After a week or so of classes and living together, one of my roommates wondered aloud, “Will this feeling ever go away?” To which I responded, “I hope not!” See, “this feeling” is the awe and excitement of college. Maybe you would tell me, “Yes, that wonderful feeling will go away, and it will flee quickly, leaving you behind in the drudgery of papers and readings.” I beg to differ. Maybe I feel differently because of where I’m going to school. That’s actually very probable. College, for me, is not school. College is a community where I am living with hundreds of brothers and sisters.
Some of these people have a bit of college experience. They know the professors, they’ve sat through a few years of classes, and most people would refer to them as “upperclassmen.” And that’s true. They are upperclassmen. But I prefer to see them like this: the big brothers and sisters I’ve never had. I love that the upperclassmen aren’t too good to say hi to me, that people who were once my camp counselors can now be my peers. I eat meals with these men and women, have classes with them, go to church with them, and live just down the hall from them. I love it!
Some of these brothers and sisters are brand new, just like me. For the first few weeks, they rushed to classes, were overwhelmed with reading, and studied frantically for exams. Then, things started to click for some of us. We could keep up with the reading, we weren’t missing meals to study, we were even finding our way around town and getting semi-regular sleep! We’re learning together and living together.
Another group would be the professors themselves. Though they don’t live on campus (for obvious reasons!), they are very much a part of this community too. They teach me so much! It’s awesome to see them at meals, to pass them in the halls, or to sit in their classes and just listen. I’m in awe of how much they have learned and how much I don’t know. Praise God for their patience and care for each of us students!
Finally, perhaps the tightest group right now is my wing. These sisters mean so much to me. They make me laugh, they encourage me, and they help me do what is best and not settle for anything beneath that. I love them! We’ve only known each other for a little while, but I have no doubt that these women will remain some of my closest friends for a very long time. It’s a little odd, honestly. For much of life, my closest friends have been mostly guys. To have a group of women that I can rely on to love me, encourage me, and correct me is a very new and wonderful experience. Who would’ve thought that life could be so great?
So… why is it that this feeling hasn’t gone away? I can think of only one thing–or Person, rather: Jesus! As I frequently tell my friends (or announce randomly across campus), Jesus is AWESOME!! He’s ALIVE and MOVING!!! It’s so great to be in a place where Christianity has very little to do with what you don’t do. My heart is changing. I’m thinking about and making decisions based on how I can honor and respect my brothers, my sisters, and my God rather than based on what I’m supposed to do (or not do). This is NOT to say that I’ve got it figured out! Far from it! (Ask the ladies in my wing if you don’t believe me!) But I am learning to live out of my love and gratitude for the One who loved me first. Honestly, it makes life so much happier and lovely! I’m filled with an endless supply of joy… most of the time. =P Yes, I still fail–a lot. But I’m growing. What a great blessing this is!! Gloria a Dios! Dios te bendiga. =)