Thursday, January 3, 2013

Life as a Stoody Mudent

Whenever the end of the semester rolls around and I get hit with a great big pile of stress and busyness I begin to wonder why in the world I ever attempted another semester. I realize how crazy I was to be excited when classes were just starting and it dawns on me that with only three short weeks off before the next semester begins there is no way that I will fully recover before I have to do it all over again. But, inevitably, about two weeks into my break I start thinking about new classes, I begin getting e-mails from professors, and I can’t help but get excited. I love reading new syllabi, reorganizing my binder, planning out my schedule, and coming up with new strategies for taking on a new course load. As I start to think about the new adventures I’ll have and all the new things I’ll learn, my heart is happy and my mind is content. I simply love being a student. Here’s why I love going to school:
1. I go to Bible college. Today as I read the syllabus for one of my new classes one of the course objectives caught my eye: To gain a greater appreciation of and a deeper trust in the Bible as the inerrant Word of God. Wow. Seriously, I am so incredibly blessed to go to a school where my professors’ ultimate concern is not to get certain information to stick in my brain but to make me more like Jesus; where my classes are not designed simply to prepare me for a certain vocation but to teach me to love, serve, trust, and glorify God more completely.
2. My school is in downtown Chicago. How awesome is it that although my ‘campus’ fits into about three city blocks, I have an entire world-class city right here in front of me, just waiting to be explored? Far beyond the red brick walls of campus my city is full of museums, skyscrapers, concert halls, theatres, churches, universities, grocery stores, sidewalks, and coffee shops, each brimming with beauty, art, philosophy, tragedy, joy. What better place to learn and grow?
3. I am a music major. Yes it’s a ton of work and at least twice a week I question my own sanity, but every day I have so. much. fun. Each week I get to spend an hour playing the piano with a gentleman who is not only brilliant but also the sweetest and most caring teacher anyone could ask for. I get to go on two tours every year with the craziest and most wonderful group of instrumentalists. I have my practice room invaded at least once a day by an oboe, violin, or voice major, and if I wear purple at least two faculty members will inevitably compliment me on my outfit.
4. I love reading books and writing papers. About 85% of my requirements for any course involve writing a paper or reading a book. I could do without the tests and other random homework I have, but since that only ends up being about 15% of my work at school I’m not going to complain. Most days I get to just do what I enjoy and get credit for it.
5. I will never get tired of organizing things. And let’s be honest: there is always plenty to organize when you’re in school. At the beginning of every semester I have such a great time organizing my syllabi, putting all the important due dates in my calendar, reordering my book shelf, planning out my practice and study time, and reorganizing my binder with new homework schedules and course requirements.
6. My professors are superheroes. Not even kidding. Some of them explain to me how busy they are and I’m pretty sure they never sleep. Yet they always have way more energy than any of their students and are happy to squeeze coffee or lunch with a student into their crazy schedules. Not only are they unbelievably wise and intelligent, but they are also personable and caring and love being with their students. I learn so much from them not only in class, but also sitting in chapel with them, chatting over lunch, discussing a concept after class, or praying with them about challenging situations.
7. My fellow students are incredible. They never cease to challenge, encourage, and inspire me. Whether we’re making a trip to Walmart, playing ultimate on Dryer lawn, watching the sunrise at the beach, doing homework together, talking about what we learned that day over dinner, or discussing theology in a coffee shop, I’m always blown away by the wisdom, grace, and love that reside in the hearts of the people I go to school with. On a daily basis they challenge me to pursue holiness, encourage me in my walk with Jesus, and inspire me to dream big and get creative. They’re always there to have an intelligent and uplifting conversation and to pray with me for our school, our families, our friends, and our world.
8. I know it’s where I am supposed to be. Although at times I’ve wished I could just go home and never come back to school, at the end of the day I know that God has me here on purpose. The growth that I’ve experienced in my time at school has been difficult but extremely rewarding. God’s goodness and faithfulness has been shown to me over and over again in each and every detail and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. The joys I’ve experienced have been incredible and I’m overwhelmingly blessed by the people I get to learn from and grow with. I am trusting that God has placed me here in his sovereignty and he is using my time in school to make me into the person that he desires me to be. Although I have no way of knowing what he has in store, I know that his plan is better than anything I could even dare to dream.  
So there you have it. In a week and a half I get to begin another semester with its own joys, challenges, and adventures. I have no idea what parts I will like, what parts I’ll hate, what I’ll learn, or what I’ll wish I could do over. But I am excited. I know that I am blessed and no matter what this semester may bring I will praise God for the incredible opportunity that he has given me to go to school. I couldn’t ask for more.
[soli deo gloria]