By Loren Rhoades, Assistant Features Editor (Courtesy photo/Evie Carlswell)
Relationships made with others are what help to mold a person’s character while also teaching them how to grow. Whether it be by blood, romantic attraction or friendship, the relationships a person makes largely impacts who they are and who they will become.
Freshman accounting major Evie Carswell is one example of how relationships can impact character. She said throughout her life she has been pushed to work hard in all areas of her relationships including with her parents, friends, teachers, coaches and teammates. She said it has always been a positive push and has made her who she is today.
“I’ve never felt the pressure to perform. It has just been more of an incentive to do what I want to do, and do it for the Lord,” Carswell said.
Carswell is a member of the track team and said one relationship she has been impacted by since joining the team at OBU has been with Coach Ford Mastin. She said his desire for the athletes to strive in all areas of life has been something that has helped her to push through any struggle in college thus far.
“Jumping from high school sports to college sports I expected it to be really hard, which it was. But he has always encouraged me and made the transition easier by being understanding and continuing to put time into me,” she said.
Carswell said the commitment and time she has put into the track team has bettered her. She said that it has taught her how to manage her time and that if others can do it then she can too. She said watching one of her close friends on the team run track while also striving academically helped to push her in both areas as well.
“It pushed me to be a better student,” she said. “I didn’t want to disappoint, and I wanted to be able to handle it because I wanted to get good grades so that I could succeed and go do what I want to do without being held back.”
While being pushed physically and academically, Carswell has also has been taught to work hard spiritually. She has specifically been given this mindset by her mom and dad. She said they both have taught her about different aspects in her faith and have made it possible for her to rely on God in all things.
Carswell said the main lesson taught by her dad has to do with being a hard worker and that hard work does pay off especially when involving Christian character. He has taught her that trust doesn’t come easy, but it is earned when doing the right thing.
She said that her mom has taught her to be strong in all things and not that other people’s opinions don’t matter, but that they don’t define who she is. She said this has taught her a sense of respect and that she has learned to take people as they are, even when it seems as if their opinion doesn’t apply.
“Both of those things shaping me told me that I can grow up and be what I want and no matter where I am as long as I am being a good steward and living the way Christ wants me to live, then I can’t go wrong,” Carswell said.
The many lessons that Carswell has learned throughout her life and relationships have even made an impact on the people around her. Her close friend from home Madeline Sparks said Carswell is a steadfast friend. She said that she is grateful for both the friendship they have, and the ability Carswell has to make those around her feel valued.
“Evie is one of those rare friends that has known me at my best and loved me at my worst. Even though we now live fourteen hours apart, I know I can still count on her,” Sparks said.
Not only has she made an impact on friends from home but also on friends that she has made upon coming to OBU. Freshman nursing major Ansley Biesiadecki said that knowing Evie has been a blessing to her.
“In every area of her life she strives to be the best she can be. She’s loyal to friends and family, she has a solid relationship with God, she has great dedication to track and is diligent with her studies. It’s been an honor to be her friend,” Biesiadecki said.