Sunday, May 19, 2013

East 2: Through & Through

Welcome to the Middle East! 

Out of all the things that can possibly shape your freshman year of college, the hall you are put on is probably one of the biggest factors. For me, this was definitely the case. I was put onto East 2, the middle section of the freshman girls building which (luckily enough) meant a straight shot from the door and no stairs EVER. But since there's no way I could possibly sum up this wonderful group of women accurately in an averageish blog post, I've decided to give you instead a small tour of our hall...that will actually probably end up being PREEEEETTY long :D So. Without further ado....welcome to the Middle East. 

The first couple doors on the hall are empty...we just didn't have enough girls to put into them. But when you do actually hit the lived in rooms, the first girl you come to is our wonderful Cami. Bouncy, energetic and full of laughter, this girl is recently engaged and a joyful encouragement to everyone she comes across. She is the Annie to our orphans, the Mary to our nativity, and a wonderful, wonderful dancer. She demonstrates unbelievable trust in the Lord, even when life seems like it would discourage almost anyone else. I have never met anyone quite like her :) 

Next up we have the beautiful Brittany (right) and Francis (the one in the pretty purple dress on the left!). These girls are both pretty quiet, keep to themselves sort of gals....and yet they never failed to be servants and love on those around them whenever they were needed :) They are sweet spirited, kind, and both very, VERY funny when they don't get enough sleep. Franci loves frogs, and BrittBritt makes some of the best homemade sweet tea I have ever had! Our hall would not have been the same without them...OR their always smiling faces :) 

The people on either side of the pretty blonde in the middle are Julia and Alicia. These beautiful women hold a special place, both on our hall and in my heart. They served as our FLT or Freshman Leadership Team members, and were two of my best friends throughout the entire year. In addition to being honorary roommates, Alicia was also mom of the hall...and was in fact referred to as Mom for the whole year ;) Countless nights were spent on their couch, and between the tears, laughter, exhaustion, and wisdom I could not have done this year or learned the lessons God had for me without them :) Jules & Alicia...I love you both a lot. 

Next up....our room! Also the first residence room on the LEFT of the hall :) The blonde in the picture is my beautiful roommate Jess, and most of this will be bragging on her. Of all the people God providentially placed in my life this year, she is probably one of the most important. She has been a never ending source of encouragement and advice, always loving me and challenging me when she feels I need it. She is absolutely hilarious, and I don't think there's anyone on our hall who would say otherwise. We all pretty much adore her :D As does her recently acquired boyfriend, who is also a pretty honorary East 2 hall member ;) [we love you XanderMan]. JessJess and I named everything in our room....from the door (Doorothy) to the airconditioning (Airon, pronounced Aaron) and the refrigerator (Fridget). We had countless late nights, many hilarious mornings, cereal parties, roomie nap days, forced cleaning meetings, and many, many Gospel driven talks. I cannot wait to walk through the next 4 years with this beautiful girl :) 

Take a few steps further and the next door on your left is Christa and Rianna. These girls are East 2's little piece of international flair :D Both missionary kids, RyeRye was raised from China and Christa in Tanzania. We didn't know it until A WEEK before school got out (shameful!) but Christa actually has a GORGEOUS singing voice, and plays the guitar wonderfully well! Rye takes a piece of China with her almost everywhere she goes :) She is incredibly skilled with chopsticks, and demonstrated PRETTY early on that she can eat pretty much anything she pleases with them. We were all super impressed to say the least. These girls are opposites, and God used them to balance out our hall. Rye is full of life and love. She is constantly hugging people and encouraging them, whether that's through finals, break, or that last dumb English paper ;) Christa is a little bit quieter...but once you get to know her she comes beautifully out of her shell! I got the opportunity to go to Midtown, our church, with her one morning just the two of us...and we got to spend the whole ride talking about life, Jesus and her wonderful boyfriend, WHO SHE GETS TO SEE IN LESS THAN A WEEK!!!! 

