Sunday, January 9, 2011

50 Final GVSU Adventures

Reflecting on 3.5 years and embarking on my final semester as a Laker, I feel a little bit of everything. I've been continuously transformed through experiences, people, and the adventures that are so sacred to what college is all about. In celebration of Grand Valley's 50th year (I am so excited to say I graduated in GVSU's 50th year of shaping lives--a future student affairs professional would find this cool!) I wanted to make a list of 50 things to do in my final semester as Laker.

Some of these things have been done before, but for the love of GVSU and my senior year, they all deserve one 'grand' round of fun, laughter, adventure, and applause. I can't wait to share these experiences with the people I am grateful to call my family and friends: )

This list is in no particular order (please feel free to comment on what should be added if things are missed!) Here's the Grand 50:
  1. Eat dinner at Fresh
  2. Eat Klienese
  3. Push and/or ride the gravity ball
  4. Attend Presidents' Ball 2011
  5. Throw a penny in the fountain
  6. Eat lunch outside somewhere on campus
  7. Get a picture with President Haas
  8. Go to Laker Late Night and eat something college-y
  9. Attend a sporting event
  10. Study in Zumberge Library
  11. Attend Leadership Summit
  12. Relax in the arboretum
  13. Go to Grand Haven for a visit
  14. Attend a LIB 100 event
  15. Wear a Louie the Laker tattoo (I have never done this!)
  16. Go sledding in D9 parking lot
  17. Eat a Laker Bowl
  18. Go ice skating at Rosa Parks Circle
  19. Participate in National Eating Disorders Awareness Week events
  20. Participate in Leadership Week
  21. Wear an 'I Am GV' tee
  22. Go to a Campus Praise Rally
  23. Go to CRU
  24. Go to a Campus Ministry Service
  25. Chat with a friend at the hidden' fountain
  26. Visit Stafford, my first college home
  27. Go on a run around campus
  28. Get Starbucks coffee downtown
  29. Study in Zumberge Library
  30. Ride the 50
  31. Eat at The Pub
  32. Wear green on St. Patrick's Day
  33. Send thank you's to people who made a difference in my college experience
  34. Get a massage at the rec center
  35. Do the community reading project, The Imortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
  36. Meet the author when she comes, Rebecca Skloot
  37. Work out at the rec center
  38. Shake T. Haas' hand at graduation
  39. Walk at Relay for Life
  40. Walk under the Blue Structure my last week
  41. Go to Buffalo Wild Wings, eat breadsticks at Ucello's, and half-off appetizers at Applebee's
  42. Climb the rock climbing wall
  43. Call 20/20 and ask a silly question
  44. Submit something to the Lanthorn
  45. Sing GVSU cheers
  46. Study in my favorite place in Lake Ontario
  47. Go to a performance in the PAC
  48. Be a part of a small group
  49. Buy something at the bookstore
  50. Run in the turf building

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Top 6 Things I Learned in 2010 (because I like even #'s)

Thanks to God, my friends, and my family that my life and growth possible: )

