I have been living in Santa Barbara for a little over three years now, on and off, and that is certainly enough time to have done a good deal of exploring. And in that time, I have pretty much concluded that Santa Barbara is the greatest city ever. Don’t believe me? Well, here’s ten reasons why…
Alright. Truth talk.
Staying strong in your faith in college is hard. Staying strong in your faith at a large, public college is harder. Staying strong in your faith at a large, public college known for its reputation as a party school is, as you can imagine, a bit of a challenge. I’m not going to lie, it is really frickin’ hard sometimes.
Now, I’m not off in skimpy clothes raging every weekend. Or any weekend, actually. And because I’m not, it’s easy to feel like I stick out like a sore thumb here. It is far too easy to fall into the trap of believing that being different makes me weird.
I have been at college for seven weeks.
I would like to tell you that so far, they have been the best seven weeks of my life, but that just wouldn’t be true. In fact, they have been stressful, terrifying, exhausting, overwhelming, confusing, and incredibly difficult.
When the first of my friends left for school in early August, I watched them flourish. Constant Instagram posts and Snapchat stories displayed countless fun activities, tons of great friends (which they were making so quickly), and a bubbly “I love life” attitude. Naturally, I expected the same thing when I left for college.
Ten miles southeast of Ensenada, Mexico lies the small, poor village of Lomas Bonitas. For a decade now, my church has returned to this struggling community each summer on a missions trip. Some of the most notable accomplishments: in 2007, volunteers built a brand new church; last year, they constructed a house for the village’s Pastor Carlos and his family, who had previously been living in the church’s basement. This year, our team focused on rebuilding the children’s crumbling play structure, painting and repairing homes, and teaching the creation story through a vacation bible school program.
Ready for a good laugh?
#1: Physical Exhaustion. Anytime you want to work outside of your house, somewhere like a coffee shop, for instance, you have to bring all your materials with you. In my case, that means my laptop, charger, phone, notebook, journal, Bible, and pens. Which is fine except for the fact that the Bible is practically the largest book known to humankind, and my beautiful illustrated version of 1500 pages seems to weigh about five pounds when it’s in my bag. So basically, hoisting my tote bag over my shoulder multiple times to get to and from my designated work space for the day feels like the equivalent of doing bicep curls. So dang heavy!