After a wonderfully crazy semester in Austria and a beautifully relaxing Christmas break, it is definitely great to be back on main campus here in Steubenville again! I definitely have a lot to look forward to and to accomplish this semester, but so far it has been a great start. Living on the same floor as my household sisters has been wonderful, and I have enjoyed reconnecting with them and my other friends, some of whom I have not seen in over a year. In fact, the first weekend back a bunch of my friends and I went to see the musical Wicked in Pittsburgh! It was my third time seeing this musical but definitely still as thrilling and amazing as the first time I saw it!
Of course, as a student, I also have to stay organized with my academics because I am back to taking five classes this semester, including Abnormal Psychology, Introduction to Counseling, Personality, Biopsychology, and my Honors Program class. I am really enjoying taking mostly psychology classes since that is my major, and this semester of Honors also looks like it will be pretty interesting because it is a lot of books on politics and political theory (something I do not know much about, but look forward to learning).
For extra curricular activities, I have household commitments, I am a Eucharistic Minister, I go to Pittsburgh once a week for Homeless Ministry, and I participate in swing dancing on Sunday nights. It will be a busy semester, but also a lot of fun!
One thing I keep reminding myself is that if I am to succeed in anything I do this semester, God must be in the center of my daily life. My main prayer this semester is asking God where it is He wants me to be in each moment, and from there following His lead. I love comparing my relationship with God to dancing. In partner dancing, the girl must follow the guy’s lead and trust him. This can be applied to life with God as well. If we trust Him and follow His lead, we know that He will take care of us and help us to have a beautiful, fulfilling, and joy-filled life. As a “control-freak”, I have to constantly be reminded of this reality. It is not always easy, especially when I have a lot to do and seemingly very little time in which to accomplish it. It is comforting to know that I can trust God completely though, because He made me and knows me so well that, even the hairs on my head are numbered (Luke 7:10/ Matthew 10:30). Two of my goals this semester are to make a habit of framing my day with prayer (after all, how am I going to be in-tune with God’s voice and hear His words of guidance unless I spend time talking with Him) and to not let any worries or anxiety prevent me from living my life to the fullest. I try to do this by going to daily Mass more often, praying a daily rosary, and going to adoration more often in one of the many beautiful chapels here on campus. I also noticed that there are a lot of new faces on campus this semester, so I have been trying to reach out and get to know more people as well as spend time building the friendships God has blessed me with throughout my college career.
Overall, despite the craziness that has come with the beginning of the semester, God has brought me much joy in the big and little ways He continues to show me his love. I know there will be a lot to do and learn, but I am really looking forward to the new adventures ahead. As always, I will be praying for you and I humbly ask that you pray for me as well!
Hello! My name is Caitlin Dudenhoefer and I am a second year graduate student from Sandusky, Ohio. Currently, I am studying counseling through Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Clinical Mental Health Program. I also received my bachelors degree in psychology from Franciscan University. After graduating with my masters degree, I hope to bring Christ’s hope, love, joy, truth, and healing to the clients I encounter through my ministry as a counselor. I love my big, Italian/ Irish/German family and enjoy dancing, spending time with friends, dogs, and the color purple.