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Just What I Needed

Alex Nauman ('15) reflects on the experience of God's love he had on the Search retreat

Going on the Search Retreat this past weekend was exactly what I needed.  It was a chance to get away from the hecticness of life, take some time for myself, and get back in touch with God.  Few Santa Clara students find themselves bored here at school, for more often than not, they are extremely busy and involved.  This is an awesome thing for the university, and makes SCU the vibrant, engaging place it is.  But it also means non-stop days and late nights, the sacrifice of personal reflection and other “me time,” and, in some cases, a tendency to drift away from a relationship with God.  I feel I have clearly experienced each of these three in the past few months since returning from summer.

Search allowed me to take a look at all aspects of my life, especially the one I have here at SCU. Not until this weekend did I see with my own eyes the absolute strength of our school-wide community, ranging across campus and beyond.  I knew there were lots of great people here, and I have been fortunate to find great friends through classes and my RLC, but it was this retreat that showed me the distance that this one SCU community stretches, and the breadth of God’s love.  Beyond most other thoughts this weekend was the gratitude I felt on several occasions for the opportunity to attend Santa Clara.  None of this would have been for me had I not picked SCU.  I wouldn’t have been on the retreat, I wouldn't meet the people I did, and I wouldn’t have the close friends I had already made at SCU. I knew I already made the right decision for college, but it sure reinforced why I love SCU so much.  From the programs and opportunities offered to the people that make up the community, I can’t help but grow in love for the school I call my home.

The love that was present for one another and for the whole SCU community was truly awesome to see.  Hugs spread like a contagious virus, and it was apparent more than ever that God was shinning through other people. But, as anyone who has been on a retreat knows, the biggest challenge begins once back home, as one tries to continue the high spirits of the retreat.  This time, though, I already feel the lasting affect. Aside from the several additional “hellos” from those I met, I know I have tapped into the heart of the SCU community and now share a greater amount of love and appreciation for this place and the people who work and study here.

Now, as I prepare to return home for Thanksgiving, I am mentally refreshed and in a good place. I initially thought that I would be “wasting a break from school”  by going on retreat right before a holiday, but nothing could have been more aptly timed.  Having experienced all the hustle and bustle of this quarter, this weekend helped me re-center myself.  When I return home, rather than just relaxing or “checking out” due to exhaustion, I will be ready to reconnect with my family and friends, and share the love from the retreat with them as we begin the holiday season together once again.  And that’s just what I needed.