I’ve been here a week, so you think I would probably have a set opinion, some friends and no homework, right? Well, yeah, of course you’re wrong. Or sort of wrong. I indeed have lots of homework. I indeed have some opinions, and I’ve made a few friends. I’ve had some revelations, some tears, some laughs, some late night calls, some early mornings. Due to my lack of time and your lack of patience (@glw333), this post will probably be jumbled, a wee bit short, and not completely reflective of my time here.
I’ll start with move-in day, which wasn’t as rough as perceived. All of my belongings fit, my Christmas lights got put up, none of my roommates were in my room as I unpacked, I felt organized. Later that day, however, the reality of not being home set in. Saying goodbye or see you later to people was essentially meaningless beforehand. It didn’t actually seem like I was going away, and I feel like the gravity of the situation wasn’t real or attainable at the time. Goodbyes were said, but as I sat in my bed the first afternoon, I realized they were real. I realized I wasn’t yet supported here. I didn’t have friends. I didn’t have a place where I could be vulnerable yet. To all my pals back in the good ole g-lake, I miss you bunches. I really do. A special shoutout to those of you who have called me and talked me through assimilation and just let me tell you everything I felt wasn’t going right and then made me laugh.
I forgot to mention I have a view of Lake Michigan from my dorm! It is absolutely beautiful, and tomorrow morning, I am waking up extremely early to go watch the sunset. 6:00 AM probably seems early, but when you have somewhere to be at 7:55 AM, it’s all just relative. I love morning classes. No, but really, I do. I love my classes. For the most part, all my professors are kind and interesting and understandable. Except for my Anatomy and Physiology professor, who is from Latvia, God bless her heart. If I had to be anxious about one thing, it’d be not understanding her, failing to comprehend the expectations, getting below an A, and therefore being dropped out of the Master’s program I’m currently enrolled in. A lot rests on this class, but I’m just trying to keep saying I’m prepared. Yeah, I’m really not, but I’m excited to learn. Rumor has it her class is death and extremely hard. Her teacher reviews are also extremely amusing, but I’m not going to say any more. Besides this exception, all of my other professors have already captured my attention and made classes interesting. I especially like my Bible teacher (how cool is it I get to take religion classes again in school), who is full of many stories and reminds me of Bob Goff. Unlike the general freshman population, I’m extremely excited to have this course in my schedule and further deepen my knowledge of the Bible and Hebrew and all things lovely and pure. I’m also taking a course called Freshman Seminar, in which a large population of the class is students with special needs. It just turned out this way, but I’m so blessed to be around them and begin to build relationships with them. Have I mentioned I love special needs kids?
Yikes, what next. Golly, I’ll tell you about my roommates. So I got pulled into a nine person suite, and let me tell you, it’s a party. Every day. Every morning. Every night. There is always music playing, guests, late night outings, and games. Me being me, I haven’t been too involved in some of the activities and outings, but it’s been pretty fun to get to know some of the girls. We all share one shower, which has been a minor challenge, but in all, it’s worked out okay. Or at least, it’s worked out almost as expected, which isn’t awful. There’s already been a wee bit of drama and complications, but it’s bound to happen, and I think at least my sub room is all content, so that’s fine with me.
I also mentioned many months ago about my receiving of a music scholarship, which requires me to take lessons, participate in a concert band, and be an avid member of the pep band. I auditioned on Thursday of last week, and I ended up getting a chair in the top band, which means I get to tour Hawaii with the band during Winter Break!! YAY for pineapples, luaus, tropical feels, and new adventures. I’ve also already found three people to room with, and they’re really sweet. Two of them, I know pretty well already. One is a camp counselor, who wears chacos and who also is really proficient in making me laugh and singing camp songs with me when no one else will. The other encourages me in the finsta world, laughs at my mom with me, and happens to know my high school best friend. I really like these people, and Hawaii’s gunna be dope. So, basically, band rocks and I’m feeling great about it.
Yesterday, after my final class, I was feeling pretty defeated. I couldn’t understand my A&P professor, I had lots of homework, I still don’t really have many friends, and there was just an overall feeling of angst, isolation, and loss of motivation. I turned on my phone, and I had received a message from a friend back home, asking the question “do you ever feel like satan takes away your joy?” And my answer, especially in the moment, was absolutely. This whole summer, especially at camp, there was no room for anxiety or overwhelming depression, and they were replaced by constant energy and reliance on God for guidance through yet another day. I was surrounded by a community who almost forced me to dive into God’s word every single morning and additionally on various nights throughout the week. I was constantly reading scripture and learning what God was doing in my camper’s lives and hearing about children accepting Jesus. I think realizing lives were being changed brought me great joy, but I also really depended on certain co-workers and people back home to restore my joy. I’m still processing this all, but as far as I can tell, leaving my community back home and from the summer has really hit me hard, and God is using it as a method to force me to find my joy in Him and Him alone. After I responded “yes” to his question, my friend asked if I could think of any tangible ways to start accepting God’s joy. He told me this was not God’s plan for me. He affirmed God wanted me to rest in His joy and wanted me to feel loved by Him through it. He told me God is waiting for me. Even as I write this right now, I don’t feel joyful. I’m already apathetic to many parts of college. I’m exhausted. I feel useless like I’m failing at what I’m doing. But why should I? God is calling me to joy, and His joy is stronger than all of these other feelings. I’ve decided the first tangible step I’ll be taking to begin to find true joy in God will be reading through the Psalms these next four or five months. I’ve never read all the way through, but I know for a fact David has so much joy and praise to offer up to God, despite what may be happening in his life. I haven’t read much from my Bible since camp counselor life ended. I’d love for you to keep me accountable, so please ask me how its going.
Additionally, I will yet again encourage you to leave something on my Prayer Request page. It’s been up for the past four months, and so far no one has left anything on there – anonymous or not – so you could be the first!
Today’s appreciation post goes to my tall buddy who calls me cactus. You’re really good at volleyball and boys and inspiring others around you. I see you sometimes, and I think to myself I want what she has. You have so much joy and love, and it just pours out of you like the oil in the Bible – never ending. Thanks for listening to my endless rants about college and making me laugh and telling me about your romantic life and justifying my anger and laughing when all my pillows end up on the ground in the morning and later asking what was wrong. Thank you for skipping questionable activities and for pushing me to pray and talking about boys with me and for serving me and letting me eat your oreos. Thank you for reminding me of Isaiah 42:14 and for never forgetting what went down in East Troy. Thank you for reaching out to everyone in our dorm and being you even when it gets tough. I hope you’re having fun in Texas and your preamble memorization has gone well. You actually rock my world, and I’m so blessed to spend 4.5 more years with you. Love ya, kleetis.