Monthly Archives: March 2016

A Long Summer Road (Olivia Godfrey)

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Relief, joy, excitement: this pretty well described all members of my family on that final day of school. The adventure of a lifetime was only a car ride away. As this final day slowly approached, my father began to prepare us for the the long days driving in a cramped minivan and the nights we would spend in crowded hotel rooms. While at first I was struck with reluctance to embark on our summer excursion, I began to realize how many opportunities I would have to see some of our nation’s most famous monuments and important landmarks. This truly would be an experience I would never forget.

Because school had just come to a close, getting into a van and driving nine hours with an exhausted dad, a drained mom, two obnoxious teenagers, and a brother who just wanted to be glued to Mine-Craft for twenty-four hours a day was not what I would have labeled as enjoyable. However, here I was in a car for nine hours with my family; I would have to make the most of it.

Our first few days were full of driving and stopping and driving some more. I was pleasantly surprised with how well my family began adjusting to this new way of life. Hotel breakfasts as well as lunch and dinner on the road actually became exciting in an unfamiliar way.

As we travelled through plains and mountains, my eyes were opened to the beauty of the world around me. Little did I know that some of the most breathtaking pictures I had ever seen of various landscapes were ten times as astonishing in person. I cannot express in words the awe I felt while witnessing our God’s creation. I felt as though I had been placed in a painting, God being the artist. I will never be able to forget the images of creation I was so fortunate to see during those ten days of roaming the country.

I believe what made this time so significant was the combination of who I was surrounded by with the backdrop that surrounded me. Being from a family of six, one would not always expect everyone to enjoy every moment of a family trip; however, this trip was different. The unity was there. The love was there. The mutual amazement at the masterpieces we encountered brought us closer.

Being in the car for over four thousand miles is not easy. I do confess it was hard at times. But the honest truth is that the good times outweighed the bad so much that I can hardly remember a time where I wanted to go home. For the first time ever I felt a sense of peace. I was surrounded by the ones I most loved and given an opportunity of a lifetime. What more could I ask for? People have asked me if I would ever go on this adventure again. My answer? I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

High School Bucket List (Sarah McDaniel)

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You’ve seen the lists of things to do before you graduate, including taking the ACT twenty times, writing a resumé like your God’s gift to the world, or writing ten different versions of the same essay for ten different scholarship opportunities. However, high school should be about more than prepping for college. It should also be about having fun while you are still a teenager, without the responsibilities of an adult. So here is a new list.

1. Do something that scares you.
When you go to college, you will have responsibilities enough. Now is your time to go on crazy adventures. For this consummate introvert, this meant going to a crowded Keith Urban concert with my best friend. Completely worth it.

2. Take a trip with friends or family.
Road trips are a great way to get closer to friends and family. They are full of fun experiences and memories that you cannot gain doing anything else. One of my favorite memories is a trip up to the Opryland Hotel at Christmas. That night, my dad and I explored the expansive hotel, just to get lost. It was something he and I will always remember.

3. Learn a new skill.
Whether it is a new language, karate, or even just learning how to do your own laundry, learning something new that’s not academic. It will help you remember that learning really can be fun.

4. Make a time capsule.
Every adventure or experience you gain, you should set aside one thing from that trip— a photo, a postcard, whatever—that represents the trip. Then, when you are older, you can look back through them and remember all the fun times you have had. Adults tell me this is really valuable.


5. Do one thing every day that is just for you.
High school is challenging; I won’t lie. But by doing one thing every day that is just for you–not for a teacher, or coach, or parent–you will learn to relax, and this will make high school ten times more bearable. For example, I take a break after school every day where I lock myself in my room and enjoy a bag of chips and some Netflix.
Now get started. You’ve got a lot to do.