The End of the Year…and Summer Begins

Wow. I can hardly believe that my sophomore year of college is over. This year has been one full of learning, growth, and an abundance of blessings. And now, strangely enough, I’m delighted to be at home. I say “strangely enough” because, although I dearly love my home and family in Columbia, I so enjoyed the experience of living at Erskine (my “second home”) this year that I rarely wanted to leave, even for a weekend. There were always fun events to attend, dear friendships to cultivate, and—of course, unfailingly—there was intellectually stimulating and challenging homework to complete. And I was generally loath to leave all of that behind in order to spend four hours driving…even if the driving allowed me to visit my family for the weekend.

I say all of that as a caveat to avoid giving the impression that I don’t absolutely love Erskine–because I do. Consequently, I could not possibly have anticipated, during the school year, how refreshing and wonderful this summer season would be. What am I loving about summer thus far? Spending with my amazing family and friends here in Columbia, relishing my mother’s incredible cuisine, fitting back into rhythm of family life, and being surrounded by books, to name a few. (Perhaps that last comment about books doesn’t make much sense, considering that I just spent eight months at an academic institution…but you see, as much as I appreciated the material I read for classes this year, there’s nothing like wandering through a house full of books of every sort, ranging from child-friendly fiction to medical dictionaries and rich works of theology. A library, of course, is a close approximation, but there’s nothing like a house full of books hand-picked by those clos
est to you.)

I’m also enjoying—and, in the interest of full disclosure, being quite challenged by—the new job I began this Monday at a nearby law firm, Sweeney, Wingate, & Barrow. I’m both excited about my job as a “runner” (which includes everything from making coffee to filing stacks of case documents) and rather overwhelmed. I’m excited because I love the atmosphere there and am thankful to be a part of such a welcoming, close-knit community (an apropos setting after spending a year at a school like Erskine!). At the same time, I’m coming to realize that diving into the working world after years of doing little aside from either studying or mission work (during the summer) is, well, tough.

I give you full liberty to laugh and call me a wimp for admitting this, but um, even a seven-hour work day leaves me exhausted. Yep. Of course, most new things are difficult at first, and any work becomes easier over time. Even so, working regularly causes me to realize with renewed fervor that, while I’m still a student, I don’t want to take for granted the precious freedom I have to spend my time largely as I choose! My tendency during the school year is to think I’m terribly busy…which is often true, but ultimately, only to the extent to which I allow myself to be busy. In other words, although managing one’s time as a student may be challenging at times, as I taste “real life” a bit, I’m realizing how extraordinary is the freedom one has as a student to spend time reading and exploring intellectually—a freedom which will become increasingly elusive after graduation. Which is why I’m hoping to become a professor and stay in school forever…Kidding. Wel
l, only a little. At any rate, the summer has begun well and will, I trust, be a refreshing time of growth and fellowship before I head off to Spain in the fall. Until then, adios mis amigos!