It seems as though it has been forever since I last wrote. While I would love to claim that I have been super busy with important preparatory work for going to seminary, that would be a complete lie – for good or worse, my life has been extremely quiet over the last 7 weeks since I was “commenced” from Smith College. I’m not going to spend the time dwelling on the change that such an end has brought about, because all of you alums out there can understand completely how I feel! To sum it up, it hasn’t quite hit me yet that I am a college graduate. It hasn’t quite hit me yet that I won’t be returning to Morris House in the fall, seeing all my friends (including my biffles…). Instead, in one week’s time, I will be heading off to seminary, where I will be building and developing new friendships, and hopefully kindling a new relationship in good time (although, I’m going to let that part happen when it is supposed to – I think I tried to shed the stereotypical “Smith goggles” when I graduated, and am heading to seminary with an open heart and open mind!). With all this said, it feels extremely weird, and extremely wonderful that in one week from tomorrow, I will be moving into Alexander Hall 210, where I will be living for this coming academic year.
Over the last year, or rather, since November when I was accepted to Princeton, I feel as though I’ve been slowly building an idea of what seminary will be like, but with the tremendous nurturing of several friends, one of them extremely new (and male…haha), I am beginning to see the joy of entering seminary with an open mind and heart, ready to face and attack whatever is thrown at me. This definitely must apply to the beginning of my New Testament Greek class next Monday. I am not a language person, and prefer to stick to English as frequently as possible – I have yet to master English, so I figure, why try to learn another when I don’t have this one mastered? But anyway, Greek is something that will only serve to heighten my ability to translate and interpret New Testament scripture in the future. I think this is yet another instance where I will be challenged in many different disciplines: my patience, academic achievement, etc. Am I nervous/tentative about taking Greek? Absolutely! But I must grab life by the you know what and run with the challenges I have been dealt. As I recently told a friend, God only deals us the cards he knows we can handle, even though we may think otherwise. I just have to continue to remember this, even when things get tough, as I’m sure they will at one time or another.
So, over the last few weeks, I have been reading books from PTS’s reading list (a mix of Systematic theology, church history, and preaching – MLK, Bonhoffer, and the basics of sermon writing), as well as thinking back on my time at Smith. Part of me feels so excited that seminary has finally arrived, as a large part of my existence over the last two years has been spent preparing, applying, and just dreaming about what seminary would be like. But now, it is actually happening, and sooner rather than later. It is only now that I have been able to examine the experiences I had and the people I met over the last four years at Smith, and remember how the most wonderful times outweigh the moments that I will choose not to remember in the future years to come. The other half of me, however, is a bit scared of what it means to be starting off at a new school in just 7 days – meeting new people, making new friends, getting adjusted to a brand new town, a new housing arrangement (my first dorm experience ever!), and in some ways, a new identity. I have made these friendships at Smith that I believe will (and hope at the same time) last a lifetime, and those ladies will be the first people invited to my wedding (which will also I hope happen!). But what will happen to these friendships as I immerse myself into a new academic community, where there will be more people with aspects in common than not?
I have many questions that have no answers at the moment, but I know that one week from now, the answers will begin to unfold. But more importantly, what are the things I am most looking forward to?
1. Chapel once a week (5 days a week once the academic year starts in September)
2. Preaching class! (Nuff said…)
3. Meeting amazing Christian men and women
4. BOYS! (Nuff said, x2)
5. Preppy Princeton, NJ
6. Finally feeling like an adult after so many years of living as a teenager
I hope that in the next few days, I can begin to prepare myself mentally for the huge (or so they seem…) changes that lie ahead!
More to come soon!