The Start of Something New

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And just like that my summer has come to end and I am off to be a student in another country with a semester that is currently overcast with many unknowns.

Since the moment when I gave my sister the bittersweet and final wave before going through security at O’Hare International airport, my emotions have been anything but stagnant. They have fluctuated from the heart beating moment of boarding the plane and realizing this was 100% actually happening, to the joy I felt when I saw the movie selection as well as when the airplane meal was brought out, to the regrets of eating the creamy mash potatoes even though my lactose intolerant body warned me not to, to the now serenity of just sitting here and waiting at the Dubai international airport to board my plane to Cape Town, South Africa.

As I sit in this wi-fi-less airport, I am finally given the much needed time to write of the reflections that accompany the adventure I am embarking on before I really get to the heart of it. With this new chapter in my life, I have a few expectations and hopes.

I expect to learn a lot. I hope to learn about myself, the culture, and the possibility of working at an international level.

I expect to find a community at some point in my time in Cape Town. I hope that it is soon, because even though I am someone who knows first hand that loneliness can be really beneficial for me, I am also a 30/30 extrovert (Myers-Briggs guaranteed) and want to find those people to call my home away from home.

I expect to see amazing sights and go on many fun adventures. I hope to have the time and people to feed my adventure side (and I hope to not get eaten by a shark).

I expect that this chapter in life will change me drastically. I hope that change turns into growth of myself on a spiritual, cultural, intellectual, professional, and personal level.

All in all, these hopes and expectations are scary because I have no control in how they will play out. I can choose the person I want to be or even some of the things I get involved in, but I can’t control or plan the results. Heck I barely understand how I am getting the food that I am cooking for myself, how to get to the classes I am taking (plus what those classes are), or just my situation as a whole – and as a type-A planner personality, that is a scary thing.

With that said, one reason that pushed me to study abroad for my fall semester of my senior year (even though I adamantly declared as a freshman that I never would study abroad due to FOMO [fear of missing out]) was the fact that I had planned so much of my junior/senior year and had such expectations – yet when it came down to it, my junior year was overshadowed with disappointment and plans crumbling apart (not to say the wasn’t a lot of good in it too).

So here’s to a new start, with many unknowns and situations/factors I can’t account for – here’s to the next chapter that I am nervous for, yet even more so, I am excited for as well. Cheers to new beginnings!

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John Luke Hawkins

My name is John Luke Hawkins and I am a sophomore at Hope. I am from the small agriculture town of Tipton, Indiana. I love my new Home sweet Hope. Currently, I double majoring in Communications and Religion. When I am not doing homework (too often), I might be working one of my jobs as a Library Worker, Overnight Host, or Student Blogger. If I am not doing homework or work, I am probably doing something with my numerous organizations that I am involved in such as Dance Marathon, Gospel Choir, Intramurals, Nykerk, and a small group. If I come up with free time amongst all that, then I like to run, free dance, self-reflect, go on adventures, and spend time with friends. Hope College has really helped me discover who I am. Here it is in seven words: energetic, organized, contemplative, determined, silly, social, and intentional.

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