU, has been involved in a myriad of activities on campus during his undergraduate career. He is a starter for the soccer team (#3), was a leader in the ROTC program, a society cabinet member, involved in the Color Guard, and is a full-time university student and RA. His involvement in each of these areas does not come without challenges, but Elms reflects that each role he is involved in is a worthwhile experience. 

 The Opportunity

Elms began his journey at Maranatha when he participated in a soccer camp in high school. During his visit to campus, Elms had the opportunity to meet his future soccer coach, as well as tour the campus. He was delighted to find that Maranatha offered him the ability to continue playing his favorite sport, and even start for the team, while also being involved in the ROTC program. Elms mentions, “Maranatha offered the ability to be involved in both the ROTC program and soccer, which is not something I thought I would be able to do.” Elms also reflects that he enjoyed the godly atmosphere of the campus upon visiting which furthered his desire to attend in the fall.  

The Responsibility

Upon becoming a student at Maranatha, Elms began taking on many responsibilities. Elms reflects that the reason he became so involved in so many different areas was that he was already involved in being social with the many people on campus, and because of those interactions, it often led to an opportunity to take leadership and other roles around campus. He notes, “Once I built a habit of being actively involved with others, the only roles I had to add were balancing my schedule and figuring out when I needed to be at events, games, and meetings…otherwise, I was already doing the interacting with others that was necessary for these positions.” He reflects that at times it can be challenging to juggle many roles, especially with schoolwork, but by maintaining time management in his busy lifestyle, he is able to remain steady in each of his tasks without becoming overwhelmed.  

The Challenges

With many responsibilities come many challenges. When asked what his biggest challenge is in maintaining many roles, Elms confirmed that scheduling can be a huge factor that can seem daunting. “You have to consider that everything you say ‘yes’ to is going to take a toll and take some of your time out of each day,” he adds. He suggests that incoming students take time to reflect on where they wish to spend their time before agreeing to a role. New students will be met with many opportunities to be involved in numerous activities, so understanding both their limits and interests can make or break how well a busy schedule is handled. Elms also notes that with every semester, schedules came more naturally to him as he understood how much he could handle and what he enjoyed the most. 

Elms adds that while being spread thin has been challenging, its benefits have far outweighed its difficulties. He points out, “Being able to be in so many different circles has been a really awesome opportunity, and I’ve loved being able to meet a variety of people from groups I might not normally be a part of.” Elms says that building relationships with so many people have made his involvement invaluable to him.  

By maintaining a healthy balance in several different activities, Elms is an excellent example of one of many well-rounded students at Maranatha. Facing the challenges of schedule balancing and reaping the benefits of growth and relationship building, Elms exemplifies how students can have heavy involvement in extracurricular activities, as well as succeed in their academic and career-oriented goals.