During Orientation Weekend of my freshman year, I was leaving Finnegan Fieldhouse (oh, those Fieldhouse Masses!) to head up to Tommy More (my dorm). I saw the sidewalk, but that was just too boring a way to travel up the hill. I looked at a large grassy pit in the ground and the grassy hill on the other side. Yes, I thought, this is a far better way to get to my dorm. Wearing my cute sundress from Paris, holding my sandals in hand, I felt very much like Maria Von Trapp. Arms outstretched, I ran down the hill, planning to run up the other side. My heart was singing “The Hills are Alive, with the Sound of Music!” All of a sudden-I stopped. My feet were impeded from movement, and mud was splashing up my legs.
Someone failed to mention to me that the beautiful grassy “pit” had been a former attempt to create a man-made pond/lake thing, and had never fully drained. Without knowing it beforehand, I had plunged myself into a little marshland. My wonderful idea to go all “Maria Von Trapp” was stopped by mud! Weeks into that school year, I recall meeting a girl who said, “Wait, I remember you-you’re that girl who was covered in mud and standing outside our dorm!”
Yup, I was that girl.
That girl who stood outside the “Tower of Estrogen” (as it is commonly known, since the dorm houses five floors of women) while my mom and brother ferried out cups of water to wash my legs. I was that girl who spent most of my waking free hours in a men’s dorm baking and hanging out with my new “brothers.” I was that girl who went to a convent for a week, and left more confused than ever. I was that girl who fell madly in love with an adorable redhead, even though I didn’t realize it at first. I was that girl who got engaged a week into sophomore year. I was that girl who traveled across Europe with my fiancé, going on pilgrimages to Italy, Poland, Germany, Austria, and France. I was that girl who got married to the most incredible man, just a few months after our return from Europe. I was that girl who discovered the glory, joy, and peace of being a married college student. I was that girl who bounced into Egan 113 at 7:50 a.m. on Tuesday morning for my first class (Phonics with Dr. Holmes), wondering, where did all the time go?
This is it. Senior year.
It is quite strange to say this to people, because it is so hard to believe myself. I’ve always looked up to the seniors, and observed their maturity, sophistication, and professionalism. I’m still very much a kid, and don’t feel like a senior. I think about all of the crazy experiences I have had since freshman year, and I have such an immense amount of gratitude to God. It's crazy how much I've changed! I made mistakes (still do), I went through rough spots (still do) but all of the joy and incredible blessings overflow far beyond any hardships. All of the struggles and mistakes have helped me to become who I am today, along with all of the joys and blessings. Coming to FUS has changed my life, and I still have this entire year to continue growing and developing many skills!
One of the skills I am hoping to improve upon this year is my writing. I love to write, and have for many years. Yesterday, I discovered that I have the blessing (that’s what I keep telling myself! It’s a blessing!) of having 60+ pages of work due on December 3 (thankfully, that’s far away, so I can focus on other papers and reading assignments before then!). One Theology Thesis + one Creative Nonfiction Paper (which will be 40-60 pages) equals one crazy semester! So, I will not be blogging as much as I did this summer, though I will try to keep it up!
I am extremely excited for the semester; all of my classes are amazing (and I’ve been looking forward to Creative Nonfiction since before I was a student, so it’s really good to finally take it!), being with all of my household sisters again is wonderful, and Jacob and I will have many wonderful adventures, I am sure. I always try to live life abundantly, but even more so now.
It’s time to get crazy, to celebrate and embrace each day-trials and joys together-and use all things for God’s glory, and for our sanctification!
Happy new school year!