Thursday, November 26, 2015

Taking on a big challenge

For family, friends, God, my home, my dogs, my school, my country...

All these things and plenty more I have been thankful for over the years. This year? I'm grateful for the challenge.

The challenge that comes with moving back home, with school, with life. In my daily prayers the first thing I say is 'thank you'. I can't remember who told me about this habit, but I like it. If you can't think of anything else to tell God, just say thank you. So coming up with something to be grateful for this year wasn't hard. I make that list daily because I am beyond blessed with so many great people and gifts in my life. What I try and do now is find the silver lining (sometimes it's really thin and hard to see) in all of my challenges. I am thankful for the challenge because it makes everything I thank God for on a daily basis that much more meaningful.

It has taken me truly ALL semester to find a time to sit down and write this post. I have barely taken a breath but as tired as I am, I love it. It is a series of challenges that I am learning a lot from. I am learning that not everything should be started the day before its due, but sometimes that happens. I am learning that talking about how stressed I am takes up too much time so it's faster and easier to just push through. I am learning that group projects are less about the paper and more about the people. I am learning that it's hard to miss a family dinner, but the leftovers for lunch are really nice...I am learning that my parents and sisters notice that I'm not around very often, but it makes the time I am home that much better.

About a week ago, when I wasn't sure the silver lining was there, I reached out to a friend about how much harder grad school is than I anticipated. I knew it was going to be more difficult than undergrad, and I knew WashU was going to be tough, but DANG it is kicking my butt. I knew I reached out to the right person because she can always find the silver lining. Always. She reminded me that the academic stress is temporary, that I am building plenty of new relationships with all my classmates, and I get to learn a new campus (let's be honest, I love college campuses!) So as much as I feel like I'm drowning in papers, projects and reading, I am learning SO much. Both what is in those textbooks and what I am made of.

I am loving my fellowship with Resident Life. I get to build relationships with people from all different walks of life. I get to have conversations and experiences I never thought I'd have and I get to (hopefully positively) influence the undergrads. I get to be behind the fun they are having on campus.

Next semester I am starting a practicum at The MICA (Migrant and Immigrant Community Action) Project here in Saint Louis. It provides legal aid and community resources to the needs of the migrant and immigrant populations and I will be helping with the nonlegal needs of the community. More to come on that once I start but I figured I would give those interested an update.

I'd like to say I will be posting more regularly but I can't make promises.