As I looked out of the plane window, noticing the American landscape rolling out beneath me, I began to panic. "What the heck am I doing? I'm British - I should stay in England! Take me back right now!" I turned my gaze firmly to the TV screen in front of me and tried to put my mind elsewhere. The feelings of fear began to subside, replaced by growing excitement as the plane landed, and I started my journey through customs and baggage and into the arms of a waiting friend. "Things are going to turn out just fine," I thought as I hugged her.
I'd chosen to arrive on campus a whole week early, so I had time to sort out my head (which was spinning trying to figure out everything that needed to be done) and my affairs, and look for work. However, not many people had arrived yet, and I had no room mate, so I was a little lonely. The first Sabbath was hard - going to a huge church - not knowing anyone - missing my friends at Stanborough and not having a social to go to - and I choked back the tears a couple of times during the service, although I did meet some welcoming older people, including a lady from England who actually knows my family.
Things began to get better over the next couple of days. I found a prospective job (please pray that it works out!). A few more people arrived. I bumped into an old friend who I had no idea would be starting here. I met some new friends on my hall. A bunch of people who I consider almost family (from my team in South East Asia) arrived back in the area, and we had a reunion supper together, sharing memories and catching up on all the things that had happened in our lives over the past year. I spent an afternoon with a friend's sister (who I'd heard lots about but never met until now), and she introduced me to the joys of the dollar movie theatre (people in England - be jealous!!!), and also took me bowling!
There are going to be lots of changes to get used to. Dorm life is one of them! I've been used to living independently for a long time, so living in the dorm with its curfews and regulations is going to be...interesting...! My classes begin on Monday, so things are going to start getting very hectic then. Please don't forget to pray for me!
I think I'm going to enjoy it here. I know God has me here for a reason, so I'm trusting Him to provide the energy and brain power, the friends, and the finance I need to survive and thrive at Southern!