Even though I'm done with the program, I still have some stories to tell you about my time there!
|This was me at the beach.|
On the day before my final, my professor decided that we should spend some time studying at the beach.
Best idea ever!
We studied for about an hour before heading into the water. The water was very nice, and there were some waves. Two guys in my class learned how to surf from our professor, and that was pretty cool. Actually, I acomplished something too! I went farther out into the ocean than I'd ever been before. The water scares me a little, just because I know how easy it can be to get sucked into it and get disoriented. But I felt reassured knowing that my professor was there, and that he was a really, really good surfer. And I felt better knowing that one of my classmates was a certified lifeguard. (Although, the lifeguard guy was the same guy who brought his own barbecue sauce to every meal...)
I went pretty far into the ocean, and it was so nice! One girl actually asked me how I knew how to swim. ("Because, like, I thought there weren't beaches in Arizona?") I told her that we have pools.
2. Fourth of July!
Classes were cancelled for the Fourth of July! So we went to the beach again! (Apparently, that's just what people do when they live near the ocean and have some free time.) The whole group came this time, and we all had a lot of fun, swimming around, playing games, and reading.
Following beach time, we split up into classes and went to different coffee shops for study time, because the finals were the next day. I had a really nice time with just my class. It was the first time we'd all studied together, and I felt like I'd learned a lot. We stayed at the coffee shop until they told us that they were closing and we'd have to sit outside. Outside, we sometimes got distracted from our studies by the Fourth of July spectacle that was happening in the streets. A party bus drove by, people walked in a mini parade, and bikers rode through the streets with American flags hanging off the backs. Ben and I ran after the bikers for a while. I felt very patriotic.
Our night ended with fireworks on the beach, which were spectacular. The only problem was that I couldn't completely clear my mind from the fact that we would all be taking finals in a few short hours. Which leads me to my next story...
3. Final exam...
I never told you about my final exam, did I? There's not much to tell, and it's not very interesting, but I think I should at least tell you how it went.
I feel better about this test than I did about the last one. I knew the material better, so I could write more. I was the last one to finish, and I took the full amount of time. When I finished, all my classmates had left the classroom and gone to lunch. They all seemed to feel better about this test, too. That makes me happy.
I won't know my final grade for a while, but I'll keep you posted on that. Unless I fail. In which case, I won't tell you.
4. Closing Ceremonies
5. Movie night, and a surprise!
After the Closing Ceremonies, we decided that we needed to do something fun on our last night... so we went to a drive-in movie! Taking two cars, we parked in a big dirt lot and settled in for two hours of Despicable Me 2. It was a pretty good movie, but the best part was just spending time with my new friends.
When the movie was over, Annie and Peter drove us back to the school, told us that our stop was just a bathroom break (so be back in the cars fast), and suggested that we grab sweatshirts. Loading back into the vans, we traveled a ways up a mountain. I normally really like driving up mountains, but this time was a little different. It was a very foggy night, and the fog rolled off the edge of the cliffs, so everything beyond the road was hidden by the dense fog. There was no way of seeing down the sides of the road. Sitting in the front seat by Annie, I shut my eyes very tightly and held onto the sides of my seat all the way up the mountain. Not my favorite memory.
Once we reached the top of the mountain, I saw how driving up the Cliffs of Insanity was worth it. We were above the whole city, and there was complete silence around us. We were stargazing. Peter and Annie had brought some blankets, so we put those down on the ground and laid on our backs, just watching the sky. It was amazing. Sometimes we'd all go silent and just take everything in, and other times we'd sing a song together or point out shooting stars to the people beside us. I saw my first shooting stars! They were all over the sky, but I just saw three of them. The song I remember us singing the most was "Yellow" by Coldplay. I've always loved that song and now I think it'll remind me of our last night, stargazing.
6. Almost All-nighter
On our way back home, people started talking about how tired they were after the long day. Others would quickly respond, saying "You want to spend our last few hours together sleeping?! Sleep is for the weak!" (I was one of the tired ones.)
They decided that we should all try to do an all-nighter. We saw a few movies, and one by one, everyone fell asleep on the couches. I was proud to be the third-to-last one awake, making it to about 2:30am. But I was exhausted the next day.
7. The next day!
I got picked up! Once they found where they were going, Mom, Sam, Joe, and Nicolle helped me get my stuff out to the car and we drove away after some goodbyes. The goodbyes were sad, but I think I'll see at least a few of these people again, and we've all been texting a bit since we left. But it was so good seeing my family and my friend again. I've missed everyone so much.
We spent a nice day together on Sunday, meeting up with Aunt Jenny and MC at a cute (but strange) beach house, sleeping in, going to the beach, reading, and going to church. That was all just really, really nice and relaxing and fun.
After we left Aunt Jenny, MC, and Nicolle, Mom, the boys, and I visited three colleges. I really liked two of them, but I've decided that I might not apply to the third one at all. (It was a very nice school, just not a great fit for me.)
After two days of tours, interviews, and information sessions, it was a little surprising for me to realize that my favorite school so far is the one where I spent the last three weeks. I remember a phone call I had with Dad, around day two of my program, where he asked me if it felt weird being at college. While it definitely felt weird being away from my family, the campus itself was the least of my worries. I felt completely at home in only a day or two. Now, I really miss it there.
But not as much as I miss Dad! It's been too long since all five members of the family have been together. I'm so excited to see him tomorrow. The Fam will be reunited once again!
|We'll all be back together again tomorrow!|
P.S. This may be my last post for a while. I don't know what I'll have to write about in the next few weeks/months. I'll just be in school, doing senior things. (You know, because I'm a senior now!) If any of you have any ideas or suggestions for what I can write about, I'd gladly take them. If not, that's okay. Thank you all for reading my blog. I'm so grateful for all the experiences I had over the last couple of weeks, and I loved being able to share them with you through this blog. Thanks for listening!