We are starting a new series of student profiles this semester. First up is Janelle – a two year City House resident. Enjoy!
Hometown: Mechanicsburg, PA
Major: Community Development (an independent major)
Why did you decide to live in City House?
My focus was initially on the City of Beaver Falls more than on the house. I have been drawn to Beaver Falls since early in my freshman year. I had gotten to know quite a few people who live downtown, and I wanted to intentionally make Beaver Falls my home through moving downtown. Along the way I have been deeply blessed by the community within the house as well as by the Beaver Falls community.
What is your favorite part about living in City House?
All the great people I get to learn to love: both housemates and neighbors.
Favorite shop or spot in downtown Beaver Falls? And why?
This and That Downtown: a very cool shop just one block from City House with great second hand and vintage items. I especially love the vintage clothing, and I have bought my Film Fest dresses there for the last three years (for less than $10)!
I also love front porches: our front porch at City House and front porches of our neighbors, especially our neighbors’, Mr. and Mrs. Green, porch. The city equivalent of leaving your dorm door open is sitting out on the front porch. During the warm months the porch is where friends and neighbors meet and greet one another and enjoy each other’s company. To me, it is a place symbolic of openness, acceptance, and hospitality.
What is one of your best memories from your time living in City House?
My best memories are of the moments doing the little things of everyday life together: walking, talking, doing homework, shopping, cooking, eating, laughing, praying and singing together. The beauty of City House is really in doing life together, not only in the extraordinary moments but also in the simple rhythms of the day-to-day.
What’s one way you have been challenged through living in the house?
It is a challenge to learn how to love approximately ten people, possibly strangers, well. My first year especially, I remember thinking that we were all so different, and yet these people who I most likely would never have gotten to know had we not lived together became my family. It is a long process that will stretch your ability to listen and your capacity for forgiveness and grace, but it is well worth it.
If you knew someone who was thinking about living in City House what would you tell them?
Do it!!! City House has been the most transformational experience of my college career. i really can’t say enough about how living in this community has shaped me and taught me so much about what it truly means to love your neighbor and to live in community in all its beauty and its mess. It has been a greater blessing that I could ever have imagined.