This I Believe
Following my catechetical learning, I found that Christianity was much more than just a once a week commitment. It was something I wanted and needed in my life. After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, I had the phenomenal opportunity to travel to New Orleans with youth from across the nation. It was in this city, which was so unlike my own, that I discovered that “Christian” is much more than a word. It is a lifestyle. Sitting in the Superdome with hundreds of thousands of students like myself, I found that I could have an impact and make a difference in the world. Not only was I discovering my faith and what God’s plan was for my life, but I was also inspired by the faith of the people of New Orleans. I was amazed that a community so devastated by natural disaster could remain so hopeful and happy. Various times throughout the trip, community members personally thanked me for the work and efforts that I was providing. The people of New Orleans were such inspirations, and they had something that I wanted—a strong faith.
With the strength of those people always in the back of my mind, my desire to deepen my faith has continually grown. I am constantly challenged in new ways and frequently taken out of my comfort zone to do things I would not have done otherwise. My desire to live a Christian-based life and spread God’s word has led to even more opportunities. I have attended mission trips to Jamaica where I experienced the culture of a third world country, led youth to the discovery and understanding of their own faith and found out so much about myself in the process.
Coming to college has been one of the biggest tests of my faith. I expected to be challenged academically, but I had no idea how greatly I would be tested in other aspects. When applying to college, I had the option of going to a Christian-based, religiously affiliated campus, but it was Dickinson that attracted my attention. My first weeks on campus were extremely challenging as I attempted to adapt to a life away from the church I grew up in. For the first time, I found myself surrounded by people with very different beliefs from my own. Despite the challenge this has presented me, it has been the greatest learning experience as well. I have learned so much about myself, and have been able to share what I believe and why I believe it with others. Although my living environment has changed, who I am has not. My desire to grow in faith has not been diminished and I love the challenge this new atmosphere has brought.