It’s Christmas eve and for the last few weeks we’ve been getting the yearly Christmas cards in the mail. It’s fun to get cards from everyone and I love looking at the photo cards that are becoming more and more popular. But my favorite cards are the ones that contain a yearly letter. Though our family has never done one of these letters, I love reading how our friends are doing and what is new with them–especially the families we don’t get to see more than once or twice each year. So I thought that, since I enjoy reading others’ letters so much, I would write my own version here.
January: Christmas break is over and it’s time to begin the second half of my freshman year. New classes, new profs, but I’ve done this once before so I’m starting to get the hang of it. One of the classes I’m taking this semester is “Physical Education and the Christian Life” (PACL). It’s basically a health class and one requirement is half an hour of cardio three days of every week. I decided to run for my cardio and to officially begin working towards a goal I’ve had most of my life: run a marathon with my dad.
February: This month was packed. I remember writing down my big assignments on my dry-erase calender at the end of January and wanting to sleep through the month. In the midst of all the assignments, however, was some fun. The Superbowl was at the beginning of the month and I got to watch it with a bunch of friends. The following weekend was “Lil’ Sibs” and my siblings stayed the night on campus.
March: I started off the month with heading to Chicago for spring break. During fall semester we received an email describing the various spring break mission trips we could go on through the school. This trip to Chicago immediately caught my eye and I was thrilled when I was accepted. We went to Inner City Impact (http://innercityimpact.org/) where we helped with their ministry to inner city kids in the evenings and helped out at a local Christian school during the days. It was an incredible experience that helped to reinforce my love for inner city kids. The other highlight of the month was surprising my brother on his birthday. His squeal when he saw me was so sweet.
April: April was another month that was stuffed full. I’m flipping through my planner and actually saw a note to myself on one day that says, “relax a little.” It wasn’t all boring homework, though. I went camping with a bunch of friends and we sang worship songs around the fire while one guy played guitar. The next morning I ran a 5k (my first in a couple years). A couple weeks later, all of the girls I lived with went to Columbus to surprise one of our friends for her birthday. The next day I had a farewell party for another friend who was leading the ministry I was involved in. At the end of the month I had another busy weekend. On Saturday I drove home to watch my sister’s play then stayed for part of her 16th (?!) birthday party. After she blew out her candles I got in the car and headed back to school for Elliv, one of the biggest yearly events on campus. The next day I got to hang out with my cousin at her dance competition then I headed back to campus for finals week.
May: This was my month to relax and unwind a little. I took about a week off then headed down to Columbus for a couple days to shadow at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. This was an incredible experience that opened me up to the idea of pediatric pharmacy. Though I’m still not entirely sure what I want to do, it is something I’m considering. At the end of the month, the city schools ended for the year and I began my babysitting job. I spent the summer with three kids who were 11, 9 & 6 years old, taking them to swim practice, soccer camps, the pool and friends’ houses.
June: June was another month of work (sitting by the pool while the kids are swimming is tough work). At the end of the month I packed up and headed back to campus for a week to be a student leader at pharmacy camp. Yes, it sounds super nerdy and I suppose that’s exactly what it is. But I had a great week and got to meet some pretty incredible high schoolers. And some of the may be coming to campus next fall!
July: This month contained the highlight of my summer: our family trip to Colorado. I’ve always wanted to go west and I know my parents have as well. We spent three days driving out, stayed in a cabin on the side of a mountain, hiked every day until we were exhausted then crashed in the hot tub to sooth our tired muscles. Throughout our trip we saw some interesting people and places. One of my favorites was a saloon we stopped at in a little town on the way home. When we walked through the door I looked to the back of the large room and saw a pool table in the center with a small, round bar table off to the side. Leaning against the table were two cowboys, straight out of the movies, with boots on their feet, white stetsons on their heads, pool cues in their hands and beers on the table. If I remember right, I could hear spurs clinking on the hardwood floor as they played their game of pool.
