One reason I love still living in Louisville post college is that I’m never far from some of the dearest people in my life–my college friends. In 2003, I left the shelter of Northern Kentucky and headed to the great big city of Louisville, Ky (just kiddding) to attend UofL. I remember being incredibly nervous to be leaving home and all I knew, but it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I had no major reason for attending UofL. I was not a die hard UofL fan (I wasn’t/am still not a UK fan either, I must make that clear), I knew next to nothing about the city, and I had no specific major in mind.
My main reasons for choosing the school were its in-state tuition, I could use my KEES money, and best of all it offered one thing I had never experienced before: 22,000 people. Growing up I attended small Catholic schools; they gave me a wonderful education but from K-8th grade I was with the same 7 girls. Among these seven I usually ranked last in popularity. Not throwing myself a pity party here, it was what it was. High School unfortunately played out the same way except there were 43 more girls and about 35 more boys with which to make friends. Again I failed miserably to make any long-lasting, edifying relationships.
All I wanted in coming to UofL was to find friends who cared about ME and didn’t say hurtful things when I wasn’t around, judged me for my athletic abilities, weight, or other dumb, superficial things. I figured with a pool of 22,000 people surely I would be able to do that.
I definitely floundered in the beginning of my freshman year. I was shy and quiet, two recipes for disaster when wanting to make friends. Finally I pulled myself up by my boot straps and went to a meeting with a group called IVCF (Intervarsity Christian Fellowship). Now, let me say I was Catholic and not looking to change. I had no clue about this group’s beliefs but the few members I had met seemed friendly and genuine so why not, right?
The first meeting went well. Yes, they raised their hands when they sang but none of them had hair they had never cut, and no one was thumping any bibles in my face. It was obvious that these people loved God and loved being around each other. I wasn’t sure about the God part but I wanted to be their friend. Their past-times were more up my alley too. They enjoyed hanging out at local coffee shops, playing board games, watching movies in each others’ dorm rooms, and — best of all — playing Ultimate Frisbee most nights of the week. They immediately welcomed me with no questions asked; and through them I met other wonderful friends, including my future husband David 🙂
In my years at UofL, knowing these people which God had placed in my life helped my faith grow immensely. Of course they weren’t perfect, but they certainly didn’t tear me or each other down. Through my 4 years with them we went to dances together, went out to eat more then we should have, took ski trips, and played more game of ultimate then I could count. I made it my goal to not let these friends go when college was over, and I think they did too. Thankfully we have been successful so far; which brings me back to last night.
Around Christmas most everyone who’s not in town comes back and we make it a point to try to get together. Last night, the Yu’s hosted all of us at their house to ring in the New Year. We ate dinner and laughed remembering funny times, we played a game called Celebrity and laughed even harder, and then we opened the champagne and celebrated the ball drop together. You see, with my friends we do not need excessive amounts of alcohol to have fun, we don’t have to fake conversation, and no one leaves thinking I can’t stand him or her. These people are real. They have struggles like anyone else, but their trust is in the Lord and at the end of the day that’s all that matters. I love these people. Happy New Year.