Student Profiles: Brooke

brooke blogHometown: Jessup, MD

Year: Graduating Senior, 2015

Major: Environmental Engineering

Secret Talent: Force-feeding people 🙂

Why did you decide to live in City House?

I really wanted to live in Christian community and learn a lifestyle that thoughtfully engages the neighborhood around us. I also liked the idea of living downtown in a house with a group of people who care about community too.

What is your favorite part about living in City House?

I love the food! It is so delicious and fresh!

Favorite shop or spot in downtown Beaver Falls? And why?

I really love Athens- the food is good and every time I go it seems that I run into someone I know, either people from church or neighbors.

What is one of your best memories from your time living in City House?

I really enjoyed playing sardines in the house. Every game night has been great, especially when most of us are together.

What’s one way you have been challenged through living in the house?

Having grace with myself and others has been something I have been challenged in this year. I did not choose the people that I live with, and they did not choose me. So sometimes we do things that can upset one another, like leaving dirty dishes in the sink. I think that I have learned a lot more about what it means to have grace in real life, both with others and with myself. It’s easy to say that we’re broken people and that we have grace, but it’s harder to live that way when we are so closely connected to and dependent upon other people.

If you knew someone who was thinking about living in City House what would you tell them?

I would suggest praying about it. City House is a great experience, but it’s not easy. There are days when it can be so challenging that you want to quit, but I’ve grown so much that it’s worth it. If God leads you to live here, He’ll give you the strength to keep going and growing!

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Student Profiles: Sam

Sam Pic for PostHometown: Frederick, Maryland.

Year: Sophomore (Class of 2017)

Major: Biopsychology and General Music

Something People should know about you:

Most people that know me know that I play the saxophone, but I can actually play five other instruments:  the flute, the clarinet, the piano, the harmonica, and the ocarina.  If you count voice as well, that’s seven instruments at my disposal!

Why did you decide to live in City House?

While at Geneva, I started going to the Soma Gathering for church.  Their strong emphasis on local missions moved me to care deeply about Beaver Falls and its struggles, and I saw the City House as a way to better connect with it.  Also, as one who is very introverted, the tight circle of friends and intentional community really suited me better than the dorms ever could.

What is your favorite part about living in City House?

In terms of the external, I grew up in a “neighborhood” with roads that didn’t have any sidewalks and had a very high speed limit, so I love the ability to go various places, and walk to campus every day.  If that doesn’t appeal to you, then don’t worry, as, at least in my experience, there are usually plenty of people with cars to catch rides with.  Above these things, though, has been the ability to get to know my housemates and learn how they go about thinking.

Favorite shop or spot in downtown Beaver Falls? And why?

Oram’s Donuts and the Brighton Hot Dog Shoppe are nice places to find some good food.  They’re cheap, within walking distance, and are a way to support the local community.

What is one of your best memories from your time living in City House?

Probably the best and most significant memory to me was at the beginning of the school year during the retreat.  After eating dinner we decided to have some ice cream for dessert.  We got some tubs of ice cream, but then realized that we didn’t have any bowls.  In the end, we ended up passing the tubs in a circle, using spoons to scoop out a little bit each round.  I think this was most profound to me because I never really shared food that way, even with my own family, and it made me feel uncomfortable.  While I’m sure that it would have been fine with the others to decline the offer, I knew it was a pivotal moment for me.  Internally, I was confronted with the question, “Are you willing to be committed to these people, and embrace the uncomfortability that may come with living in community?”

What’s one way you have been challenged through living in the house?

As stated before, I’m a big introvert (100% on the MyPlan assessment), and have a bit of social anxiety, so finding the courage to reach out to my housemates, and figuring out how to do so has been the greatest challenge for me.  Overtime, this has become a little easier, but it will always be a challenge.

If you knew someone who was thinking about living in City House what would you tell them?

First, I would commend their interest in this living arrangement, as I know it will grow them greatly, as it has me.  I would also ask them to consider the commitment that it takes as well.  Living in community can be difficult.  If you get in a fight on your hall, you can ignore the person you had troubles with, and sever the relationship.  With the people at City House, however, your lives are intertwined and co-dependent.   In the end, I feel that it is well worth the cost, but prospective members must determine that for themselves.