It’s not in the middle of the afternoon, and it’s not in England. Even so, it’s still Tea Time. Every Tuesday night at 9 p.m., all students around campus are invited to Oaks 489, apartment number 9, to enjoy tea and fellowship with one another. The host of the weekly social is Brad Soendlin, a senior Christian education major. According to Soendlin, Tea Time came about at first as just a casual gathering of friends who liked tea. He never would have imagined that it would grow to the twenty to forty people that show up each time.
“Tea Time wasn’t something that we tried to make…. slowly but surely it became a thing,” Soendlin said.
Based on a growing attendance, it seems that Olivet students enjoy an evening tea and a fair amount of company. Tea Time certainly seems to be here to stay. As senior Austin Stillman, another Tea Time host along with Soendlin, explained, “The larger group has been getting together for a little over a year now.”
Soendlin expressed how happy he is with what Tea Time has evolved into. Any and all are welcome each Tuesday that it takes place, so there’s always a mix of company. One would assume that a large majority of those that come are friends with the host, but it seems to be the contrary. Anybody is welcome. Soendlin loves seeing a steady flow of newcomers, checking out for themselves what the hype is all about. The event is come and go. Some students stay for the full two hours; others drop in to say hello and leave after a few minutes.
Tea Time was also created, in part, to break away from the cliques that can happen at smaller schools.
“One of the worst parts about high school was the cliques that would develop,” Soendlin said. Tea Time was created in hopes to overcome those old social stigmas here in college.
Stillman added, “The atmosphere here is pretty come and go.”
Both Soendlin and Stillman agreed that Tea Time is certainly an advantageous time to meet new people from around school. “The whole point is to get to know more people and develop new relationships,” Stillman said.
Overall, Tea Time is a time on Tuesday nights for students to relax and take a few moments away from the homework and stresses that come from college life.
Any students on campus looking for a new social activity or a time to relax and meet new people are invited to come to Tea Time on Tuesday nights. Bring an open mind, a good sense of adventure, and a mug you wouldn’t mind sharing.