I could tell you about the red and gold leaves that are beginning to cover campus or the buildings with more history than my hometown. I could explain how these classes have challenged me more than ever before. I could talk about the professors and faculty that care so deeply they’ll chat over coffee and listen to your struggles.
I could tell you about the deep friendships I never expected–the friends who brought me food and tea in cute whale coffee mugs when I was sick. Or how 25 years after my mom and her roommate attended this school, that roommate’s daughter and I are dear friends.
If you want to hear something different, I could tell you about the worship night where we sang in a dozen languages and God brought me to my knees. Or I could admit that even when I try to doze off or study during chapel, I can’t. Because how could I let such powerful words be wasted?
Perhaps I could mention how I came into Wheaton fully confident in who I was without a boyfriend. I could tell you how I tried to ignore the cute sophomore who pursued me from the day I arrived. But if you kept me talking long enough, I’d admit that slow dancing at midnight under Christmas lights can win the heart of almost any girl–even this slightly bitter and wounded one.
If you’re not interested in romance, I could talk about how I found a church on my first Sunday here. Before this year, I’d never experienced an Anglican worship service. I’ve quickly come to adore it. Centuries worth of tradition carried out by loving, Spirit-filled people? Yes, yes, yes.
I could tell you how I have struggled and wrestled and doubted my faith, only to be brought back to the incredible story that God is telling. He has given me so much in this place. I know without a doubt that this is where I was meant to be.
If you don’t have time to sit and listen I do understand. Just know that, yes, there have been some bad moments. Small school Christians aren’t always the kindest, even in a place as wonderful as this. I miss the smell of the ocean and Publix sweet tea.
And yes, I’m already cold.
Even so, my sweet friends and family, this place is everything I wanted in a college. I’m happier than I’ve ever been.