As I was sitting in class today, I was shocked as I came to the realization that there is only one week of classes left in the semester. I know we all say this every year, but this semester seriously went by so quickly. You always think that life will slow down, but honestly, it only gets busier. Although I don’t graduate until May, this was really my last academically difficult semester. I took 18 credits and was working full-time! Between my part-time job in the Admissions Office, working as an assistant for the Legal Studies Department, waitressing at the local Applebee’s, and tutoring, I am surprised I found time to devote to spending time with my fiancé and my roommates. But, as the Lord always rewards above and beyond what you could even imagine, I have been able to get more sleep this semester than I have since I was a freshman.
At the end of the year, I am usually blown away by how everything comes together, both academically and spiritually. One night, when I was working at Applebee’s, I happened to overhear a table’s conversation concerning God, morality, and the Church. Instantly, I knew the people at the table were Franciscan students. And, to my surprise, they happened to be in my section, which meant that I had the opportunity to wait on them for the evening! I shared with them that I was a senior, finishing up my degrees in theology and philosophy. They were all freshmen, so full of life and enthusiastic about being able to study at Franciscan. Throughout the rest of their dinner, we talked intermittently about the faith, and I had the wonderful opportunity to share with them a little bit about my experience here at the University. At such an early stage in their academic career, they took me back a few years, allowing me to see a glimpse of myself in them.
I also just picked up a tutoring job, in which I am able to help out a local senior in high school. She is taking a college-level physics course, and although I am a theology/philosophy major, I was able to help because of taking physics my freshman year here at FUS. In our tutoring sessions, I become especially thankful for Franciscan’s liberal arts curriculum, in which the students are required to participate in each of the academic disciplines. It gives me so much joy when we can work through problems together, for hours upon end, arriving at the correct answers. And, if it weren’t for Franciscan, I would not have been able to help her improve her grade.
In preparation for finals this week, my roommates and I decorated the house with a little extra Christmas cheer. It is especially during this time that you need to be reminded of the peace and joy that comes through Christ. One of my roommates actually found a Christmas tree, and another decorated stockings for us. We also decided that we needed to support each other in our studies, so we went to Starbucks and cranked out some good hours of studying! With the help of a little humor and caffeine, we got through a grueling night. Needless to say, it’s been an amazing year. Have a Merry Christmas, and I will talk to you again in the spring!