|Photo credit: tmcnet.com|
Wow, I'm finally at Southern!! In a way it's like a life long dream that's come true, even though I can still remember the first time I even considered Southern as an option. I was browsing through the booths at GYC 2010, just a year ago, and happened to walk by Southern's booth. The kids there were friendly and when I said I didn't have any college I was going to at that time, one girl remarked, "Well maybe you just found your college!" How right she was. I can't begin to describe how exciting and amazing it's been.
In one sense it's like walking through history. I've known so many people who have gone to Southern, I've read inspiring mission stories from Southern alumni, I've heard about people coming here after years of dreaming and planning to come from over seas to America. Today we walked over to the Science hall and in front of it is a brick pathway with certain bricks etched with names of people who have studied here, some of which I recognized. And now here I am, adding myself to the long list of students who will forever make their mark on Southern.
Then of course, there's been the social aspect. It's been a LONG time since I've been in a place where there were so many people just waiting to meet me. OK, maybe not waiting, but still it's quite easy to make friends here when they are so plentiful. It's been great meeting all of Joel's friends and making some new ones as well.
As for the campus buildings themselves, I've been very impressed. It's like walking back through time in many ways. All of the buildings are built after a southern plantation design, with red bricks and white pillars. Everything is close together and fast to get to - when you're running of course. I found that out today when I had to run to every single class and even my job interview! Seemed like time slipped away from me with all that I was trying to get done, between taking a tour of campus with Joel and DeWayne and buying my books for classes. But I needed the exercise.
The food's been absolutely fantastic!! I have to admit their non-dairy ice cream is even better than regular ice cream, at least in my opinion. Now that I'm taking a nutrition class I'm supposed to be watching what I eat more, and document everything for 3 days as one assignment. Makes it easy with a cafeteria, as you can eat a fairly balanced meal all the time. (as opposed to what I'd be eating if I bought my own stuff - burritos, burritos, Top Ramen, burritos, sandwiches, Top Ramen)
I'm still suffering from a minor case of culture shock. Today was fun because DeWayne, Joel and I went to the mall to get a few things, but I'd forgotten just how busy and modern and commercialized malls are. And then of course there are the police. We passed more cops on our 15 minute drive to the mall than what patrol the 200 mile diameter territory in which Delta Junction lies. And I hear they're pretty strict with their rules, which is why I prefer to let others do all the driving down here… The weather's been absolutely crazy as well. We got on the airplane in Fairbanks with it being -15F and when I walked out of the airport in Atlanta I thought I had gotten on the wrong flight and ended up in Hawaii. A huge blast of warm humid air hit me and I immediately had to pull up my sleeves. It was a bit chilly tonight since it was raining, but for the most part I've not had to use my coat down here. It's been awesome!! I do miss the snow though…
Driving through Atlanta on our way down here was an interesting experience in itself. More people than live in the state of Alaska were whizzing by us on the highway or busy being busy in the monstrous city. It made me feel rather insignificant. I mean seriously, I'm only one out of how many people in the world?? But what's incredible is that God still is watching out for me, and you, and every single person on this planet. Reminds me of the verse in Jeremiah 29:11; "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to proposer you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." I think that's what everyone here at Southern is aiming for. A future, hope. It's nice to get jobs, to accomplish a mission in life, and college is a great way of doing that. But the only way we'll ever be able to do that is to follow the Lord's plans for our lives.
That's the only way to success, my friends.