It’s now my third time doing this.
It’s my third time leaving home and arriving on Dordt’s campus. I remember when I first pulled up as a freshman and my dad and I drove around for 20 minutes just trying to find the Campus Center. I never visited Dordt in high school, so this was my first time ever being in Sioux Center and ever being on Dordt’s campus. Campus seemed long and complicated to me then. Now all the paths and classrooms and nooks are so familiar I can barely imagine getting lost. Now when I pull up to see those red bricks they have all sorts of meaning and memories for me.
It’s my third time going through pre-season for soccer. Freshman year I couldn’t imagine doing four-a-days, and I dreaded having to take an ice bath at the end of each day. Now four-a-days are just as hard, but the pain is more familiar and I can look forward to that point in the season when my body stops hurting all the time and I actually feel like I’m in shape. And now ice baths are the best part of pre-season week.
It’s my third time unpacking all my clothes and things and settling into my room. Freshman year I didn’t even know where to start: what clothes should I hang up, and what should I put in the dresser? Where should I put my pictures, and how should I arrange my desk? How am I supposed to fit everything in this tiny dorm room? Trust me, you can fit all your stuff in your dorm room—by the end of the year, you’ll have a lot more, and you’ll have no idea where it came from. Now when I unpack my clothes and all my stuff I have an idea of how I like it all arranged and what I need now and what I can save for when it gets colder.
It’s my third time writing down all my classroom numbers and trying to find my classes. Freshman year was worse and better. Better because then I actually had all my books and binders and notebooks. Now I scrounge for used binders and feel pretty good about myself if I get all my books in time for classes. Worse because I had to try and figure out which building was which AND try to find the right classrooms. I literally prayed that I would be able to get to class each day. Now I look at a classroom number and know almost exactly which classroom it is before I get there.
It’s my third time getting to know my professors and classmates. Freshman year I felt like a nobody to my professors who had seen hundreds of students come and go. Sometimes I tried talking to the people I sat next to, but sometimes I couldn’t tell if they were upper classmen and I didn’t want to take that risk. Now I know most of my professors and they are one of my favorite parts to coming back to Dordt. Now I usually know at least half, if not all, the people in my classes, and I love it when a freshman introduces him/herself to me.
It’s now my third time doing this. If there was one thing I could tell my freshman self, it would be that you will get to that point where you are familiar with the place and the people, so just be patient and humble and have fun in the process of getting there.
These pictures may seem a little random, but they range from pictures with poeple I'd just met my freshman year, to the people I had become friends with sophomore year, to my new experiences junior year! (namely, having to stock a pantry--that picture was for my mom, to show her how grown up I was--and watching the freshman olympics from the fourth floor of Southview)