We – the MCPC Fall 2013 class – have been on campus for about a month now. I know that for me personally, it has been a few of the most exciting and change-filled weeks of my life.

Upon arriving at Messiah’s Philly campus on August 23rd, I was greeted by many helping hands and a few long-overdue embraces from friends I had not seen since the previous spring. After unloading my luggage into a surprisingly large room and saying goodbye to my family, a group of students and myself were treated to an amazing Thai dinner with the Gladwin family. We also got to learn how to use the subway system, something that would come in handy later on.

The next day was the start of Immersion Weekend. Bethel Temple Community Bible Church was having a flea market and festival which we were privileged enough to assist with. Several of my lovely classmates set up face-painting stations, some of us helped with sorting out clothes or serving food, and a few of our brave souls even volunteered for the dunk tank.

Afterwards, several of the RAs held a citywide scavenger hunt and then hosted games such as beach volleyball and a ping-pong tournament.

Sunday, after a service at Epiphany Fellowship, we met for several information sessions and then were free to do what we wanted, whether that included chilling in our new rooms, getting set up, or – my personal favorite – taking a quick walk down Broad Street to visit the Barnes&Noble a block or so away.

Then started classes. The Temple atmosphere is admittedly very different than Messiah’s: there are thousands more students and everything takes a bit longer to walk to. A classmate and I have a class in Center City on Tuesdays, so using the public transit system has become like second nature. I really feel as though I am finding my footing and becoming more confident navigating the ins and outs of city life.

While a part of me misses the Grantham campus, so far I have been loving the experience and the challenge. I am excited for the rest of the semester, and to get to know my fellow classmates, the MCPC faculty and staff and the city Philadelphia even better.