These threatening (and super cute) girls are our triple. They were the only triple, and I can honestly say there will never be another like them. Lindsay (right) is one of the most incredible cooks I've ever met. Wife that girl ;) The blonde in the middle is Courtney, talented in singing, loving, welcoming, encouraging....oh. And also philosophizing ;) And finally, the one on the far left is Sydney, also known as Sydlet. She is a strong, perservering, unbelievable woman of the Lord and a huge inspiration to me. And just to clarify (so they don't kill me)...this was taken after we had played a viscous game of capture the flag at our 9:17. So ;) 

The next room is a confusing of the most off the wall people I have EVER met [Leah, the beautiful red/auburn head] paired with one of the most easygoing, chill, unphaseable people I've ever met [JessieJ...the pirate on the left ;)] Leah is loud, outgoing, and perfectly the Leah God has created her to be :D She is good at singing, videomaking, and finding the randomest, littlest things to get excited about. And it's awesome :) Jesse is HILARIOUS. She's also black ;) Inside joke guys. She's quieter and you don't see it at first, but she's funny, and INCREDIBLY smart. she's also not coming back next year...and we're going to miss her :( 

This beautiful woman is Megan Brown....leader, learner, wonderful liver of life, and adopted member of the before mentioned INCREDIBLE triple :) This girl is also someone who God used HUGELY in my life this year. Even though we didn't get many of them 2nd semester, the year was filled with Megan&Bethany dates that eventually transformed into us just watching Downton Abbey! This woman is smart, can change a tire like no one's business, driven, from Germany, BEAUTIFUL, and one of my favorite people in the world :) 

These two...THESE TWO. These are the Kayla's. They belong to me and Jess. But really...they do :D They are roommates #3 and #4, and never fail to make our day about a bagajillion times better. They are SO special to me :) The blonde on the left is Kayla Collins...she is my Kase and one of my best friends :) She is loving beyond belief, learning patience rather quickly (teeheehee), cute, quirky, and one of the only ones I can be as stupid as I normally am with. We have watched our way through half of Gilmore Girls, and some of Lie to Me, with occasional breaks for Disney movies and PHILOSOPHY. I steal naps in her bed. The one on the RIGHT is Kayla Swails....also known as Quails! She. is. HILARIOUS. One of the funniest (and wisest) people I have met yet. She eats like a boy, plays soccer like a really scary threatening warrior ninja, and does life like an awkward ostrich ;) She is my one that I freakout about boys with, make up stupid raps with, explode popcorn bags with, study new testament with (HA). They are both beautiful....inside AND out :) 

The last ACTUAL freshman girls living are the hall are Katie (the cutesy blonde) and Taylor (the beautiful brunette). If you walk into their room on a weekend, chances are Tay probably isn't there....but that's only because she's a strong, independant woman who don't need no man...and she's works ALL of the TIME :D It blows my mind how she does it. Tay is sweet, loving, and takes care of people better than anyone I've met. She's also sassy as all get out, which is always fun to watch ;) Katie June is one of my favorite littles ever. She has a special place in my heart simply  because I love her SO MUCH. She is precious, with a sweet spirit and a caring heart. We didn't get to hang out all that much, only because everyone in the WORLD wants to hang out with her, but when we do it is always fun, full of laughter, and with some wisdom moments worked in there too. Both of these women complete the East 2 Hall in a very special way. It has been AMAZING watching the growth in both of them, and hearing them talk about what God has done. It is so, so good :) 

Finally? We have Michelle RA and basically the BACKBONE of this hall. She is the adorable blonde in stripes....but if you're wondering the beautiful brunette is Challie, one of her best friends and my RA for next year! Michelle (also known as Shell to me) is WONDERFUL, and sadly a senior. Next year we're sending her off to Regents in Virginia, which is too far away but exactly where the Lord wants her. Michelle was the reason our hall wasn't just a chaotic ball of BLAH. She kept us together, organized us for hall meetings, and dragged us out for all required ResLife meetings throughout the year ;) Her room covers her personality...a little messy and not all together, but welcoming, loving, and one of the places on the hall that always makes you feel like you're coming home. Shell is a nurturer, and the protector of all East 2 ladies :) She is full of wisdom and truth that the Lord has taught her, and she LOVES sharing it. Our talks, though few and far between, were always very treasured and VERY needed, and I don't think God ever STOPPED using her in my life :) 

So there you have it! My East 2 ladies. I realize this was ridiculously long...but for 10 months these women were my family. We trudged to class together, suffered through finals, rejoiced whenever we could and mourned when it was necessary. They are all, individually, incredible representations of Christ and the Gospel.....and I am so, SO blessed to know each of them :) 

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