Hello again! I’m back from Jordan and embarking on another off-campus study adventure, this time (a little) closer to home.
I’ve been in Oregon for three weeks now, and so far it’s been really great. In a few pictures, here’s what’s been going on:
I live in Cabin 10! I have two awesome cabin-mates, and we each have our own room.
We shop for groceries together once a week, and we cook our dinners together as a cabin in our cute little kitchen.
We’ve been exploring Lincoln as well as venturing out on longer trips. Last weekend we hiked Mt. McLoughlin.
The Oregon Extension is located within the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, so there are tons of wildlife and hiking trails easily available to us right on campus.
There are forty-ish people living on this campus, and it takes a lot of work to keep the whole place running. Every week groups of students cycle through chore assignments. So far I have taken care of the chickens, stacked firewood, and distributed vegetables from the garden.
With the slower pace of life in Lincoln, I’ve been thinking about why I chose to come here. What makes an off-campus study semester worth missing everything happening back at home and at school?
The sea that calls l things unto her calls me, and I must embark.
For to stay, though the hours burn in the night, is to freeze and crystallize and be bound in a mould.
Gibran, Kahlil. The Prophet. Albatross Publishers, 2015.
One reason I chose to study off-campus was that I did not want to stagnate. I think there are so many personal growth areas and new lessons that I will only encounter if I push myself out of my comfort zone, into places that are unfamiliar. I saw that to be true in Jordan last semester, and I believe that this semester also holds growth opportunities.
That being said, it is difficult to be so far away from my family and my friends at Hope, and not having a phone during the week can make it especially challenging. Something I’m trying to keep in mind this semester is that growth only happens when circumstances are difficult. One of the reasons I am here is to place myself in hard situations, in order to become more resilient. Hopefully, I will emerge with stronger friendships and a better array of tools to navigate staying connected.
I expect I’ll have more thoughts on this topic as the semester goes on. And if you’ve made it all the way to the end of the post, thanks for reading.