The sun is shining, there are students all around me, and I’m sitting on a bench in the shade listening to music and writing this post while I wait for my next class to start- yes, this is life at Carolina, and it’s just as amazing as it sounds. In all honesty, I can’t imagine myself being this happy anywhere else- I feel so blessed that God put me here for this exciting time in my life, because I am in love with this campus.
This year couldn’t have started off any better. After moving in to a room much, much bigger (and cleaner… and newer) than my room last year, I was able to spend the whole weekend with my family before I went back to school. When I returned on Sunday afternoon, my roommate and I had a blast decorating our room and rearranging everything to make it just the way we wanted it. Sunday night, I went to one of Carolina’s biggest Week of Welcome events, known as FallFest. Every year, UNC shuts down an entire road and allows every organization to set up an information table so that students know about every opportunity they have here at Carolina. There’s free food, live performances, and the street is packed with people as they navigate from table to table. Every time that I turned around, I saw someone else that I knew, and it was so exciting to see these people after not seeing them for several months; the best part about it all was that when I saw everyone, it was as if nothing had changed- the friendship hadn’t diminished, the excitement hadn’t faded- it was like time had stopped at UNC while we all enjoyed our summers, and we came back to the same great friendships that we had established last year. I loved it!
On Monday night, UNC’s Campus Crusade for Christ (known as Cornerstone) held a picnic for people to learn more about the organization. Cornerstone is something that I’ve been extremely involved with since the day I set foot on this campus, and so attending that was amazing because I saw all of my bible study leaders again and I was able to catch up with so many of my close friends that night. After that, Week of Welcome continued with an event called Sunset Serenade in which some of UNC’s best a capella groups perform as the sun goes down- and these groups are so good! I was amazed, and what was even better was that the quad was packed with people- I turned around to see how big the crowd was, and there were people further than I could even see- it was crazy! I loved every minute of it.
Tuesday was the first day of classes, and even they went extremely well. It’s definitely been a busy week, but with the energy from this campus all around me, it’s not difficult to do everything that needs to be done. On Thursday night, I went to an 80’s party with a bunch of friends and it was a blast- it was super hot and my ears were ringing from the loud music when I got back to my dorm, but hey, I was rocking super bright colors, a side ponytail, and way too much make-up- how often do you get to do that? :)
Friday night may have been my best night at college thus far- it was SO MUCH FUN. To start things off, Cornerstone had their annual Hoedown, and so we all put on our plaid and cowboy boots and had a blast. First of all, some of the best barbeque and sweet tea that I’ve had in a while (with the exception of a restaurant that we go to when visiting my grandparents), AND we learned how to line dance… or square dance… or some kind of dancing that is appropriate for a hoedown- once again, how often do you get to do that?? After the hoedown ended, a couple of us decided to make our way to Franklin Street and I’m pretty sure the cupcake I had at Sugarland that night was the best cupcake I’ve ever had in my life… I certainly hope it was, anyway, because I paid $3.50 for it. But even though it sounds like it, my whole night wasn’t centered around me eating super good food. After Franklin Street, some guys we know from Cornerstone invited us to come hang out in their suite for a little while, so we headed over there. For the next three or four hours, I laughed so hard that I had a headache when I got back to my room. These guys were so funny and energetic, and after watching Family Feud, playing catch phrase and fish bowl, and listening to the boys serenade us with all of their musical talent, we were all exhausted. At 3 AM, I finally headed back to my dorm, extremely content with the way my night had gone. Nights like that are what college is all about- having a great time with good friends, and being able to go home at the end of the night feeling good about it all. If Friday night was any indication of what the rest of my weekends at Carolina will be like, I am in for an absolutely amazing year.
“In Christ, there is nothing I could do to make you love me more, and nothing I have already done that makes you love me less.”
That part really stuck out to me because sometimes I will realize that I haven’t been praying as much as I should be or I’ll notice that I’m focusing more on myself than on my relationship with God, and I’ll almost pray to God as if he’s disappointed in me. I’ll be a little more humble in my prayer requests and I’ll talk to him in a way that practically says, “I know you’re mad at me, but I just wanted to tell you that…” But that’s not the way it is at all. God has this unconditional love for us that never fades- even when we turn away from Him, even when we mess up- He will always be there to hear our cry out to Him. It’s such a beautiful, amazing thing to know that a love like that exists- a love that’s so truly unconditional and pure that no one could provide it other than Christ. It definitely made me rethink how I approach God when I’ve reached one of those spiritual lulls; I shouldn’t come to Him as a child waiting for punishment, I should come to Him as one of His children that is in need of guidance and love, because He is more than willing to provide me with those things when I am willing to receive them. What an amazing God we serve.
So, there’s my first week in Chapel Hill- it’s hard to believe that much excitement can happen in one week, huh? :) Well, it doesn’t surprise me… just another week at the greatest school in the world.
P.S. Please keep all of the victims of Hurricane Irene in your prayers right now!