This weekend has been a fresh, new start for so many. Not just for the freshmen and transfer students who have moved in to start what could be the best 4 years of their lives thus far, but also for me. This weekend, including move-in day and all of the madness of freshmen orientation, has been the culmination of an entire year's worth of work. It's why I'm here. It's the reward.
You can't imagine how exciting it is to see students move in here whom you've met along the way. I remember giving tours to some, sitting down and actually "counseling" some, eating lunches with some, hanging out with some at camps or CIY's, talking to some on the phone, writing or e-mailing with some, and so on... but it's an exhausting excitement. My spirit is energized by seeing everyone here, but physically and mentally I'm exhausted from all that's going on.
We've each led freshmen small groups during orientation, and in the past these have proved to be a failure. They've felt like church camp family groups or d-groups most of the time, and this year wasn't completely different. But we didn't just sit around and discuss. Instead we had "The Amazing Race" on Sat. night w/ our group and some other games (including 4-square, which I hadn't ever played until then) on Sunday afternoon, and service projects yesterday. Our group instantly bonded in The Amazing Race as we ran across campus to get our clues, were sweating all over each other in the cheesy-as-ever-but-still-good-team-building "Human Knot", and as we ran screaming "No man left behind!!!" to make sure we all stuck together. I love my group. These freshmen are awesome.
It just takes me back to when I was a freshman, which seems like soooo many years ago. Melissa and I moved into our room, Rachel was across the hall, and we were each nervous and excited the first day. We met Allison, who was sitting at her computer by herself in her room next door to us, and later we met Steph and her crazy roommate from upstairs. Steph, Alli, Rachel, Missy, and I started hanging out all the time on the tennis courts at night, looking up at the stars and laughing till it was curfew time. I remember how loud and obnoxious we must have been to everyone else. I remember taking the ol' Bible Knowledge Exam and freaking out. I remember getting an orientation "crush" on someone whom I still now know, and I can tell you exactly where we were sitting in the Chapel that night when we met (and probably even what he was wearing). I remember going to Dairy Queen later that night w/ the girls and that boy and another boy from the Hole, and that's the night Rachel named my car Snaggy Magoo. I remember meeting certain people who would just walk right up and introduce themselves, and it was overwhelming b/c I knew I'd forget their names! I remember finally getting the wishbook and looking through to memorize names and faces of all the upperclassmen and other freshmen. I remember Steph saying something to me about my clothing one time b/c I was wearing a spaghetti strap tank top and shorts, and apparently I didn't think that was immodest attire. (I realized later on that it wasn't really appropriate at LCC, but I had no idea.) I remember crazy Megan Snyder who was on our floor and who pretty much brought upon us endless unnecessary stress and chaos. I remember going dancing at Rocky's in Bloomington (yuck) and feeling like we were in trouble from our dorm mom b/c we weren't supposed to be going. I remember thinking I would never be friends w/ all the Lincoln girls who were prof's daughters, even though now I'm really good friends w/ Lindsay Clark (Jones) and Ashleigh Mauhar (Ray). I remember lots of good things, funny things, bad things, things I wish I hadn't done, things I wish could still be going on.
Oh, the memories of freshman year. I miss it, but I don't. I'm glad to be where I am now and to see these new faces come into the newness I once experienced here. It's a new start, and that's what I remember being most exciting about coming to LCC. It's a beginning. And I'm excited to see the end results...which isn't their graduation, but the ministry that happens while they're here and far beyond their days here. Sounds cheesy, I know. But really this whole place is just their orientation to life, isn't it?