Wednesday, December 03, 2008

An answer to "school-questions" . . . possibly

Thanksgiving break was good. It went by really fast which was difficult, but it was good. Got to see family and some friends over break so that was nice. Some people I didn't get a chance to see, so hopefully I can see them over Christmas break (which is in about 2 weeks!).

Over break (and before) I was thinking a lot about my frustrations with college education and the overall format, even just the reason behind going to college and getting a degree. And I have been thinking about it still, especially after talking it over with some people over break and after break.

I was playing with the idea this summer about not coming back to Grace and instead transfering to various other colleges in Chicago and even in Massachusetts. I became 80% convinced about going to a different school until I helped out at the Jr. High Church Camp for a week. It was sponsored by the youth group I volunteer with out here and it was my first time being a camp counselor. Without going into detail, it was an AMAZING experience and was one of the highlights of my summer! During the end of that week at camp, I just started to feel like I needed to be at Grace. Not necessarily for the education, but for the relationships I would be involved in at the youth ministry and even on the campus (although i was doubtful about developing strong relationships on campus based off of the year before). So I decided I was going to come back to Grace, not necessarily for an education but for the relationships God would have instore for me.

A pastor (also a Grace graduate) from Akron, Ohio is speaking in chapel this week. Today he talked about how to look at our struggles/difficult times from a different perspective. That God entrusts us to go through difficult situations in order for us to grow from those experiences. This makes a lot of sense to me (Romans 5:2-4; James 1:2-4, 5:10-11).

So, I have been trying to figure out what to do (stay at Grace, go to a different college, intern, etc.) and a lot of answers have made sense when I have heard them so that makes a "decision" all the more confusing.

For the most part when i explain my frustrations to people, I explain briefly about the summer and how my mindset was to come back to Grace for relationships and not necessarily an education. So with thinking about this, I remember thinking during the summer that I would be frustrated most likely with school but that it would be ok because i was so excited about what God had instore for me. So yesterday, i was starting to think about how maybe this is the frustration that I should have expected in a way. And today in chapel it made me think about how this year (and the next two years) will be an opportunity as a whole to practice perseverance in a way.

I know it doesn't really make much sense, but bare with me please (if you have even read this far). Obviously if I was expecting to be frustrated with school this year, this most likely would be a way for me to be frustrated. The education makes me want to go somewhere else or find a different way to learn. But the relationships here and with my small group girls (which is what I was expecting!) are amazing and a huge blessing!!! So maybe I am not here for an education like most college students. Maybe I am not going to learn or be too engaged in book knowledge stuff. Maybe I will be frustrated with the learning still because it doesn't reach my style of learning. BUT MAYBE these are opportunities for me to grow, mature, practice perseverance, develop my faith. Maybe I will learn more than what they could ever teach me in class BEACAUSE I have to sit in class.

I admit that I do want to leave Grace when I think about the educational frustrations, but when I think about the relationships I have with people here I don't want to leave at all!!! But if I didn't come back to Grace necessarily for a "book knowledge" education, then why should I leave because of the "book knowledge" education? So maybe I am supposed to stay at Grace. I don't know.

I guess I'm just trying to sort things out. I don't know if I have an answer yet, but I feel like my thinking process makes sense [to me atleast! :)]. If you have thoughts, ideas, answers, or whatever, I am honestly interested In hearing them. Really!!! :)

2 comments:

tony spranger said...

that's a lot of money to pay back for "friends" who you might not talk to after college. I loved my small group of friends that i developed in college, but now i only talk to 3-4 of them. I really don't think relationships is a wise choice to stay at a school. You'll have relationships where ever you go. Just my thoughts.

Amber said...

I have no answers...but like always, praying for you.