It was my junior year of college, I, like every other
student, couldn’t wait for the short Christmas break that marked
the end of a particularly rough semester. I had just started seeing
somebody, nothing serious at that point, but I really liked him. He
was different, and by different I mean he someone I found
interesting for a change. It was the first time I wasn’t going to
be headed home right away. Because of work I would have to stay an
extra ten days on campus before I could go see my family. I told
myself it wasn’t a big deal, that I could handle it. Who was I
kidding? I had a chapel date for the annual dismissal service,
which was good because it would keep me from throwing myself a pity
party and letting myself sulk in jealousy for all those who would
be on their way home to food with flavor and private showers. It
was a good date, we laughed at the jokes, joined in with the
timeless carols, and enjoyed each other’s company, no sulking. We
watched  Mr. Evan’s dismiss with his infamous solo. All of
the students eagerly waited for the  “Have yourself a merry
little Christmas… NOW!”  The line was sung, the chapel
emptied, and we sat enjoying the chaos. I wanted to sit there
forever. I didn’t want him to go home. It was a nine-hour drive to
Northern Michigan, and he had his car ready to go. But he didn’t.
Instead, he walked with me to the dining hall where we ate bland
food on styrofoam plates. Every morning for those ten days, he had
breakfast with me in the Square where we played endless games of
Scrabble and talked for hours. I couldn’t believe it. Every morning
there he was, sitting on the other side of an uncomfortable booth,
drinking bad coffee with watered down creamer. With me. He chose to
stay with me. He didn’t have to. We had been “dating” less than
three months. He had no obligation to stay. But, he did. Those ten
days felt like nothing. Do you know why? Because every morning I
would get dressed and walk into that little campus restaurant and
see him sitting at that booth with two coffees and a Scrabble
board. A year later, he asked me to marry him. Stephanie &
Jesse Wedding [Captured by Studio Cline] Lake Portrait 045


More Things Christian College Girls Say

Redesigned logo used from 2011-present.

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Happy Easter everyone! I’m sorry I haven’t updated in a while 😦 but I just got engaged to the most handsome man ever, and I’ve been busy planning a wedding and going to school. This will probably be the last entry in my “Things Christian College Girls Say” series. Thanks for reading:)

“– days until graduation!”

“My life will be complete when Starbucks delivers.”

“Can I borrow your ID to get lunch? We kinda look alike, right?”

“I took the long way to lunch just so I wouldn’t have to walk by the DOW office.”

“If I have to act happy for one more girl getting engaged, my face is going to break.”

“Ugh! It’s Tuesday, and we have devos.”

“In these circles it’s not about what you know, it who you know. Prime example? Tour groups.”

“She seriously made me pull out my ID when she saw my hand were full with Walmart bags. She knows I go here!”

“I just want to sleep.”

“I’m not one to gossip, but…..”

The “Lasts”

One of the best things about being a senior in college is the phrase “this is the last time I’m going to/ have to…” Although the school year is only halfway through, I have been able to utter the expression a couple of times, and those instances are referred to as the “lasts”. Some of the lasts from this semester include my last midterm, my last final exam , and my last door decorating contest.

My favorite one is definitely my last winter break from school. The whole process is quite troublesome. If the college has perfected anything over its last forty years, it’s the art of making the simple things in life into a drawn-out and tedious process.

I go in to the Dean of Women’s office and filled out a pink triplicate form filled in with the following: how long I was going to be gone, how I was going home (flying), and how I was getting to the airport. I have to  drop off the form with enough time for it to be approved.

I pick up the form the day before school let out for break. The DOW office is decorated with informative pink posters reading that the

christmas 2007

(Photo credit: paparutzi)

dress code for the last day of school was “College Casual”. This means that the women are expected to wear hosiery, and everyone is prohibited from wearing denim, two rules I expected to disregard first thing tomorrow morning. I spend the whole night packing essentials for a three-week trip home for the holidays. I am  so excited to have access to food and free laundry, and especially tv!

