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Advent 2023: JOY

Dec 15, 2023 | Institution / General

Joy: An International Student’s Perspective
By Moses Bik, Student Writer

Joy is like sunshine on a cloudy day, a feeling that lights up your heart with happiness. It’s that warm, fuzzy sensation when something wonderful happens or when you’re surrounded by things that make you smile. It’s not just about big moments; it can be found in the little things, like laughter with friends, a beautiful sunset, or even a good book. This feeling of joy isn’t just temporary happiness; it’s a deep sense of contentment and satisfaction that bubbles up from within. It’s the excitement of achieving a goal, the comfort of being with loved ones, or the peace that comes from appreciating life’s simple pleasures. Sometimes joy comes from overcoming challenges, showing resilience, and finding strength in difficult situations. It’s about celebrating successes, big or small, and feeling grateful for the experiences that shape who we are.

In essence, joy is a beautiful emotion that brightens our days, brings smiles to our faces, and fills our hearts with warmth and positivity. It’s that magical feeling that makes life feel truly wonderful. Like a colourful decoration made of different pieces, it comes from exploring new cultures, doing well in studies, and making friends from around the world. I feel proud when I achieve things at school, learn new things, and manage to study in a language that’s not my own. Making friends with people from different countries and feeling like part of a new community brings them a lot of happiness. Even though it can be tough being far from home, we, international students, learn a lot and grow stronger by facing challenges. International students, also celebrate important moments, like finishing school or reaching personal goals, which makes us happy or joyful.

In the end, joy for international students is about being thankful for new opportunities, becoming stronger by facing difficulties, and growing as they experience different cultures. It’s a mix of exploring new things, doing well in studies, making friends, facing challenges, and becoming a better person while studying away from home.

Advent Contemplation
By Daniel Rempel, Assistant Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies

For me, Advent is the perennial Christian season. The idea of hopefully waiting for the coming of Christ is really the fundamental posture than any Christian takes. This is not a passive waiting where we lock ourselves in our room, but one in which we are actively preparing ourselves, our houses, and our families for the main event! In the Christian tradition, Advent is a fasting season, not entirely unlike Lent, although you wouldn’t know that with the many Christmas parties that we have. But Advent isn’t about not indulging in anything, but creating room for the one who is going to come, much like new parents create a room for their baby to live and sleep in. So, this idea of “clearing space” is one that I know that I need to hear over and over again, and I find Advent to be regularly the perfect place to enact this.