The Friendly Invasion

Semester Mikaela HerndonIt began on a Thursday. They came in ones and twos, sometimes even threes. It continued like this for days — three, to be exact. Tucked away in the mountains as we are, we don’t often see so many people. There came a time when we thought we might get overtaken, but then the onslaught stopped. Here they were: faces that were new, outsiders who weren’t really outsiders, friendly invaders.

Although Alumni Weekend meant giving up a little elbow room at meal times, it was a welcomed sacrifice. The company and conversation made up for it. Around the wood tables that have seen the comings and goings of ten years, those who came before us shared Bauman stories, recalled memories, and gave post-Semester depression advice. The warmer weather invited hours of volleyball; the musicians played together, the dancers danced. The divide of years and experience dissolved, because there was now something we all had in common: this place. This weekend, I think, gave us all just a small glimpse of the community we are now a part of. It doesn’t end here; and that’s encouraging. Even after five years, as we saw this weekend, the relationships made here do not go away.

Personally, I wish I could have given up my elbow room for a little bit longer. I had the blessing of seeing my brother, a 2008 Summit graduate. The visit was short, but I continue to see its positive effects. There is something about sharing a formative experience such as this one that creates a bond which cannot fully be described. I see this most with my brother, but I do not doubt the same would be true of any Summit Semester student I meet from now on. I love my class and the community we have here. To think that we are now a part of something bigger than the thirty-two of us is incredibly exciting. Following this weekend, I think some future invasion plans of my own are in order.

Mikaela Herndon arrives Summit Semester from South Florida. In May, she graduated from high school, and plans to attend college after Summit Semester. While she is undecided about her desired field of study, she is interested in both English and Communications. Her goal is to one day be a full-time mom. Mikaela is the only student at Semester who has dual citizenship. In addition to the United States, Mikaela is a citizen of Sweden and is fluent in Swedish. She is excited to see how God grows her in asking hard questions and confronting answers.