The next morning I show up to the special chapel service in dark-wash denim (hoping nobody would notice), and boots to hide my missing nylons/tights. My boyfriend saved me a seat behind the orchestra, where we usually sit. This is our last chapel service. He’s leaving this semester, and I’ll be student teaching off-campus. As I look at him I realize that when I come back in three weeks, he’s not going to be there to greet me. We’re not going to sit and talk about our break over coffee in the book store. I tear up a bit, but shake it off as I pull out my phone to look over my confirmation number one more time. The chapel service starts with orchestral pieces and some singing from different choir groups. Before I know it, the aging college “president emeritus” is singing the dismissal song, “have yourself a merry little Christmas..” Students grab their bags in anticipation for the word…”NOW!” And just like that the auditorium turns into a zoo. My boyfriend walks me out, loads my luggage into the trunk of my friend’s car, and we share quick goodbyes.

The airport was just as packed as I thought it would be. Skirts everywhere, seems like the entire college is here. After successfully getting through security and checking my bags, I wait by my terminal, which is somehow already packed, even though I’m an hour early. I’m guessing that about a tenth of the college students are from California, but I manage to always get on flights where I know no one. Most of the time, I like it that way, but after leaving my boyfriend, I find myself wanting someone to talk to. I look around and wonder which lucky person I’m going to be sitting next to for four hours. Not that it matters, I find myself very awkward at small talk. The irony of having a fear of talking to people  and most of a teaching degree. I end up sitting next to a sketchy man with a Jimmy John’s emblem on his black shirt and his nose stuck in the Hunger Games for the duration of the flight. Our only interaction for four hours was him peering over the top of his book as he watched me slide into the aisle seat. I looked over at him, but he quickly averted his eyes, looked down, and began to read again. I spent the flight between crossword puzzles, The Big Bang Theory, and a funny book on rap my boyfriend bought me for Christmas.

It turns out that my flight out of Chicago left thirty minutes later than scheduled. I check my phone as the plane lands in Phoenix and discover that I have fifteen minutes to catch my connecting flight to San Diego. Before the flight attendant gets on the intercom, I’m

English: The replica H.M.S Surprise coming in ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

already unbuckled and out of my seat trying to get as far as I can. I only make it three seats, before the other passengers get up to unload their carry-ons. I make it off the plane with about seven minutes to spare. I look down and chunky-heeled boots, shrug, and start running. I have my boarding pass out and ready. It was a long run. I ran past many weary travelers using the moving walkways. I’m sure the sight of me running in boots providing entertainment to many in the airport bar that were pointing at me as I jogged on by. I made it to my terminal with two minutes. I spent those minutes hunched over, and panting. I was still out of breath when I boarded with the A group.

It was a quick one hour flight, and before I knew it, I was home. I am greeted by my sister, and California weather. I’m  happy to be home, the only thing that made me happier was the next time I’m traveling to California will be in five months, I’ll be an official graduate. I’ll really be home then.

Growing Up

English: Mother and child at the show, 1938. B...

College. It’s a very difficult transition between childhood and adulthood. After high school I packed my bags, bought a winter coat, and moved two-thousand miles away to school in the Midwest. I considered this growing up, living on my own. My mother did not.

Letting go doesn’t come easy to any mother. Mine grew up Mexico with uncommon philosophies: family first, blood is thicker than water, and care for your own. She found many American practices cold and heartless. She never understood how a parent could push their child out of the house at eighteen, or how that child could turn around  and place his parents that raised him into an institution to be cared for by complete strangers:  An act she considers void of love.

As you can imagine, I can’t just tell my mom that I am an adult. She disregards the fact that I’ve moved out. I still come home for summer and Christmas holidays after all. When she looks at me she still sees her little girl. She says no age can change the fact that I’m her daughter, and she’s my mother.