Ah, FreshMin Retreat--so much fun! To begin, I'll be honest and say that I was not very excited about going. This was the first true weekend of being a "college kid," and I was mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted. However, even though I contemplated not going, I made myself, and I am so glad that I did.
Matt Kerlin, Brian Pitts, April Robinson, and Renee Pitts introduced themselves the first night and gave us information about University Ministries.
In my mind, I anticipated the weekend to be a typical schedule of a retreat: worship, sermon, small groups, etc. I did get a lot spiritually out of the weekend, but it was an informative and encouraging weekend as well. It was simply a time to relax.
The leaders talked about finding a genuine community. Because there are so many different things to do at Samford,they encouraged us and directed us concerning where to plug in, which looks different for each individual. They told us about different outlets we can get involved in and gave us a clearer picture of what each one looked like. I found that time very helpful. I felt like they were being completely "real"with us, rather than just telling everyone to get involved in everything possible. Balance is key.
The weekend was very relaxing overall. I felt a sense of independence and freedom that I was experiencing for the first time. From bonfires, s'mores, countless amounts of junk food, pool tables, dance parties, card games, board games, lake activities, and more, it was a weekend that provided a great atmosphere to continue to get to know classmates.
I'm considered an extrovert, but I am definitely a homebody. The transition to college has been difficult from time to time for sure. The first weekend away from home, I'd say, was the hardest. Saying that to say, I was so thankful that I spent the majority of the weekend away from campus. I was able to sit alone and be still in the presence of the Lord by the beautiful lake soaking in His Word as well as spending time forming new sweet and precious friendships.
(Let me add as well, the beds in the cabins were the most comfortable "camp beds" that I've ever slept on, which is a reason in itself you should go on FreshMin Retreat if you end up attending Samford. I mean, come on, priorities y'all. Sleep is important.)
To sum it up, FreshMin Retreat was so great! I am so thankful for the friends I was able to make while there and thankful for the time of relaxation I had after one of the biggest weeks of my life: leaving home, moving away from family, making new friends, and starting college classes.
FreshMin Retreat IS optional, but if you decide to come to Samford (the best school on the planet), I would encourage you to for sure go! You won't regret it.
Until next time, have a blessed week!