In late June I attended orientation for NKU. This overnight stay was a drawn out process and the equivalent of throwing us into a pot of boiling water, getting many completely out of their elements. And much of it seemed to have no purpose. But some of it was quite useful, and I made several friends that I was able to take into the school year and still talk to today.
The next month I was able to attend my fifth Youth Congress, a trip our church youth group takes to Tennessee with many other youth groups. This time, however, I was given more of a leadership role. It was a learning experience for sure, and it hit me that I am supposed to be the one that is a role model, modeling myself after Christ, and that so often I have failed in that. Every other time I left this trip I failed in my commitments, but this time it was different.
The rest of the summer continued without much fanfare. My family took a few mini-vacations that lasted a day or two. I continued to find and purchase (for as cheap as possible, of course) things I needed for college. And the longer the summer went on, the more I was ready to move in to college.
On August 16 I did just that. Everything was settled in, along with a temporary roommate, who stayed well past midterms. The next day our roommate, an interesting character, joined us. I located my classes and got things started.
Things were slow and a bit rough at first. I wasn't quite meeting people and making friends like I expected to. But a few weeks in I found my place, and got involved in a few organizations. The Baptist Collegiate Ministry was a Godsend, as it was great to meet fellow believers, and I have continually become more involved in it. I also quickly got involved in Northern Right to Life and various things that it does. Revive Baptist Church, which a pastor whom I had known that had preached at my church back home, became my home church at NKU. Just started in Over-the-Rhine, I've been privileged to be involved a little in the church, and see it now move to its own building in Price Hill.
So many experiences have taken place while in college, I could not possibly recall them all now, nor express them all in good time. An organization I am a part of but have not had major involvement in, Freshman Service Leadership Committee, had a cleanup of a run in Cincinnati, in which we were out from about 9 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. in pouring rain. There are a few other harmless stories I could tell, but I don’t want my family to get worried.
I've filled my time with organizations, athletic events, and plenty of homework. However, I was (barely) able to finish with A’s for the first semester, so I guess I’m off to the right start. Countless friendships have begun to form, I have learned a new sense of independence (much of it through trial and error) and I have solidified and begun to stand for what I believe.
I have shaken the hand of the minority leader of the Senate, agonizingly watched intense soccer matches, and volunteered for the Genocide Awareness Project. I've sat behind elephant ears at 12:30 a.m. attempting to find who had been vandalizing a display for an organization. I've played through an injury to be there for my team I captained, though I knew my indoor soccer team, playing on basketball courts, didn't stand a chance. I have been able to work out daily and eat a balanced diet. I’ve started a YouTube channel and been accepted on a spring break pro-life missions trip. This but scratches the surface. Finally, I went through my first round of final exams and served pancakes to students who came in to the Baptist Student Center.
After this it was back home, which I had been to a handful of times before on breaks and weekends. Here I've had a short while to get into the Christmas spirit before it came and went, and have had some time to get things done that the hectic college lifestyle has not afforded me. In addition, it has allowed me to catch up with old friends and spend time with family.This past year has seen one of the biggest transitions that a person will see in their life. I feel I am now fully integrated into the changes that have come, though not to forget what I have left behind. With all the blessings that 2013 has had to offer me, I can only look forward to 2014, already with events coming up, to be another blessed year. I thank God for what He has done and will continue to do.