Never Doubt How Much People Care About You
God greatly worked in stretching my understanding and capabilities in friendships and in family relationships. In the past, I often thought there was only so much I could ask, may it be in questions, time, support. God has led me to some wonderful friendships that continuously break down my once barriers, and teach me so much about what it means to care and love someone. God continues to humble me with all the dynamic, inspiring, loving, encouraging people that I call my family and friends. You make my life effervescent, and I am so grateful we are all in this together.
Above All, Believe in Strength that is Unseen
Although many instances come to mind, going to Boston all by myself stands out the most. If you were to tell me as a first-year college student I would be going on a plane to Boston all by myself and staying in my own hotel room and asking a famous journalist questions standing up, I would’ve thought you were ridiculous. I would’ve thought this because even when I’ve been carried by God, I’ve chosen to hold on to the ‘tangible’ hand, adventuring with a friend, a family member. This year I learned that I never have to wait for someone’s hand for help and strength. God constantly reminded me that we are in this together, and that He will keep me safe and always face the day with me. If anything I could share, it would be to not let the tangible thwart you from moving forward, higher above where you are not simply imagining your dreams, but living your life from their aerial view.
Learn to Listen to Your Inner Health and Happiness Meter
I sometimes get intoxicated by the idea that life has a set formula, of what makes me happy, of what keeps me in good health. 2010 challenged this assumption, leading me to realize that what I need to feel happiest and healthiest is always directed by a few things (mainly Christ) but that it’s so important to really listen to myself, because every day is a new day of grace, adventure, and opportunity. God has provided us with road maps, but I am now a huge advocate of celebrating each day for your healthiest and happiest self and finding those unique morsels every day. It’s never easy, but it’s so important to talk to God about these areas and live them out with Him each day. God’s GPS is never off, and it’s important to tune into it everyday.
How ridiculous is this? I Googled 'God GPS' and didn't expect this. Ha!
Learn to Say No
This one has always been a battle for me for a myriad of reasons. God’s knocked on my door plenty of times telling me the more I say yes I cannot adequately fulfill the role, no matter the task. I can acutely remember the times I’ve said no, partly because it was a BIG deal and partly because I was experiencing nauseating cognitive dissonance—but I am working on it. In all honesty, the more I’ve practiced saying no, I’ve realized I feel that much more in control of what is really honest, true, and real in life, instead of saying yes to everything. Therefore, when I say no, I’m really saying yes to so much more, and I love learning this now.
Surprise Yourself
I really learned how awesome it is to tell yourself yes to something that would not typically be your first instinct. This is one of my favorite things about God, of how He is always everywhere, even when we think He may be not, or that He wouldn’t take ‘me’ there etc. I think because of the initial reaction that wow ‘I can’t believe I am doing this and am not failing/crying/whining/wishing I was somewhere else etc., I feel I’ve experienced God that much more, because there’s no way I would’ve done those certain things without Him. I love how God constantly reinvigorates who I am and leads me to the road less traveled, and wherever the destination small or big, He’s always right there in every way. Therefore, surprise yourself, and be surprised by the God we serve.
One of my favor days of my life. Thanks be to God. Harvard University!!!
Never Underestimate the Power of Prayer and Time
The 21st century is the antithesis of patience and waiting I sometimes think. We like our information 2 seconds ago, our food really fast, and instant access to communication. I really learned this year that sure, but for the most part, God has a timeframe of His own. He’s not with us to mass produce anything, but to intricately sculpt and mold everything that we are. There are some things I have prayed about for years that were answered, and it was beautiful to witness their being. Some things I’ve been praying for over the course of years that I will continue to pray for, but I feel in my heart they are being worked on. God has overnight and standard mailing rates, and I will continue to say that I know God always knows best. His timing is always just rightJ God loves to hear and receive our prayers too, and this year I really grew in our daily conversation, and look forward to implementing prayer in deeper ways this year.
    Thanks 2010: ) 2011, this is the longest post I plan to have this year. Holla.

    Saturday, January 1, 2011

    New Years Partay! Hello 2011!

    How wonderful it was to ring in the new year with some of my dearest friends! Julie and I drove over 2.5 hours to get to the New Years Eve Partay, giving us plenty of time to catch up on break, Christmas, and life. We made it to Miner Lake without any great troubles (thank you BlackBerry GPS), minus turning down the wrong driveway.

    After over two weeks withdrawal without seeing Lindsay and the others, it was great to be back with people I've had so many fun times with over the past year. We laughed. We danced. We ate. We played Catchphrase. Bringing in 2011 from the Mike's cottage was fantastic! Thank you Miner Lake for geese wake up calls, swans, and a picturesque first morning to 2011 as well.

    Happy New Year! Here's to a wonderful 2011!!!

    Here are a few things I am looking forward to in 2011:

    Learning more about God and the plans He has for me
    Graduating from GVSU/shaking T. Haas' hand
    The adventures to come with my final semester of undergraduate school with friends!
    Spending time at home and up north with my family
    Spending time with roommates and enjoying my time at the apartamento
    Hearing back from the 5 student affairs graduate programs I've applied to
    Deciding where I am going to graduate school
    Beginning an student affairs program and assistantship
    Still being on the CRT Team, a Women's Center Intern & Ambassador, and working in News & Information Services
    Spending summer in West Michigan
    Snowboard trips
    Blogging and journaling and reading
    Presidents' Ball 2011
    My fourth and final Leadership Summit
    Using my Magic Bullet to make smoothies galore
    Running the River Bank Run again