Becoming an upperclassman

It’s hard to believe that it is already the beginning of my third year of college! Freshman and sophomore don’t seem like that long ago in some ways, but when I think about how much has happened and how many new people I have met in the past two years, it’s hard to remember what life was like before those experiences.I arrived on campus Saturday to register and get moved into mod 7B in Warkentin Court. I stayed in North Newton and worked on campus in the Institutional Communications office all summer, so it almost felt like I had never really left. This will be my first year to live in the mods, and I am already enjoying it. It’s wonderful to be living closely with eight wonderful girls, and yet it’s still easy to walk over to the other mods and visit other people.There are many things I am looking forward to this year, but I’m going to narrow them down to the top 3 (in no particular order):1) Being a junior! Okay, I have to admit that achieving upperclassman status does hold a certain amount of satisfaction to me. It carries with it a sense of accomplishment: I survived the first half of my college career! It’s also a little intimidating to think that in less than two years I will be student teaching–-I still remember high school clearly enough that it doesn’t seem like that long ago (which it really hasn’t been), and coming back as a teacher in such a short amount of time barely seems possible! But I have the confidence Bethel will give me the preparation I need to be successful.2) Going with the Concert Choir to Europe for interterm in January! I love to travel and explore the world, and I must say this is one thing I’ve been looking forward to ever since I became a member of the choir my freshman year. I have a cousin who graduated from Bethel the year before I started here who went on Europe tour, and I remember thinking about how I really hoped I would get to go someday, too. Four years later and it’s happening!3) Studying abroad in Germany second semester! As you can tell from what I said above, traveling is one of my favorite things to do, and as cliche and cheesy as it might sound, getting to spend several months in another country is a dream come true. It’s one of those things I always wanted to do but thought it would never happen, but being at Bethel has made it possible (and affordable!) for me, as I will be participating in the Wuppertal exchange program in which two students from the university in Wuppertal come to Bethel and Bethel sends two students there. One of my life’s goals has always been to learn a foreign language, and what better way to do it than to study in another country?As I venture into the next half of my college career, I have done some reflecting about what my life would have been like had I chosen a different place for my college education. Would I have had opportunities such as being in an elite vocal ensemble like Bethel’s Concert Choir? If so, would I have had the chance to travel around the country with them as I have each year during spring break tour, or around Europe as I will this January? Would I have had the opportunity to participate in a study abroad experience like I will next semester?It is impossible to know. Either way, Bethel has opened many doors for me that have further solidified in my mind that it is where God wants me to be.