Junior year is almost half way over, and college is just flying by me. This semester has been different and difficult in many ways. I only have 4 units of Torrey so I was able to take more classes pertaining to my major and minor. I'm so thankful that I chose to minor in music. I've felt myself improving (and my teacher has also told me so), and it's an improvement that I can actually see and gauge. I'm becoming more comfortable with performing in front of others, which has been a big struggle of mine the past two years. But my non-piano classes have proven more difficult than I was expecting (Basic Conducting and Sight-Singing &Dictation). There's not that many grades in them, so we'll see how the finals go...but I've also been able to take more upper-division writing classes, which has been wonderful. Though it has been a lot of writing, I've felt confirmed in my chosen major and have really enjoyed most of what I've written. My teacher has taught us how to turn a phrase, and also how to search for that phrase in Google and see how common, or uncommon, it really is, which is actually really fun to do! Though I am still unsure how to pursue my career after college, I am happy with my chosen major and what I want to do (at least for the present, haha), which is something I feel is rare in college students. I have also discovered that I will most likely be able to take one or two Spanish classes my senior year, which makes me feel not so bad that I dropped that minor.
My best friend Ashlyn got engaged! I'm going to be a bridesmaid in her wedding in January. It's my first wedding that I've actually been in, and I'm super excited! I'm also excited for Ashlyn, as she embarks on this new journey. It's a little weird, I'll admit, thinking of her as being married. But it's a part of life and I'm very glad I can stand next to her on her special day and continue to support and love her.
The past week and a half has been extremely long...probably because I bought my plane ticket home and have been eagerly counting the days 'til I will return home and this semester will be over. Homesickness has been a different feeling for me this semester. I didn't realize it at first, but about mid-October it hit me. When I left for college, I was only leaving my parents; my sisters had already left. And yeah, that first semester was hard, but I was getting over being homesick - 4 months away from home was no big deal. But now, both Cat and Jen have been back at home, so if I were home I would be with them too. And now that Liz has returned home for her knee surgery, everyone's there but me. It's a different kind of homesickness than before. I can't recall the last time I was the only one not home for more than a week. And now it'll be a month. Which, in the grand scheme of things, isn't that long. But right now, it feels like this semester will never end and December 22 will never arrive. I have so much to do in the next 4 weeks that I just feel like I'll never get through it. Thanksgiving break is supposed to be relaxful, and it has been, but it's also stressful in that you don't get as much done as you want to and should (because you're relaxing, remember?) and thus only feel more stress when you look ahead to finals. Which really only increases my homesickness. And my need to cuddle with my puppy.
But I shouldn't complain. Break really has been fun, and it's been good to just be off campus for a few days. I'm so grateful for Elsa's family, who have accepted me into their family and allowed me to participate in their festivities. They are so filled with God's love and I love witnessing that. It's very encouraging. And they're also a very funny family which is fun to watch. :) We've been staying at an old ranch house, right in some foothills with orange groves and ponds all around, and it's been absolutely beautiful. I'm so amazed at God's creation. And reminded again how much of California is not Los Angeles.
Trusting in God is hard. Especially when it comes to money. I have an opportunity to travel to Cambridge next summer with the honors program I'm in at my school, to study for three weeks and also do sight-seeing and such. It covers 4 units of my classes and would be such a great opportunity. I've never been to England or any part of Europe for that matter. Now is the time for me to travel, right? I wrote a blog about a year ago about wanting to go on one of these trips, but it didn't work out. I didn't get the money. A part of me says now, Why would this year be any different? This summer will most likely be last opportunity for one of these trips, because, though I could potentially go after senior year, I will probably need to be starting/looking for a job then. I so badly desire to travel to Europe and see more of the world. My mom has told me to pray about it, and if I feel that God wants me to go on the trip, to take a leap of faith and pay the non-refundable deposit even though I don't have the rest of the money needed. My only problem is that I want it so badly, how do I know if it's what God wants? I don't want to pay the deposit just because it's what I want, when it might not be what God wants. But why wouldn't God want it for me? I don't know!
Would you please, whoever you are reading this, join me in praying for God's clear direction and, if it's what He wants for me, the provision of the funds needed for me to travel to Cambridge? I don't know where the money would come from. I raised some money over the summer, intending to use it for the trip, but instead had to spend it on fall tuition, books, and gas money for my road trip back to school. So I would greatly appreciate your prayers in this matter.