I know that lately there have been quite a lot of events going on at Fontbonne, but really I wish I could have attended one of those events. This semester has been one of the busiest semesters for myself, working over 35 hours each week, being a full-time student, co-leading a bible study with Campus Ministry, planning for the bible study, and more. Though honestly, being so busy it makes me really appreciate my time and the time I have to spend with friends when available. Just the other day, I ended up having lunch outside with two of my close friends and just spent the time enjoying the sunlight, though sure, we had to work on homework and stress about registration. For the entire duration of hanging out with my friends, I was able to at least relax and life. Spending time with friends during college is very important for anyone to experience, creating those memories where you can smile and laugh. Creating those lasting relationships to endure the thick and thin that comes with college stress and difficult assignments that never seem to end some days.
Looking back on some of the best moments with my friends, all I can do is smile so big. Such as previous nights this semester venting to my best friend about a professor that may have been driving me crazy – we all have our moments – but that same night I laughed so hard that I snorted like I have never snorted before. We laughed, cried and created some of the best new memories together. Another time would be when having a great bible study session, learning new things about our faith together. Yet, I know that I have more memories to come, during the stressful times as well as during the more relaxed of times.
College is a time of development, change, experiences, and fun! During my college years, I have experienced many challenges. Perhaps one of the greatest challenges I have faced is saying goodbye to my global friends. Here at Fontbonne, I have had the privilege of meeting people from all around the world; from Japan to Saudi Arabia and Brazil to Vietnam. Every single international student is unique in their own way and brings so much joy to campus. The downside to this, however, is that they must go at some time. This past fall, I had the pleasure of living on the same residence hall floor as many of the Brazilian and Japanese international students. We become extremely close and there was never a dull moment! As the semester drew to an end, my friends from other countries were preparing to return home.
It was difficult to say goodbye to these people who had become some of my closest friends at Fontbonne- I did not know what Fontbonne was like without them! When it was time to go our separate ways, I wrote a note to each friend of mine and gave them pictures from our time together here at Fontbonne. Since then, I have Skyped with some friends, texted them using the app “Whatsapp”- which is a texting app that can be used with Wifi or cellular data, and used Facebook and Instagram to keep up with them. Although it is difficult to be here without seeing their smiling faces and communicating with them face-t0-face, I am grateful for the technology that we do have to stay in touch and I am even hoping to travel to visit some of them in the upcoming years! I would not trade my time with my international friends for anything; and I always say that I am happy I had the short time I did have with them than no time at all! I encourage everybody to step out of their comfort zone and reach out to others who are different than you. You can learn a great deal about the history, culture, and traditions of other countries by simply talking to your neighbor down the hall!
On that note, the Campus Ministry team at Fontbonne is hosting “Better Together Day” this Tuesday, April 14th from 11am-1pm in the grassy area outside of the library. Students will have an opportunity to sit in a ball pit (yes, a ball pit!) and get to know somebody on campus that comes from a different walk of life or belief system than their own! This is a great way to get to know your peers right here on campus and learn a little about the many religions represented at Fontbonne!
Compared to the days of high school, I can say that getting involved at school on a college level can be difficult though also easy, depending on how much effort you put into it. I know that in high school it was pretty easy to get involved because of the fact you’re on campus every day, everything is pretty much readily accessible and at the tip of your hands. I was involved with any organization that I was particularly interested in as long as I made sure to seek out the information to participate in each organization. Now with college, as a commuter student, things can be slightly different. I know personally I have to make sure that my schedule can fit in time for each of the organizations that I am personally involved in, and in addition to that I have to make sure I can give fully of my talents as a participant. Last year, as a freshman, I was very involved with almost each organization I would possibly relate to or had interest in. Though my major problem was that I had to narrow down where was it I felt called to be in with the groups — where an organization would benefit from me as well as me benefiting from the organization in return.
I believe it is important for each student on campus to really find at least one organization to participate in and give of their time and talents. Now I am not saying that a student should join every organization that he or she can join in one semester, but rather to evaluate their interests and sign up for at least one or two. Here I can say that I am honestly involved in at least two student organizations: Students for Life and Campus Ministry. Campus Ministry though, is where I want to focus because of how much I am currently learning from this part of my life. I am not sitting here saying that “Oh everyone needs to be a part of Campus Ministry and be a Jesus freak,” because that is not the case. I know that with Campus Ministry I have really seen where I enjoy investing my time most with growth and learning more about myself as a whole person. Through times of working together with another team member on the Campus Ministry Team, I have learned how I work best with people and how I may not work best with people. Though through those varying situations, I have learned ways to respond to times when I may not work best with people, in addition I have learned ways to improve more on myself. Life lessons that come from working with others in an organization within college. There are times of leadership that you are handed or else offered and you have the chance to either take it or leave it. But when taking opportunities of leadership and spending time with people who have some of the same things in common with you, it makes the overall college experience more meaningful as well as personal.
I feel very grateful to have been able to attend Fontbonne University and to have on campus mass on Sunday’s at 7pm. At the end of the week, it is always important to set aside a time for reflection and also to give thanks. Even if there was nothing extraordinary happening the week before, there is always something to be grateful for.
As we approach the holidays, let’s not forget that we have the beautiful Doerr Chapel located in the 2nd floor of Ryan Hall. If you have never been there before, I encourage you to go. It is usually a quiet place, but a very beautiful one.
Mass is also offered on Friday’s at noon and there are many other activities to get involved in! Visit the Campus Ministry website to find other ways to get involved http://www.fontbonne.edu/studentlife/campusministry/