Wednesday September 30, 2015

New Beginnings

By Noelle Jacobs

I came to Dayton knowing only a handful of people because of a summer engineering program I did here before my freshman year. So, that meant no one from my high school, my state actually, and only people from that program that I still hadn’t gotten to know that well. I was scared and nervous and decided I needed to do things to get involved immediately. About a month into the school year, a girl on my floor mentioned that she had signed up for a one night retreat put on by campus ministry. So I signed up and I went and it turned out to be a huge blessing. I met my absolute best friend, many other people I’m still good friends with, and in between socializing and meeting new people, I felt that my faith and relationship with God were both on their way up. Because of this, I was very eager and excited to lead this retreat this year in hopes of giving the freshmen the same experience.

The retreat once again, was a blessing. To talk about my experience this past weekend leading these freshmen is hard because what our goal was as a team of retreat leaders, was to create an experience for them. We planned for weeks for this one weekend so that we could provide our small groups or “Circles of Trust” with a chance to feel welcome, at home, and closer to God as well as their peers. So, as my co-leaders and I went through each ice breaker, activity, bonding experience and prayer, I was focused on this group of college kids and hope and prayed that they were getting out of it what I, and many of my peers did last year.

Because of being so busy the whole time making sure the things I just mentioned ran smoothly, I didn’t have time to actually think about whether we were achieving our goal, but after the retreat on the way home, and then on my way to see the pope, I had ample time to discuss with my friends and just reflect and I feel as though we succeeded. The group seemed open and excited. They seemed as though they wanted to be there and felt like they were happy being there. And this is all I could have asked for.

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