Wednesday, May 13

the adventure that has been Beta 3.

Alright guys, time for sentimentality.
I leave this beautiful place tomorrow afternoon, and in the wise words of A. A. Milne,

How lucky I am to have something that makes saying 'goodbye' so hard.

We slept in a tent. It froze that night.
So did we. But we did indeed make it
an entire evening in a single tent...
we started a bonfire all by ourselves
(let me tell you, that was the real
struggle of the evening) and we
laughed until our guts hurt, only to
calm down and start laughing all
over again.
We got pranked by campus safety
at some ungodly hour, we spent
some serious time looking at the
stars, and we roasted our socks
on sticks so we could at least have
warm feet to sleep with.

I am honestly so thankful to have lived and served as the Spiritual Life Adviser (SLA) on the beautiful place that is Beta 3. Over the course of the year, we developed a bit of a reputation as 'that floor that does all the cute stuff'.' We made cards and delivered them to the retirement home, we made and decorated Christmas cookies for all of the groups on campus (health center/student development/academic affairs/etc.), and we surprise gifted some people who we identified as needing a little extra smile.
I couldn't pick just one picture or favorite memory, so in the captions beneath these are some of my favorite memories.

There are always a lot of summer birthdays and usually
summer birthdays go uncelebrated. NOT SO on Beta 3.
About a week ago, before finals really got crazy but
late enough that we were really starting to feel the
stress kick in, we had a mass 'birthday party' for summer
birthdays, for our friendship, and just to spend a little
more time together. And of course we went all out
with streamers, ice cream (and even lactose free
ice cream because so many of us are lactose intolerant!),
balloons, music, games and more sprinkles than anyone
would have thought we could have use for.
In addition to our mass birthday
party celebration, if our birthday
was during the year, every single
one of us woke up to balloons,
streamers, a sign, and a little note.
It was so encouraging to watch
every girl see her little reminder
that this floor really cares for
each other no matter what.
Worship nights were some of my favorite nights all year.
We had a floor with multiple very talented musicians,
be it with vocals, guitars, or ukuleles (: Every so often,
we'd hold a worship night and sing through some of our
favorite songs and take the time to really just worship
alongside each other. I found these nights really powerful
and it truly warmed my heart that the girls really took
100% of the initiative of them. As the SLA, I was the
one that was expected would really be pushing for
spiritual life and development on the floor, but these
girls knew what was up and how to make their own faith
stories a priority.. HUGE blessing.

So now, as the academic year comes to a close, I can honestly say that it has been one of the best years of my life.

Being an SLA was incredible. It really put me in a position to be looking for and to witness so much that God was doing on campus and, more specifically, in the lives of my girls. Sure, there were moments when I wanted to scream and run away from the responsibility, but it taught me a lot about humility, total reliance on God, recognizing my own ignorance, and the true importance of being a woman constantly in the word. 

My physical, emotional, mental, psychological, and spiritual health have all been pushed in different ways this semester, but I can honestly say that I'm coming out on top of it with my head on straight and a really big smile on my face.

My grades this year all but blew those of freshman year out of the water, and I'm back on track for my ultimate goal of graduating cum laude. 
I applied for, have officially been accepted into, and am now enrolled for a semester abroad in the beautiful little city of Antigua, Guatemala next year (I leave in 237 days, if you're wondering, not like I'm counting or anything) where I will have the chance to experience total immersion into the Spanish language and Guatemalan culture.

Over two semesters I completed two honors courses, 18 credits within my major, and three for one of my minors -- and totaled 35 credit hours. Though not official yet, my year-long GPA will be about a 3.8. I brewed too much coffee and bought too much coffee, I drank a couple too many energy drinks and got a little bit shy of the ideal number of hours of sleep. I've laughed and cried, sometimes within the same two minute span, but it has truly been a beautiful blessing and one that I would not trade for the world.
Thank you for journeying with me, for surrounding me with prayer, for believing with me and standing beside me. The friendships, mentorships, and relationships that have developed and flourished this year are things that I don't take lightly.

It only seems fitting to close this year with the words of Gary Allan and a song that randomly got stuck in my head today but could not fit better with how I'm feeling about the end of this crazy journey of sophomore year.

life ain't always beautiful
sometimes it's just plain hard
life and knock you down,
it can break your heart

life ain't always beautiful
you think you're on your way
and it's just a dead end road
at the end of the day

but the struggles make you stronger
and the changes make you wise
and happiness has its own way
of takin' it's sweet time

no, life ain't always beautiful
tears will fall sometimes
life ain't always beautiful
but it's a beautiful ride

life ain't always beautiful
some days I miss your smile
I get tired of walkin'
all these lonely miles

and I wish for just one minute
I could see your pretty face
guess I can dream,
but life don't work that way.

but the struggles make you stronger
and the changes make you wise
and happiness has its own way
of takin' it's sweet time

no, life ain't always beautiful
but I know I'll be fine
hey, life ain't always beautiful
but it's a beautiful ride
what a beautiful ride

No comments:

Post a Comment

please don't hesitate to tell me what you're thinking!