Sorry this one’s going to be a lot longer but it’s been 2 weeks and I had some pretty eventful weekends.
So I went on freshman retreat last weekend and it was one of the best things ever. I’ll admit things had started out a little rocky when after waiting for about an hour they didn’t have a leader for my group so they had to split us all up into different ones. I got put in a group of people who were a slightly different crowd than I would normally hang out with (the first question I was asked was why I didn’t go to the darty last weekend) and they had all kinda broken the ice with one another but I was trying to keep an open mind about the weekend. The first day was the usual lots of ice breakers, introductions, and expectations. The second day was crazy long but one of the best days of my life. It featured classic retreat games, small group time, and lots of talks on things like right relationships (in which a guy compared sex to chocolate cake forever ruining it for all of us) and faith journeys and although they weren’t the best talks I’ve ever heard but were relatable and were practical without being preachy. Everything was so unapologetically Catholic (unlike the FSHA retreats) in the best way possible and everyone on the retreat (about half my class so like 350 people) was really serious about their faith which created a really great atmosphere to be in. At night we had adoration and Reconciliation for 3 hours and it was the greatest thing ever because it had been a while since I went to confession and it was exactly what I needed. They do praise and worship adoration so everyone was singing and deeply praying and everything just felt connected and beautiful and I plan on going like once a month from now on. After this we headed outside for a surprise campfire and s’mores. It turns out they had forgotten sticks for s’mores so everyone had to find their own and in case you forgot I’m allergic to trees but obviously just ignored that and hoped for the best. Some people had little tiny sticks to roast their marshmallows and were getting actually burnt by the fire but the guys all started breaking down branches that were longer but one guy literally took down an entire giant branch to roast his marshmallow and maybe it was because I was super tired but it was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. After that people brought out their guitars and there were lots of different groups scattered all over singing and it was just such a cool environment of people jammin and chillin. We then were told to head to the gym where they again surprised us, this time with a dance party. Everyone went totally crazy and it was so great and pretty CathoLIT (also a priest led us in the Macarena so #goals). Basically between adoration, s’mores, and dancing that night was the peak of my existence. The last day featured a few more talks, small groups (my group ended up not being too bad and I wouldn’t say I made new friends but I got some new perspective and met some new people), and finally Mass. The bus broke down on the way home so the 3 hour ride turned into 4 and I was pretty dead by the end of it but it was so great.
The next week was pretty chill and not much happened besides classes and I forgot to put soap in with my laundry twice so I feel like I’ve done more laundry in a week than normal people do in like 2 months.
I joined a faith group in my dorm called RENEW which is something I wasn’t going to join at first but actually ended up being super chill and fun and it was with a great group of people that have the potential to be great friends. I also signed up to be an ambassador but I won’t find out about that for a while and joined a team that leads confirmation retreats for parishes in the area.
I have started to form somewhat of a friend group with some really great girls but now our goal is to find some guys to add to the group.
Friday night we went out to food trucks at the Nats stadium and went and explored the city a little. We walked to the White House without using a GPS (and without getting lost!!) and sang Hairspray as we walked through the streets. We grabbed ice cream at shake shack (their burgers don’t even compare to in n out but it pains me to say their shakes may be better) and then headed back and watched Magic Mike (not the best decision) in the dorm lounge when the cute RA happened to be on duty (who said he approved of our life choices but not our movie choices).
So Saturday my friends decided they all want to go out and party and I figured I should probably tag along. It was a lot of girls in my group’s first party so I wasn’t drinking and was watching out for people and everybody was going to take it easy except for one girl who pregamed really hard and was drunk before the night started. The party lasted for about half and hour before it was shut down and we started to head to the next one but our friend was too drunk to walk with us and we had all ubered together so were decided we should all leave together too. I spent the rest of the night holding back hair and making sure everyone had water but we all had a pretty great time just hanging out. The night ended up not too bad and although I’ll probably end up going again (to be the DD) the party scene really just isn’t my thing and my goal is to get a something like midnight capture the flag to happen instead.
This morning (Sunday) I dragged myself out of bet at the ungodly hour of 8 AM to participate in our St. Theresa of Calcutta Day of Service. Cat and I had signed up together but they didn’t tell us our service sights until we got there. While other groups went out to different locations in the city my group was assigned to plant trees on campus with President Garvey (who is actually the most adorable man ever )and the staff who signed up with their families (i.e. super cute little kids) so we clearly got the best group and assignment. We happened to plant the trees in front of the Education building where I have 2 classes and will be having almost all my ed classes in the future so now every time I hike up to the building (and when you all come to visit) I can point out all the trees I planted.
Hope to hear from all of you soon and that all you quarter system kids are settling in and adjusting well!