I can’t believe the semester is ending! It’s been a crazy ride, and I thought I’d take a blog to look back on this year.
End of Summer: Coming back to Liberty early for debate meant saying goodbye to my family a little early and celebrating my summer birthday before packing up from Florida and heading to Lynchburg!
Start of the Year: The debate team spends a week at a cabin in Tennessee to start our season off, and it fell on my birthday this year. I was so blessed to spend my birthday with some of my closest friends, and to get a surprise funfetti rice crispy treat cake!
First Day of School: We had to take a first day of school picture!
Trips: I got to spend multiple weekends with friends that live a lot closer to Liberty than I do in Florida! It was such a blessing to occasionally take a few days off to spend time with friends, eat homemade food and SLEEP.
Halloween: We may have been traveling and debating on the actual date, but our Halloween party made up for it, including costumes such as: an American flag, Obama, Obamacare, hippies, and impersonations of our debate coaches.
Christmas: I spent Christmas break with some of the best friends I’ve made at Liberty, hanging out on the beach, going to church services, and baking ridiculous amounts of cookies!
Debate: Second semester, the amount of debate tournaments we traveled to got a little hectic, but we had an amazing season and I had a fantastic time getting to travel and do what I love to do.
Looking back, though, it’s not the events that I remember about this year, it’s the people.
And, just for fun, here’s a very different year in review…
Year in Review: Selfies
Thanks for taking this crazy ride with me this year. I hope everyone had a wonderful year, and has a beautiful summer!
I hope everyone had an amazing time celebrating the resurrection of our Lord this weekend!
I spent the weekend with my dear friend Meagan and her family- moving them into a new home, going to church, and unleashing our inner kids in a fierce Easter egg hunt.
I’m so thankful I have these amazing people in my life! Meagan’s family is truly amazing, and I’m so thankful they were so kind to a bunch of sleep-deprived college students.
I also got to see Frozen for the first time, and my verdict is that it's as amazing and addictive as people warned me it would be!
In other news, it’s almost the end of the semester! I can’t believe I’m almost halfway done with my time at Liberty, but I’m so excited for what the rest of my time holds!
Getting a break last weekend gave me some time to reflect on the semester and what God has been doing in my life. I’ve learned so much this year about trusting Him, putting my future in his hands, and learning how to better love people. I can’t wait to spend another semester learning not only from my classes, but from the people God has placed in my life here at Liberty.
I love my team.
I probably say it enough on here, but I don’t say it enough in person: I love my team.
Being a part of the Liberty University Debate Team has changed my life. I discovered an activity I had no idea I was going to fall completely in love with. More than that, though, I discovered a team I had no idea I was going to fall completely in love with. As the semester ends, we’ve had our share of drama, but then again, all slightly dysfunctional families do too. We still love each other.
Last week, as I sat in church with some of my best friends who have become my family, and praised our great and loving God, I could not keep from thanking Him for what He has given me.
The day before that service, we had our end of the year banquet, and I felt the same way- that I did not deserve and could not begin to thank my Lord enough for what He has given me.
After a week of being reminded how much I love my team and the amazing opportunity Liberty has given me to travel, debate, and work hard at an activity I truly love, I spent a day at James Madison University debating at one of our final events of the year.
My partner for this special tournament, Claire, and I had an amazing time and I was reminded again of how much I love these people and this activity, and how incredibly thankful I am that I get to be doing this.
Not only do I get to spend long tournament weekends with these amazing people, but I get to spend time with them doing things close to all our hearts. The same day we had our beautiful banquet, we also spent the morning volunteering at a local church's Easter carnival- playing games with kids, making art projects, and telling the real story of Easter.
Before I came to Liberty, I had no idea I would love this activity and this team the way I do, and I am so thankful, as the semester and year ends, to have been given this gift.
I recently had a conversation with a freshman girl on the debate team about using this summer to figure out what she wanted to declare her major. And I realized that when I came to Liberty, I was positive that I wouldn’t change my major. I came in as a Government major, and I had heard the statistics- eighty percent of college-bound seniors haven’t chosen a major, and fifty percent of freshmen that declare a major change it, often many times. But I figured that I knew exactly what I wanted to do, and wasn’t going to change my mind. But I didn’t expect to come to Liberty and have so many things in my life change. I didn’t expect to fall so in love with the Debate team, I didn’t expect to discover a love of teaching, I didn’t expect to experience and learn as much as I have. And I didn’t expect all the wonderful people that have shaped who I am becoming. So when I was thinking about switching to a History major, I wondered what was happening to me! Why was I proving those statistics right?
I realized that all of these unexpected things were bringing me to a place that God had always expected. I might not have known I’d end up at Liberty, on the Debate Team, with the major I have, the people I love, and the life I have now. But He knew.
And the best part is, these unexpected changes were accompanied by an increased understanding of who He is and an increased trust in His plan. I love that my major might change, but my God doesn’t. If His sovereignty extends across nations and peoples and tongues, it certainly can handle a “major” change.
I’m learning that it’s okay to change your mind. It’s okay to find new dreams. It’s not giving up a dream; it’s realizing the one that you really have. And more than that, it’s about discovering the plan God has for you, not the one you have for yourself. Because He knows what He’s doing.
So as I talked to this dear friend of mine, I told her the truth: Deciding your major can be scary and it can feel like you’re deciding the fate of the rest of your life. But luckily, you go to a school that gives you a lot of choices, and you serve a God that knows exactly what He’s doing.
Last weekend was my first real “free” weekend since the semester started- no big tests or projects, no debate tournaments, nothing scheduled. It was great! I decided to take advantage of my free weekend, and have some fun going to a classic Liberty event- Coffeehouse! If you’ve never been, Coffeehouse is a type of variety talent show that takes place every semester. In the Fall semester, it’s Christmas-themed, and every Spring semester there’s a new theme. This semester, the theme was British Invasion!
I had a great night watching my fantastically talented classmates perform covers of British hits, video clips made by talented students, and hanging out with some friends that will be graduating soon and were watching their last coffeehouse!
As the end of the semester approaches, and classes get crazier, it’s always fun to take a night off to just have some fun.
Some highlights included: the amazing a cappella group the Elmer Tones, parodies of James Bond and Doctor Who, and covers of hits by Ellie Goulding and Ed Sheeran.