Friends, the week has begun, once again, with countless reminders of why I love life as a student on a campus such as this. Even the driest bits of my daily routine are so full of simple joys that I really can’t complain at all. The “low” point of this past week consisted of me, half-consumed coffee in hand, hair a mess, and hurrying off to print off a paper I needed for the next class. I was interrupted by a ginormous, unexpected hug from a dear friend who filled me with affirmation and then sent me on my way. While I did have to continue in my jam-packed schedule and do my best in accomplishing each assignment to the best of my ability, the simple interruption of a little positivity made even a hectic point memorable for a very different reason.

As I thought about this instance and various other points this week that have made me realize how ridiculously blessed I am, I began to wonder why exactly these things make such a difference. What is it about simple joys and people that make my days so much more full and encouraging? I can’t pinpoint this exactly, but I have found numerous levels of appreciation for the ways in which blessings come.

As we go through life as young adults, we’ll experience innumerable changing seasons and decisions. We will run into financial difficulties as we learn how to work harder and budget the money we earn. We will face uncertainty as we plan for our future lives. And, as classes and life in general catches up with us, we will occasionally feel the stress of it all mount up to be a menacing, seemingly untamable beast. These elements of life, mixed in with the joys of new relationships, successes, and adventures, make for a richness of experience, assuming we stay in community with those experiencing all of this with us.

In college especially, we all can relate to each other in the sense that we are all experiencing similar things at the same time. We were created as communal creatures, and we are made to share life with each other in order to glean as much as we can from it. Not only can we share concerns and triumphs, we can walk with each other through it all and, in doing so, learn much from ourselves and each other. We all will have both positive and negative experiences in life, yet what makes it really rich and worthwhile is the people we choose to share it with. Whether that comes in the form of a homework group, coffee break, date night, or a simple late-night conversation, our lives become so richly blessed by our experiences and our choices to share them with others.

Being filled up to the brim only makes me think of ways I want to return the favor to this world that I love so much. While I receive love through my roommates, classmates, and friends I am so fortunate to know, I pray I can share love with each of them in kind. By slowing down and looking up from my busy way to see whoever is in front of me, I can seek out opportunities to bless others. A challenge for all of us this week: speak slowly, take a different, slower route to class, and take the time to tell each person in your life why they matter to us. We are living life together, and can make it all the more gorgeous by investing in each other in any way we can, simple or otherwise. Readers, be blessed and be a blessing, and I’ll see you next week.