Goodbye, summer 2014. Hello, junior year. I have now completed my first week of classes to begin the 2014-2015 school year at Samford University.
I want to take some time to briefly reflect on what happened in my life during the summer months. This summer brought a change for me and my family, as we moved across town from the house I’d lived in for 17 years. I knew that I would miss our old house, the big backyard, and it’s convenient location to grocery stores. However, I was also excited to live in a new home that offers a nice pool. We never had a pool before. I have my own bedroom and bathroom on the first floor, which I’ll enjoy a lot when I’m home for the next 2 years. Change, whether it’s physically moving or going through a different stage in life can bring feelings of anxiety, fear, excitement, and anticipation.
In addition to my family moving, I death with a social change as well. I attempted to move on from a dating relationship with a girl that lasted for about 2 years. Breakups are never easy for either of the people involved. But, now that I’ve been on both sides, I’d definitely say it’s harder being on the receiving end. The person who does the dumping is more in control. I was very devastating and heartbroken when our relationship came to an abrupt end. Despite grieving my loss, I think it’s good that she and I will be attending different colleges this fall. Many times I sat in my room this summer and I thought, “now what? who do I talk to?” I have no choice but to make new friends, I guess. They say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Besides my family’s move (which was only 15 minutes away), a highlight of my summer included a ten day mission trip to West London in July with a large group from church. I have been a member at this church in my hometown of St. Louis, MO, since middle school. Our group consisted of a variety of adults, college kids, and some high school students. We stayed at the London School of Theology, which provided us breakfast every morning and a couple of meals for dinner. While visiting religious sites and participating in a prayer conference with World Harvest Mission, I pondered why so many South Asians decided to reside in certain parts of England. It was interesting because we interacted with more South Asians than white Europeans. I was impressed by how clearly most of the people there spoke English. This was the second time I had been to London. My first experience occurred with a group called the People to People Sports Ambassador Program, at age 15. I unfortunately didn’t take as much away from that trip. I’ll remember much more from going a second time. I was much more aware of the cultural differences between Europe and the United States as a 20 year-old. I got to meet other Americans from cities like Chattanooga, Boston, and Baltimore, MD. People from a mix of (American) churches were there for the same reason as our group. I think that everyone should travel internationally at least once in their lifetime. Traveling abroad forced me to step outside my comfort zone and I noticed how often I complain about food and things that don’t really matter.