It is almost impossible to believe that it has been a month since my last blog entry! Granted, my last 2 weeks were spent travelling Europe over the Easter holiday, but even still I am reminded yet again of how quickly my time here is passing. However, there is good news from this: I have so many photographs and stories from the past two weeks that I will have no problem writing at least half a dozen blog entries.
But for now, there is so much to write about: where to begin?! I celebrated my 21st birthday on March 10 by spending the weekend with friends in hall and in town. Though my birthday was Sunday, I stayed up entirely too late on Friday and Saturday nights talking and having fun. Every college student knows how great late-night conversations are, whether they turn silly, intellectual, introspective, or some combination of those. Saturday night we also had a party in the Melville MCR (middle common room), complete with speakers for the music and a friend who volunteered to DJ. After that we went out to the Union and I enjoyed a lovely rendition of the Happy Birthday song in my honor at midnight.
My beautiful friend, Molly! She’s another JSA from the South (by way of Chapel Hill).
AHH! I’m turning 21! I really appreciate that I have friends who are as silly as I am, and I love any chance to goof off with them! (pictured with me are my Polish friend, Martin, and my Scottish friend, Aaron.)
One of my best friends here, Vyome. He really never fails to make me smile, and although he loves to joke around he often surprises us with very introspective questions or observations. I will never be able to hear an Indian accent without thinking of him.
Although I have spent the last few years away from home on my birthday, it was still a bit difficult to be so far away from my family on a big day like that. I think the first homesickness I felt was a few days before my birthday when I was just sitting down to lunch in the dining hall. I had picked up 2 cards from my post box on the way up to eat and decided to open them at the table. Seeing my families’ handwriting and reading their words sent a pang straight to my heart and I couldn’t help but shed a few tears. Of course, as a result of this my friends inquired and upon realizing that my birthday was soon, made plans to help me celebrate. Despite being away from home, I was surrounded by people that I love and who love me and I wouldn’t trade this for anything.
Another fantastic part of my birthday: it snowed!! Okay, so there were really only flurries on my birthday, but the next morning we woke up to several inches of gorgeous white covering. It continued to snow throughout the day, which was glorious. On Sunday, though, the weather was … well, there’s really no other way to describe it than “crazy.” There were clouds and there was sun. It snowed, hailed, sleeted, and precipitated little white balls that reminded all of us Americans of Dippin’ Dots. We walked into town and were covered in snow by the time we arrived, yet in town it was sunny and no one had snowflakes covering their coats and hair. The wind was quite lively that day as well. Every time I looked outside I got giddy like a child. This Southern girl loves snow (and experiencing unusual weather patterns)!
Going back in time a bit, the weekend before my birthday was quite enjoyable as well. Friday night (1 March) I was feeling quite blue because I received an email telling me that I was not accepted for a summer internship that I was really hoping to do. One of my best friends at St Andrews saw me looking sad and decided that I needed to come have fun that night, so we went with a group from Melville to the Geek Bop at the Student Union. The Union hosts a Bop every Friday night, sometimes themed and sometimes not. Let me tell you: St Andrews students are some of the biggest geeks you will ever meet, and they are quite creative at coming up with costumes. I danced for probably 4 hours that night and had a really great time. I am amazed that I was able to do so, considering that the night before I had gone to an event hosted by Swing Dance Society and danced there for about 6 hours straight. One of the things I miss most when I’m at Erskine is being able to dance a lot, so I am grateful for every opportunity here to dance (and there are SO MANY!).
BATMAN! taken by my friend Cory Faniel.
Saturday I spent the afternoon exploring the Cathedral ruins with my friend Aaron and two adorable little boys that we met there; we then continued along to Castle Sands, which is the beach below the Castle ruins. I accidentally got my Toms soaked in the North Sea–it was frigid but worth it! (The water was freezing, but it was less than 10°C that day and I was quite warm in just a sweater. This Southern girl is acclimating to the cold quite well!) We then returned to Melville and made possibly the best enchiladas I have ever tasted.
I just like this picture, and I love the Cathedral.
This gives you a slight idea of the massive size of this Cathedral; I’m so glad that some of it remains standing even today. I get chills walking along where the aisle would have been, imagining hundreds gathered to worship our Saviour.
I just think this is a cool picture; Aaron and I had fun clambering around and on the ruins and exploring.
taken looking up through the branches at St Rules tower, the oldest part of the Cathedral. It’s staggering to think about how much history happened in the footsteps where I now walk.
I’ve truly never seen anything that compares to the skies of Scotland; this view from the Cathedral is no exception. What a gorgeous masterpiece–thank you Lord for your artistry!
I wear my Toms everywhere, and I know that countless Erskine-ites do as well. Here is proof that they have walked through ancient ruins.
That is probably most of the main highlights from the first half of my March, albeit somewhat out of order. I am amazed and grateful each day for the opportunities and experiences I have had here, the ways that God is challenging me each day, and the friendships that I have made and continue to strengthen. I enjoy looking back and realizing the random circumstances that led me to different friends, but I cannot imagine my semester without any one of them. I truly believe that I have learned more about myself in the past 2.5 months or so than I have in my first 2.5 years of college, which is saying something! It breaks my heart to think about leaving in a couple of months and to remember that I will not be returning in the fall, but I try to avoid thinking about that if at all possible.
Well, I have lots of homework to do, and a ridiculous number of photos to sort through so that I can share holiday sights and stories with you in future posts! My first holiday blog will be about Paris, just to get you excited. Until then, God bless and happy Easter season! Christ is risen–Alleluia!