I have lived out my sister's college days in one weekend.
This past weekend I met up with a 8 of her girlfriends and we had a big bachelorette weekend. I planned the accommodations, looked into restaurants, and planned the meals at the condo. The other girls took care of the party aspects. The place was quite nice, in the middle of everything. Next door is a mall with 3 stories of stores, a movie theater, bar, Starbucks, Cold Stone, and an ocean side bandshell with concerts at night. The condo place itself had 4 pools, a lazy river, and indoor mini golf and spa.
On Friday night everyone arrived by 9:30 we started getting ready to out to a club. I jokingly asked Sis if she thought we'd be ready by 11pm, but we didn't leave until. I'm pretty sure this was my first time at a club, I'd been to swing dance nights at some clubs in Gainesville in college, but none after I turned 21 and so they all thought it was so cute that this was my first club experience. So we get in and some guy who worked there came up and asked us what 10 beautiful women were doing all dressed up and if this was a special occasion. I told him my sister was getting married soon and Sis said the actual bacholrette party was going to be the next night and that we'd come back to this club if he could get us all free cover. Totally a my mom thing to do, I was pretty proud of her! He said he could do that and then he showed us up to the VIP lounge area and sent 2 bottles of champagne to our table. It was fun to dance, but it was really crowded and smelled like smoke all over. At around 2:30 we left and walked back to our condo, only 2 blocks away. We did have to help one of the girls back as she had too much to drink and ended up throwing up when we got back to the condo. Sis said that now I had experienced her college life.
I can't say that I feel like I missed out on much. While I enjoyed dancing and goofing off with the girls, it's not really my thing to go out and drink a bunch. I felt a bit out of place at times, and they joked that I was the Mother Hen, but in general had a good weekend.
The next night we went out to dinner, stayed to drink and listen to music, and then to the club again. This time we got there around 11:30 and stayed until 3am. When we got back to the condo I stayed up even later talking to three of the other girls there. One was engaged and the other two had recently broken up with their long term boyfriends. As I listened to them I could feel their longing for exactly what I have: A loving husband and a family. They are at a tough point in their lives. They asked my opinion about things and I was able to share with them about God's plan for relationships and at around 5:30 I wrapped the conversation up by praying for them. They mentioned several times that they appreciated it and our chat.
The Lord opens up doors in all different places. I had been praying in the weeks leading up to the trip that God would help me to be a good role model for them and that they might see something different about my life that would give them a desire for God. It was a blessing to be able to give them comfort and perspective.
It was interesting to see what college might have been like for me. What if I had joined a sorority instead of Campus Crusade? What if I had gotten more involved in Psychology socials instead of a Bible Study. I don't regret a moment of my college experience and I feel it was one of the sweetest times of growth in my life. I met and married the love of my life, I made so many good friends, and I grew in understanding and maturity. At 27 years old I always feel more at home with my 30 something friends. Even though the girls on this weekend were only 2 or 3 years younger than me I feel like I chose the right path for me.