August: August came all too quickly. We had our yearly Mud Hens baseball outing with my mom’s side of the family. With all 30+ of us in the two boxes, it was a great time, although the ice cream disappeared quickly. The following week was my final week working then I packed up and headed back to campus for my sophomore year. I went a few days early because I was helping with the Getting Started weekend for the freshmen. Besides helping move them in and helping everyone begin to decipher all of the acronyms we have on campus, I also got to get a small group leader. My co-leader and I had a group of 10 freshmen who we’ve stayed in contact with throughout the year. Once the crazy move-in week was over, I was right back into the swing of things. New classes, new profs, same routine.
September: Now that we’ve all settled in, the fun begins. I’m living with all new girls this year so we’re just getting to know each other. At the beginning of the month, SGA puts on an event called Mission Impossible, where students begin at one end of the campus and try to make their way, hidden in the dark, to the opposite end without getting caught by “secret agents” with flashlights. I also ran my first 10k this month at the Hocking Hills Indian Run. It rained all day so Dad and I were slipping through mud for half of it but it was a lot of fun. Eventually I’ll make it to a marathon. The 25th was my 20th birthday. It happened to be the same day as Printy Wars, a competition in my dorm between all of the different units. The girls in my unit told me they would win for my birthday and, sure enough, we won! That weekend was a full one that highlights how blessed I am. On Friday I had a bonfire party with the leaders of the ministry I’m involved in, Club 517. After that, we all headed to the new student talent show where we saw some very gifted students. Saturday I watched some of my friends win the intramural softball championship, went to a chili cook-off at my church then headed back to campus to watch the Buckeye’s game with a friend.
October: I’m finally getting my schedule figured out which means my friends and I can start up knitting club again. Yes, it’s a thing. A group of us meets once each week and heads down the street to a coffee shop where we do homework, chat and knit. We get a few weird looks but we have a great time. October 7th was the kick-off of Club 517, the highlight of each week for me. We have middle school kids from the area come to the church and we hang out with them, play games and share the most important thing in the world to us: our faith. I love those kids and I can’t imagine my college experience without 517. October contained two other highlights. The first: I got a job as a pharmacy technician. Though some people would find pharmacy boring and don’t understand why I’m majoring in it, I love my job and it’s made me more excited for my future job. The second highlight was getting to take two friends to see Ted Dekker, our favorite author, in Columbus. It was a free event but there was a drawing for a backstage pass and a free book. Somehow I won. Although I didn’t get to head over early for the backstage pass, after the event I found his manager to ask for the book I had won. While he was getting the book, Ted walked in and, ignoring the huge line of people waiting for him to sign their books, he breaks into a huge smile, hugs me and asks how I’m doing. This was the 5th time I’ve seen him and, for whatever reason, he always remembers me. He let me and my friends skip the huge line and took pictures with us.
One final thing from October (I know this is realllllly long): My intramural soccer team won the championship! This was our third season some of us have played together and we’ve won all three seasons.
November: The cold finally came and with it, the disappearance of everyone from warmer states. Ohioans broke out their jackets while Californians broke out their hats, scarves and gloves. Thus began my scarf business. It started as a half joke and I’ve ended up knitting nine scarves for people in my spare time. This month didn’t have any huge events. I spent a lot of time with friends, developing some incredible friendships that are major blessings.
December: Thanksgiving break ended and we all headed back to school for one week of classes, a week of finals, then Christmas break. Between tests, projects, papers and the added work of decorating for Campus Christmas, everyone was counting down the hours to Christmas break. It was a tough two weeks for me but I got it all done and somehow ended up with better grades than I expected. These two weeks reminded me once again how thankful I am for the close friends I have at school.
Now I am home. I’ve been to Christmas parties, I’ve done last minute Christmas shopping, I’ve been poked by the allergist 90 times (turns out I was right when I said I’m allergic to everything in the air), but most importantly, I’m home with my family.