One year after the ASC program in Brisbane
It’s been one year since I hopped on a plane incredibly excited but very nervous for a semester full of unknowns. I had no idea what those 4 months were going to bring, but I was excited for the journey. I met the group in LA, 22 strangers who soon became close friends, and we all made the flight to Brisbane. Reflecting now, I am so incredibly thankful for the amazing memories that I made with all of these people, including that flight where we all were just getting started.
I miss the adventures to new and exciting cities, the bus rides commuting to and from school, grabbing coffee in the mall with fellow ASCers, chapel hangs, eating dinner with my host family, and learning in Kimberly’s classroom. During these four months these activities shaped me and molded me into someone who was different than the girl that hopped on that plane to LA. I learned about how beautiful community can be, gathering with others and pouring into them and being poured into. I learned how real God can become in a place where you know nothing else and have to rely on Him for things you made never had to before. I learned how to better be a pilgrim, to look at the places and the people I was around as more than just pretty scenery and faces. I learned that God works to teach us things in unique ways, whether they arebeautiful (often times they were) or a bit messy and maybe not what we would have chosen. I learned to embrace life’s question marks, if you think too much they will stress you out but they can be very exciting when you trust God’s plan. Through the ups and downs that the semester brought I learned to more completely place my trust in Jesus. To trust in His promises and in His character, He won’t let us down.
Now, back in the states one year later, I am still learning some of these things, and still learning new things from the trip! I smile (very big) thinking back on all of those late nights studying, eating at the Pancake Manor day one, donuts in the city, rugby with the fam, staying up all night in Sydney, laughing in class with the whole group, carmello koalas in psychology, star gazing in the outback, and experiencing Straddie with everyone and the many more memories that have become of my semester abroad.
I have stayed in contact with a lot of the people in the group and have even met up with some! My pal Anna came to visit me in STL for the weekend and I saw Tanner in Indianapolis while I wascoming through for the weekend. I have plans to meet up with two more ASC’ers in May for a week to catch up (its been far too long). Boy am I thankful that ASC brought me to these wonderful people from across the country. This was such a big part of the program for me, getting to know the group of us Americans as we made this journey together. We were all connected in the similarity of our unique stories and how our semester abroad fit in.
So, through the adventure and the unknowns, difficulties included, I got to experience a semester unlike any other. Truly life changing, and for the better! I will forever look back on those crazy four months and be overwhelmed with such joy and thankfulness for such an amazing opportunity.