A Series of Firsts: My First Time Leading a 360

A Series of Firsts: My First Time Leading a 360

My Retreat Leaders Team, a.k.a. Team A! Sept 30, 2018.

When I got that e-mail from Campus Ministry early last semester saying “Congratulations, you’ve been chosen as one of the Honors 360 Retreat leaders,” I could not believe it. It had nothing to do with the fact that I had submitted the application late (correction: VERY late) or the fact that I was already involved in so many things. It was because I was going to be part of one of the programs that had such a big impact on my First Year experience. My 360 helped me find a little direction in the maze that was my first semester, and it helped me connect to Loyola on a very personal level. I learned more about the Jesuit values and how Loyola tries to apply them in its curriculum and in its activities, and how my time at Loyola had a purpose, I just had to find it. I also met some very cool people during that retreat, and was able to strengthen those relationships that I already had. So it wasn’t surprising that I was very happy when I learned that I would be part of the experience of so many new First Years, who had much of their time at Loyola ahead of them.

To be honest, my favorite part of leading the retreat was preparing for it. Don’t get me wrong: I loved meeting my Small Group and being able to discuss with them what their expectations of the retreat and Loyola as a whole were, and what they wanted to improve of themselves. Every single one of them had a different idea of what they wanted to do with their experience at Loyola, and it was great seeing them interact with one another and getting to know each other. I also liked being able to witness how many of the students in the retreat felt like their retreat had changed something in them. Whether it be their attitude or the fact that they made new friends, I could tell our retreat had been a transformative experience for them just as it had been for me.

However, the process of becoming a Retreat Leaders had a great impact on my experience in this 360 retreat.I was lucky to be placed in my Retreat team, who are some of the best people I have gotten to meet here at Loyola. During our training, we got to know one another quite well, while prepare for our retreat in terms of logistics. Therefore, we built a little community and had created a good atmosphere even before the retreat started. In addition, as part of the training, I was able to learn a little more about myself, things like what kind of leader I want to be, and how I would put into practice all that I’ve learned as a student at Loyola back home. So, by the time we had to leave for our retreat, my Retreat Team were all very excited to be spending a weekend together at LUREC, one of the best spaces Loyola offers to its students, with its location outside of the city, its comfortable facilities, and their (in)famous cookies. It was honestly a great experience, and it went WAY better than I expected: everyone was willing to participate, our Small Groups had connected instantly and the conversations they engaged in were very good as well. But most importantly, I was able to spend a whole weekend with my now-close friends while enjoying just one of the many opportunities that Campus Ministry offers us Ramblers.

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