Balancing Act

It has been a while, hasn’t it? To remind you, I (Shannon Rogers) am studying off campus (in Chicago) for a semester (this one to be exact). A few things, out of the ordinary have happened since my last post (hence why I haven’t posted in a while…).

Let me be raw with you for this post.

Following my last blog post, one of my dearest roommates underwent medical difficulties. We spent time with her in the hospital to ensure that she was safe, taken care of, and supported. Although you don’t expect (or even hope) for things like this to happen when you are off-campus, they are even still a possibility. Yes, I did not experience this first hand, but it was heart-grasping to see a close friend of mine go through extended treatment. She is one of the most strong-willed individuals I know, and ever will. As for now she is healing and thriving, continue to pray for her if you are able.

Through leaps and bounds, my confidence has grown during the course of the Newberry Seminar. I came into the program so certain on research that I wanted to do. When that research fell through, I searched–with great determination–for a new passion. I wrote 53 pages of research on a Cold War political cartoonist, John Fischetti. What!? Me!? The Communication major? The Social Science junkie? You sure bet I did. So why did I write about him? I am glad you asked.

Humor is my passion. And life is full of improvisation. The success of comedy relies on the actor saying “yes and.” “Yes”, means you accept whatever is happening. The “and” requires you to build off of what just occurred. This requires a strong ability to adapt, focus, listen, and be willing to take risks. All skills of which are particularly useful in the workplace.

I believe that in any business setting, it is important to understand the demands of cooperation and innovation. With my experience in comedy, I have found that I am extremely analytical when it comes to creating a scene. A scene requires development, or else it will completely crumble (the audience won’t be impressed). I may not be the funny friend, but I am really good at “Yes, and”-ing the funny friend!

Now, onto my last bit of news. I got ENGAGED! My boyfriend, now fiancé, of two years proposed to me on November 10th. These past two weeks have been a whirlwind of happy emotions. Such joy fills my heart that the Lord blessed me with a man so lovely as Jonathan. Praise God for we are getting married! Assuming you would like a picture of the event…

As you can see, this semester has been a balancing act to say the least. Things both hard and extremely exciting have entered into my life. I can say with great confidence that each of those things are shaping me in ways so that I can tackle any project, big or small, that comes my way.

Study Off Campus, Do It.

Hey friends, it has been quite some time, and for that I apologize (in hopes that you have actually missed my blog posts).

So, let’s catch up.

This first month off campus has been a roller-coaster. If you know anything about me, you’ll know that I love roller-coasters. I have one piece of advice for any student looking to do something at Hope: study off campus, do it.

I never thought that I would study off campus. I assumed, similar to high school, that I would just stay put. Since attending Hope, I branched out to tons of student activities outside my comfort zone. Getting out of your comfort zone allows God to work through you in ways that you couldn’t have otherwise. Listen to what He is calling you to do. If you don’t hear anything yet, just wait. It will be better than you could have imagined.

 

My roommates and classmates could not be more amazing! I have been challenged by them, in many ways, to think deeply. Closest to the camera, is my sweet friend, Lo Wall. In the lower left corner is my other sweet pal, Georgia Armitage. From Saturday morning Farmer’s Market adventures to exploring Michigan Avenue stores; these girls make city-living the best!

 

 

These are my classmates. In this program, we spend the first five weeks in a seminar setting. The setting is meant to prepare us for our individual research projects. For example, I am designing a project that focuses on comedic reactions during the Cold War era.

From taking a water taxi across Chinatown to spending a day exploring Pilsen (a Hispanic neighborhood), we have seen a lot of Chicago. The program had challenged me to view the world through many different lenses, other than my own.

Now for the fun stuff! Kidding…kind of. 

In just this first month I went to a Cubs vs. Brewers game. Although we (the Cubs) lost, it was a nail-biting game till the end! Not to mention, our seats weren’t so bad.

I will say that studying off campus is what you make it. You could be anywhere in the world, but if you don’t step outside your apartment or host-home, you could miss out on something extraordinary. Chicago has treated me so well. 

 

A Few Days Out…

And I could not be more excited to meet my roommates and move into my new apartment!  We received our roommate assignments about two weeks ago.  I am assigned to a one bedroom apartment with two girls from other colleges around the country.  Now, I know what you are thinking… “One bedroom!? For three girls!?” These were some of my first thoughts as well.

After reaching out to the apartment’s manager, I became more at ease. She informed us that we will have three dorm-sized beds placed in the bedroom.  The bedroom has a walk-in closet and a full sized bathroom attached.  Down the hallway is our living room (which doubles as our dining room).  Lastly, we have a compact kitchen stocked with a dorm-sized fridge, oven, dishwasher, sink, and cabinets!  Needless to say, I cannot wait to show you my apartment.

My roommates and I connected on Facebook Messenger.  Although we haven’t met, these girls are going to make Chicago more fun than I ever thought possible!  Together, we decided to create a spreadsheet for items that we are all bringing to the apartment.  I highly recommend creating a spreadsheet similar to this one.  This way, we don’t accidentally bring too many pots or pans!

Here is a clip of what we are bringing to the apartment!

The weeks leading up to this semester have been both crazy and satisfying.  There were a few weeks where I wasn’t sure if expenses would work out.  Paying for things like internet and meals for 16 weeks felt a little overwhelming to say the least.

That being said, these weeks have led me to further understand God’s control of my life.  As I experience the exciting challenges of this semester, I know that my reliance on God will produce results I never could have imagined for myself.

 

See you soon, Chicago! 

To New Beginnings

With just a little bit over a month left until I move into my apartment in Chicago, I am experiencing a whirlwind of emotions.  Some days I am overly excited to see what God has in store for me when I step foot onto the campus of Newberry.  And others, I think about how I will be in over my head during those 16 weeks.

My off-campus experience is going to be slightly different than others.  As you already know, I am not even going out of the country.  In fact, I live in a suburb that is just an hour outside of Chicago.  I have lived near the Windy City my whole life!  That being said, the most I have explored in Chicago, is Michigan Avenue.

What has allowed me to power through those “other” days?  Blogs like these that students have written in the past for Newberry.  In reading them, they have expressed the same excitement and concerns as I have!  Oh, and knowing that they survived the entire semester of independent research study doesn’t hurt either.

I look forward to the challenges that I will face.  (Knowing that countless hours of my time in Chicago will be dedicated to viewing the inside of Newberry.)  But, I know that the experiences here will grow me in a way that I couldn’t develop on campus.