I suppose I have always had certain assumptions/plans about how my life would go. Elementary school, middle school, high school, college, career... I figured it would be a pretty straightforward/nothing too exciting existence. Surprise, surprise. It hasn't really worked out at all as I had assumed. The great thing about that is that is SO MUCH better than I could have ever imagined. There have, of course, been some less than ideal moments all throughout, but on the whole, life is great!!!
I have had the blessing of getting to attend not one but 2 colleges that I have absolutely love! I had the opportunity to spend 4 incredible months abroad in Italy with the best host family anyone could ever ask for. I have a great position at a school I love working in an area that I am passionate about. The best part about all of it is that I didn't expect any of it. All of these great opportunities seemed to come out of nowhere. They weren't in the original plans. They came up and I felt called to pursue them. Going to Cottey was a last minute decision (Coe not quite as much). I didn't think studying abroad would even be an option, but it turned out it was. The most interesting of them has to be getting my position as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Coe. A week before graduation, I am presented with it. I apply that night; interview 4 days later, and on Friday I am offered the position. Talk about a quick turn-around time. I wasn't even actively seeking a job. I just thought I would go with my stand-by at home while I looked for something else. It is just incredible how all of these opportunities came along. I don't think I realized it at the time, but God was definitely pushing me in the right direction with each and every one of these decisions. I wouldn't be where I am if it weren't for him!!!
Upon my graduation from Coe, I wasn't entirely certain what career path I wanted to actively pursue. I have interest in several related, but distinct areas. I just didn't know which path to take. Should I go to seminary and do some sort of ministry? Should I go to grad school so I can teach comparative religion? Non-profit work? Counseling? After working at Coe for 4 months, I have come to rule out some of those possibilities but found a truly exciting new option. What is it?, you ask. Student Affairs! I love student affairs. I get to work at a college, encourage students to participate in service, and work with some amazing people. I love the atmosphere, the work, and the people. After going to the Iowa Student Personnel Association (of which I am now a member) Conference, I came to realize that I would be happy pursuing a career in this field. There is a wide range of positions within the field. I think what solidified it in my mind was meeting one individual whose position deals with both religious life and residence life. It had never crossed my mind that perhaps you could combine religion and student affairs. It sounds like a great fit to me. God really does work in mysterious ways!
I can't say enough how excited and blessed I am to have his loving guidance in my life! I feel so blessed to have a loving family, friends, a fantastic boyfriend who I wouldn't trade for anything, a crazy yet spunky dog, and most importantly, a God who loves me!