Austria Column: Count your blessings

Staff Writer

Midterms could not come at a more inconvenient time here in Austria.

Ten day falls right after midterms, so on top of studying, people are scrambling to get their trips planned, battling for precious computer time before the WiFi shuts off, getting frustrated over language barriers with the customer service departments who are not as obligated to be nice and patient like in America, maxed out credit cards, misplaced passports and the list goes on and on.

It’s hectic, it’s stressful, people are getting snappy with one another, and everyone is just waiting to get away from school and classes. It’s exhausting.

Even with midterms starting, the Kartause hosted a big Oktoberfest celebration right in the courtyard outside the main dormitories this weekend. While most of the students took study breaks and went to celebrate with the locals, those poor students at the front of the building were in for a long sleepless night.

Student life warned us, the band goes home at 1:00am, but people aren’t required to leave, so the celebration could go on until sunrise the next morning. And it did.

I’m stressed. I have four midterms to prepare for, a ten day trip to plan, a paper, two jobs, and sickness is what I’m dealing with this week, but I keep having to remind myself that despite whatever frustration I have, I’m going to be in Paris by the end of the week with some of my best friends, and that’s going to be fantastic and wonderful. The stress is going to be long forgotten (as well as some of the material I’m scrambling to learn for exams).

We all have a tendency to forget how incredibly blessed we are to be here in the midst of all the stress. My group was trying to figure out whether we were going to ride the chunnel or ferry to get from France to Great Britain. One person is claustrophobic, the other gets really sea sick, so of course there is disagreement in figuring out which mode of transportation to take.

In the midst of it all the disagreement and hectic planning, we forgot we are going to London and Paris in a week. That’s mind blowing and so cool. I know people who can only dream of doing that and we are arguing so fiercely about something that seemed so silly.

It’s amazing how easy it is to forget the little ways that the Lord blesses us. We may be stressed about midterms, but we are living and breathing in Austria, which is so cool. We have the opportunity to see amazing cities and actually touch history in ways that we can’t back home.

How can we remember those blessings? It’s so important to keep things in perspective. We focus so much on the little details of life and if one thing goes wrong, it feels like the entire world falls apart, but it doesn’t. It’s still spinning and things really can’t be that bad forever. Keep the big picture in mind and find the good in that. It will all work out in the end.