Patience has never been one of my strengths.

I think that’s why spontaneity appeals to me; I enjoy the thrill of making a quick decision and just going with it. This past summer, I experienced both patience and spontaneity on a completely different level than ever before.

My time spent in Nicaragua on Study Service Term (SST) was filled with moments where my host family would whisk me away to an unknown destination, often with an undetermined arrival or return time. This fed my love of spontaneity, while also testing my patience in more ways than one.

Although it’s extremely cliché, SST taught me the importance of just being.

“There is something beautiful, mysterious, and pleasing in just being. Staring into space, feeling a cool breeze on my face, and relishing in the tingling I feel from the tips of my fingers to my toes. I smile, taking solace in the fact that I be She, made in the image of God Herself.”

I wrote this on service in the mountains, and I still smile thinking about the depth of the peace I felt that sunny and calm Saturday afternoon.

Coming back from SST consisted of difficult transitions and tearful reunions. Overall, it has been utterly surreal. But one of the things that has helped me the most has been my new understanding of patience.

I needed patience the first five weeks of school, as I waited for my leg to heal after an injury early in my soccer season, which caused me to miss nearly half of the season. I needed patience during Sexual Violence Awareness Week, knowing that there are still so many acts of sexual violence happening on campuses everywhere and change still seems to be a long time coming.

I’ve also needed a lot more patience with myself.

I think as we get into the “busier” part of the semester, we could all use a little more patience with ourselves. As deadlines approach and dissatisfactory test scores are received, it can’t hurt for us to take a moment to just breathe and just be.

Lift your chin up a little higher, smile and remind yourself that you are valuable and that things take time.