A window inside life at Augustana College

A Year in Reflection

If you would have told me a year ago what my life would be like today, I would have told you that you were crazy. It’s hard to even comprehend all the things that have happened in my life since last Christmas. From our band tour in the South to my summer of Camp and traveling to Asia, to starting a new school year filled with new classes, new experiences, and new friends, I almost feel like a completely different person today than I was last December. I’ve become much more confident and much more independent as a result of my travels. I have become much more thoughtful and reflective from my spiritual growth and conversations with some people who challenged me to think a little deeper. I’ve become much more compassionate and understanding of differences because of my work with the kids in the CSD clinic. I’ve become much more relaxed and fun-loving from living with the best roommates in the world!

And yet, I have the overpowering feeling that some things will always remain the same. When I come home for Christmas, my mother has always beautifully decorated the house and her collection of Santa figurines is neatly arranged in the living room. The smell of our tree permeates the front of the house, and its lights are just as gorgeous every year as the year before. The Christmas spirit is alive and well in our church and I am greeted enthusiastically every year by members who have watched me grow up for the last 21 years and want to know everything about what I am doing at school. The show choirs at my high school put on their annual Christmas show last night and the alumni were invited to join the singers in performing carols before the show, a tradition that I wouldn’t miss for the world. This week a group of these choir alumni will go out into the community and carol at hospitals and nursing homes just like we used to do in high school and have done every year since.

These traditions are what make coming home feel like coming home. Although I may have changed a lot over the past year, home always feels pretty much the same, and I love that. Christmas will bring many more traditions, including sloppy joes and french fries on Christmas Eve with my family and my mom napping on the couch while my dad plays one of his 30 Christmas CDs. And I’ll be in the midst of it all, just taking it all in, and being thankful that some things never change.

Hope your Christmas is filled with comfort and your New Year with excitement!
Always,
Katrina

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