A few minutes ago, I sat down to read my Bible study. Just as I was getting comfortable, I remembered what my husband said last night, “If we don’t move the car first thing in the morning, you won’t be able to get out of campus when you need to leave at 10:30.”
We live on a college campus. Our home, a three-bedroom ranch, is nestled between three residence halls. One long, narrow driveway enters the east side of campus and winds past a large parking lot and between the buildings to land at our doorway. We’ve got one way in and one way out. This is typically not a problem. Our campus is small, and most cars are required to park in the parking lot. We’ve usually got a straight shot from our doorway to the highway.
But today is freshman move-in day.
When I leapt out of my seat a few minutes ago to go move the car, I walked outside and noticed that about a dozen student leaders clad in red “Welcome” t-shirts were gathered, waiting the arrival of the first students. My path was clear, so I drove our little Suze-e Cruze-e straight to the lot, slipped in an end slot, and put her in ‘park’. As I pulled the key from the ignition, I looked up and saw a line of cars snaking down the narrow drive from the entryway.
I was just in the knick of time.
All week, the excitement has been palpable. Our campus pastor embodies enthusiasm. Even though I haven’t seen him in person since Sunday, I have ‘heard’ him over social media. He has been posting pictures of dozens of student leaders meeting at his home. He’s been gushing over Twitter about how he and the leaders have prayed over every building on campus, how he witnessed the first class of nursing students gathering at our new North building, and how the campus is primed and ready for our newest students to arrive for a year that’s themed #togethersetapart.
And he’s not the only one who’s excited. I’ve stopped by the Student Life Office a few times this week and have found bustling activity — the men and women in this office work hard all year, but this is one of their busiest times. Not only do they make the housing assignments, train the resident assistants, and coordinate the move-in, but they also plan multiple events for welcome week including meals, evening activities, and a campus-wide service event for Sunday.
The campus, that gets pretty quiet over the summer, is starting to pulse. I’ve been sitting here now for about half an hour, but I know that when I get up and look out the window, I will see overloaded cars pulled close to residence halls. Parents will be carrying Rubbermaid containers and laundry baskets and thinking to themselves, “What have we forgotten?” Students will be bundles of emotion — excitement, fear, enthusiasm, wonder, anxiety — as they meet their roommates and urge their parents to leave, saying, “I’ve got it from here.”
My golden retriever is pacing from one end of our house to the other. He’s pressing his nose against the glass because it’s just so exciting out there!!
All my life I have loved the start of the school year. It’s a clean slate waiting to be written on, a blank planner begging to be filled, a new race waiting to be run. A new school year screams possibility! For the kids outside my door and the one sitting right here at this laptop, I pray for the fulfillment of dreams, the facing of challenges, and the opportunity to fully embrace what it means to be #togethersetapart.
that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.