Two years ago, you could have found me battling senioritis and frantically studying for an AP test at the Towne Center Starbucks inside Barnes and Noble with my classmates. In two more years, I’ll be receiving a bachelor of arts in Literary Studies, and who knows where I’ll be headed. The not knowing used to scare me, but I am learning to take one month at a time and be open to what comes my way. Had you asked the eighteen-year old Jessica at Starbucks what she would be doing in five years, she would have said teaching fifth grade. Had you asked her what she would be doing in two summers, she would have said working at camp, of course. On both counts, she would have been wrong; if we’re letting God do what He wants and we’re remaining open to the opportunities that come our way, amazing things are going to happen that we don’t have the vision to anticipate. The present, twenty-year old Jessica just finished up her RA closing duties and is boarding a plane to Cambodia tomorrow. Eighteen-year old me did not see that one coming.
Sophomore year is over. Two years. Half of college completed. Unbelievable.
While I am not sure of my future, a lot is already behind me. Here’s a recap of the most memorable parts of my second year at RC.
Kayla – There’s nothing like a best friend in close proximity. I’m so grateful I stumbled upon someone I feel as close to as my Charleston friends. Thank you for loving me and many others so well, encouraging me to have fun, being a sister in Christ, and being vulnerable. Thanks for both the laughs and the deep conversations. You are a rock star, and I love you.
New Orleans Service Trip – This trip made me realize that I would really like to be a part of the Peace Corps or Americorps after college. I returned from winter break a week early not only because I love to serve, but because I also wanted to develop friendships with people at Roanoke while I wasn’t distracted with schoolwork. That happened. Mollie, Phillip, and Griffin, second semester was way more fun with you. You bring out my NARP-iness.
Restoration – Relationships, Sunday lunches, worship, service, and vision. The Yertons, Helliers, and Ledwiths are families that mean a lot to mean now who I didn’t know a year ago. I cannot wait to see the Spirit moving and this church growing!
RA – While most third graders don’t know what a resident advisor is, I’ve wanted to be one since then. It was everything I imagined and more. My pod rocked. Girls of 271, you might be loud, but you were good neighbors. If you read this, I hope you found a community in our pod and that I helped you in some way this year.
British Literature – I did not expect this to be my favorite class of the year; I was wrong. Even when I was analyzing with a pen in hand, reading literature is the most relaxing, entertaining homework. Romanticism is my favorite era, though John Donne is a clever fellow. This class and Rhetoric (my second favorite) were good affirmations that I’ve chosen the right major.
Bermuda – Skies may not have been clear and sunny, but spring break 2k13 with Meghan and Kayla rocked. Compared to my normal six-member family troop, you just get a different kind of attention when three twenty-year old women travel together. Southwater perfume, five foot ladies (yes, Meghan got to name her drink), high-tea, Cairo dancing, and sailing in the harbor will always be cherished memories. Thank you, Fowles, for your generous hospitality. Thank you Hartley, for being an expert tour guide.
SPJA – being president of the Student Peace and Justice Association was not all fun kicks and giggles, but it felt good to be back in a position of responsibility and have the capability to create change. I definitely learned more about my strengths and weaknesses as a leader, and I look forward to applying those in the future. I hope I provided a good springboard for the club’s success next year.
Sophomore year was a time of growth, change, and, most of all, the unexpected popping up before me. I’m glad for the people and the experiences of this past year.
And now… Cambodia!