Spring is here (well, maybe?), and one of RealLife’s hallmark events this time of year is our annual Spring Retreat. The birds sing, the Sun actually appears, and everyone packs their bags and heads to Round Lake Camp for a couple of days to pursue God together and learn how to “unpack their bags” in RealLife. Totaling my time as a student and on staff with Real Life, April 17th and 18th will mark my sixth Spring Retreat. It is by far one of the most anticipated events of the year for me! Here are the top 5 reasons why:
After another grueling winter (I will not deny that I cried when it snowed the Monday after Spring Break), we could all use a little time in nature. The best part about Spring Retreat’s nature is that there are many different ways to enjoy it – playing flag football, paddle boating, star-gazing, and so on. While your friends are getting sunburned on Oval Beach, you can be getting sunburned playing tether-ball! (Just kidding, bring your friends with you). Which brings me to my next reason why Spring Retreat is great:
As a college student, you can spend a lot of time “doing” things with your friends without actually “being” with your friends. You can study, watch Netflix, eat, and go to the gym with your friend, but very rarely do you get 24 hours of uninterrupted time together. Spring Retreat provides some unique time and space during a normally busy time of the year to get to know each other on a deeper level and celebrate the people that God has brought into your life. Also, it is never too late to make new friends, and Spring Retreat is a great place to do that as well!
If you haven’t been to Spring Retreat before or haven’t heard, a major part of the weekend is spent listening to older students share what God has done in their lives over the last few years of college. I love this part of Retreat because it is such a testimony to the faithfulness of God. The men and women who speak were in your shoes just two or three years ago and can offer a lot of wisdom and perspective on what it looks like to follow Christ in your time at Ohio State.
Another great year at Ohio State is coming to an end. Some will graduate, and next year a new group of first-years will step onto campus. I think it is so important to take time to reflect and be thankful for all that has happened in our individual lives over the last year and in our movement. This has been a favorite moment of mine because without it, I don’t know if I would stop long enough to do it on my own. You might spend the last week on campus in a zombie-like state, studying for finals, and wake up with your dorm room packed in your parents’ SUV or on a plane to Study Abroad or a Summer Mission. Spring Retreat is the perfect opportunity to stop and look around at what you have gotten to be a part of for the last several months or even years (or maybe days or weeks, which is great!). The flip side of this is looking forward. Nothing is more exciting than having something to look forward to! Mixed in with the sadness of saying goodbye for the summer or to those graduating is the anticipation of the years to come and dreaming about how God might use those that are sticking around!
I love sleeping on a mattress on the floor so everyone on my side of campus can fit into one room (shout out to West Campus ladies!). I love losing count of how many cookies I’ve eaten at the coffee shop. I love worshiping God and finding time to be grateful to Him. I love that I am sneaking way more than five reasons into my final reason for liking Spring Retreat!
Are you packed yet? Perhaps my top 5 won’t be your top 5, but I dare you to find out! Head here to register or get more info!