In my last blog post, "How it all started - Camp", I shared how my path to becoming a wedding coordinator/planner began at camp. I left out a bunch of in-between stuff, so here's the next part to my story.
After moving to Lancaster for college, I was set on a path to work with kids. Either in a school, church, camp, counseling agency or day care. I didn't really care what avenue it was, I just wanted to work with kids. It was a safe place for me. I was good with kids, and always had been. Even though it drained me at times, it came naturally and I should do what I'm naturally good at...right?
Well once at college, I really started to get passionate about working with people my own age. I was an CA -Community Assistant - my Junior year, and an RA- Resident Assistant - my senior year. Being an CA and RA was one of the best experiences of my life. I planned dorm events, worked along side our brother dormitory downstairs to organize events for both the guys and the gals, decorated my hallway and lounge (Decorating your hallway and lounge was the real deal) and most importantly I got to walk alongside girls who were dealing with the stress of college, family, and growing up. It was challenging and extremely exhausting at times, but completely worth it. It was worth every late night and early morning, every tear wiped, and every white slip given. I grew in my ability to lead, be the rule enforcer, the comforter, the cheerleader, and the organizer all at the same time - while balancing homework, classes, work, and a dating later to be engaged relationship with my now husband.
My Junior year I got involved in Student Government as the class secretary, and started working in both the Admissions and the Registrars office. I quickly excelled in Admissions and was promoted to the Visit Coordinator the summer before my senior year. I had the joy of working with hundreds of prospective students coming to visit our school. I loved it. I gave tours, talked on the phone with students, and took part in planning and executing Preview Days. My final semester, I moved into a different role as a personal assistant to the founder of the gap year program at our school. It was stretching and a bit outside my comfort zone, but good nonetheless.
I also had my internship and practicums at churches in Lancaster during my senior and junior years. These trained me to plan lessons, think creatively when dealing with conflict, and also gave me freedom to learn how to plan and program events on a different level than what camp had prepared me for. Granted these events, were usually for children, but if you can lead an event for children, you most certainly can lead an event for adults. It's vastly different in the way things happen and look, but the principals are the same. I've always said, you can try to make a leader, but to some people it just comes naturally. It was during my internship and practicum that I began to question what I was called to. I started to lean towards pursing a career in counseling, but still knew deep down, that I was a planner and leader. Being a counselor wouldn't give me the freedom or creativity to do those things. I would be stuck in an office, analyzing people and helping them work through pain and suffering. Counseling is a high call, and something I still enjoy doing, but it doesn't fit all my passions and gifts perfectly. It doesn't wake me up every morning, excited to get to work.
I graduated second in my class in May 2014, with no idea exactly what I would be doing with all the skills I had developed over the last few years. All I knew was that I was leaving for a 2 1/2 week trip to Israel the day after graduation, and getting married in July. I needed to figure out what life looked like after that point. But I'll save that part for the next post. Stay tuned!