April 27

Well, this is it. I’m 2 mornings away from finishing the last part of my first year of college. I’ve been missing my family so much lately and I can’t wait to see friends, too. It’s been a great day of reflection as I packed and enjoyed the sunny weather outside. My room suddenly looks so white and bare… but it helps me grasp the fact that I’m not going to be here much longer. Four months is a long time and I’m excited to get back to my beloved Cessna 140 and finally finish getting my pilot’s license. I’m also going to be working at Boeing (I haven’t heard back about 2 internships I applied for yet) or at good ‘ol Red Robin. I need to make money for flying and school, of course. And, there’s hanging out with friends, getting new clothes, and going to Oshkosh to be saving for as well.

The week before the last week of classes was UGLY! I was working so hard on my final project for programming. I ended up going to tutoring every night for several hours just to debug small pieces of code. But, when I finished, it was a great feeling and I ended up getting 100% on it!! I could hardly believe it! It was a server-training program for Red Robin in C-language. Fun stuff! With this amazing grade, I ended up with a beautiful A in the class! The professor even made our final optional and since an A is an A, I said, “No thanks!” It felt so good to have one less thing to study for and know I got an A in a 3-credit class!

I did have a few breaks in there, of course! One afternoon, I went to Sonic with Alex and on another afternoon, Ritter’s with some friends. I love ice cream and they are no exception! Also, to celebrate finishing a tough week, a friend from Doolittle and I went to a girl’s apartment from church to eat pizza and watch movies. It feels bizarre to be around just females having been at Riddle for months… I had fun getting in touch with my girly side.

Saturday was the last CFC. We had several songs to sing for worship and although I had a bit of a cold, I loved every minute. How sad I won’t get to sing with my fellow college Christians for 4 months!! Pastor Jeremy from Calvary was the speaker and he gave a great message inspiring us to use our summer time well. (I go to Embrace, Calvary’s college ministry on Thursdays.) After, a bunch of guys and myself went to Cracker Barrel for a late dinner. The beginning and end of semesters always involve going out for meals a lot! Ha. I was also laughing about the fact that at Riddle being the only girl when you go places is not unusual and it doesn’t at all mean you are flirty… How strange.

Another example of that happened the very next day when a bunch of us from church went to Chili’s. I had a lot of studying to do after that fun lunch, though. After practicing physics problems with a friend, three of us spent an hour taking hilarious pictures on Photo Booth with my Mac. I love that program!

The last week of school was filled with 2 physics tests, a lab final, and a calculus final. It was tough, but it felt good to get everything done! I didn’t honestly feel that I did spectacularly well on any of those four things, but I did my best and think my grades will be just what I was hoping for.

On Wednesday, my classes were completely finished and it was a wonderful feeling! To tell the truth, sitting in class was torturous! But, that’s normal at any level of schooling! That night, we had our last Bible study and it was in my room. We talked about ministry opportunities for next semester and how we could grow our faith over the break. I felt sad looking around at my friends and realizing how long it would be before seeing them again. However, I realized how wonderful it was to have people to miss. I didn’t do too much with people during the first semester and thus didn’t make too many close friends, so I’ve cherished these past months. Plus, we do live in the 21st century and have so many ways to communicate, so I should stop being a baby about it! 🙂

We closed the night out with watching Thou Shalt Laugh 2 (DVD of Christian comedians… hilarious!) and 45 minutes of Photo Booth. I have been so determined to take as many pictures as I can with my friends because I haven’t done it the rest of the semester! So check out all my pics on facebook.

Thursday, I studied calculus and then went to the last Embrace service before going to a Campus Outreach pig roast luau. The Acafellas (a talented group of performers on campus) put on a show for the luau guests and we all enjoyed that as well as the tasty food. Both events were very fun, but my friends and I took it a step further by stopping at Wal-Mart for dessert and then watching the Bourne Supremacy. Phew! What a busy night!

My favorite day of the week had to be Friday when my two friends from my floor and I took off for St. Augustine. We had been planning it for about a month so I was dying in anticipation! As I mentioned at some point in these journals, my sister graduated from Flagler college up there, so I was kinda the tour guide of the group. We started off by going shopping at the outlet malls. We found lots of good deals and I enjoyed watching the guys shop. It was quite funny. After, we made our way to The Reef. It’s one of my family’s favorite restaurants (we always get the coconut shrimp) in the area and my mom had sent me a great coupon for the place.

When we completed the experience, we walked the two feet it took us to get to the beach. It was a gorgeous day and we all enjoyed dipping our feet in the surf. Next, we explored the old town. I took them down the beautiful and fun St. George street where we found goodies and flip flops. I also showed my friends Flagler college and it’s beautiful interior. It used to be the Ponce de Leon hotel.

We took the scenic route back (A1A instead of I-95) and finished the day off by meeting a bunch of friends at Ritter’s (one of whom was our friend with the Virginia NASA internship- he had just finished and came down to visit before going home to Washington).

The next day I anxiously awaited my calculus final. Once it started, I felt confident knowing I had plenty of time and had spent enough time studying. The next thing on the agenda was going to the honors final where we sat for two hours listening to presentations about papers. It was hard to stay focused with the dim lighting. Finally finished for the day, some girl friends and I watched Enchanted before a bunch of friends from Christian Fellowship Club and I went to Applebees. I just got a smoothie since I had eaten dinner already. By the end of the night, I was so tired!

And now we’re all caught up to today. We started the morning off with Starbucks. The barista was very friendly and lively. 🙂 Then, I enjoyed my last time at church and we went to Subway afterward and I spent the rest of the day packing and reminiscing as I said.

I made an album of this last month, so check it out!

Well, I just have my physics final on Tuesday morning left and then I’ll no longer be a freshman! I’m also planning to go to the beach at least once and Bubba Gump’s as well as Martini’s Chophouse. I will certainly miss some of the fun restaurants and places around here… especially the beach and the weather! God has been so good to me and I’ve overcome so many obstacles! I can’t wait to start sophomore year having a year of experience “under my belt”.

Thanks for listening to me for a whole year! I hope I was able to share some valuable information and insight and encourage you to come to Riddle! I’ve already made some amazing and most likely life-long friends!

I’ve learned so much and have so much more to learn still before I can officially call myself an engineer and a physicist, but I’ve made a big step in the right direction! I at least achieved a respectable GPA and can certainly count on my scholarships and the Honors Program, too, so not bad! Please contact me if you have any questions!!

Summer, here I come!

Only a freshman for a few more days,

Natalie Spencer


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