And so here we are, pretty much at the end of the road, of four awesome years of having the privilege of spending five days absorbed into the Word of God and learning something that will definitely impact us for a lifetime and more. It’s not so much an emotional farewell to MYC because on one hand, there will be many more important events to follow so it’s not the most important thing in the world, and at the same time MYC truly did play a huge role in my Christian walk at this current time. I suppose then the fair attitude I should have at the moment is to respect the significance that Mid-Year Conference had for my university days but not be too attached to it.
Well it’s the second last day, and hence the second last chance to make this MYC a memorable one. I think I only had a mere 5 hours to sleep on Wednesday night, which resulted in me barely making it to breakfast before they stopped serving food. I always had contemplated the idea of sacrificing breakfast in favour of some extra sleep but I don’t think the trade is worth it still; probably get more energy from eating and drinking rather than sleeping an extra hour.
Day number 3 tends to be the day where energy levels start dropping, and everything feels like more of a challenge, firstly because more elements of the topic are being tied in, and secondly because being tired means processing facts a little slower. As with every other year, there is this pattern of sleeping later and later, which results in waking up later and later; but of course today we were still able to wake up in time for breakfast. I am very grateful for having an ensuite to sleep in; the heater is a very welcome blessing – I don’t think nights are getting colder but it can still make sleeping uncomfortable without a heater. I chuckle a bit at the attempts of the MTSers (and our grade) to try and get the younger years to sleep early. I suppose 11pm, and again at 12am, are just too unrealistic of a time to expect the younger years to obediently retire to their rooms, let alone to get them to sleep. I suppose this affects us because we’re tempted to stay up, and most of the time need to watch them and tell them to go to sleep.
I know it’s a few days late, so we’ll see how we go with trying to keep up with the events of this week. Monday night was alright, though I will say in advance that as the week went on, we gradually got less and less sleep, which is to be expected. By Tuesday, there hasn’t been enough content to make us scratch our heads in confusion so it’s still a day where new information is settling in but we aren’t quite challenged or shaped by it.
In the morning we went out to McDonald’s in the morning for breakfast, as well as to pick up a friend from the station, who had just arrived at MYC today. I know it’s not fully respectful to go out of the campsite for meals and not eat the camp food; but I think we all sort of agree to some extent that camp food isn’t exactly something that will satisfy us, especially if we need to find sustenance from it for a full five days. Like, for a short camp it’d be okay to eat a little less for a few days, but a week long camp, it’s a bit harder to draw energy for all those days when you aren’t being fed well. With the sheer number of students at MYC this year (in excess of 750 in total), food supplies are a little more limited than usual; although I wouldn’t really know why since they should just be catering for more people. But I think camp staff were concerned that there wasn’t enough food to go around, and so for most of the meals, we’ve been receiving suboptimal portions, causing a lot of people to turn to their beloved cup noodles for satisfying their hunger. On Wednesday night something even more extravagant happens in regards to food, but I’ll get to that in the Wednesday post.
Strangely I kept waking up throughout Sunday night; not sure why but it also didn’t impact me that much. One of my roommates sometimes snores a bit, he shall be purged from this world later this week if it persists. No, I’m just kidding; but I am a very light sleeper, which is why I opted for an ensuite as opposed to a dorm room (three people versus either in a room) – leads to a lower chance of having snorers and other distractions throughout the night.
Today was a pretty fun day, waking up to get ready for the car and bus-loads of students coming to camp, welcoming them and helping them get up to speed with the pace of the conference. In short, it again was very daunting seeing the number of Commerce students in total. The numbers went up a bit this year to over 140, which is really crazy and hectic. I remember being in our faculty common room as the only 4th year, along with two of our MTSers, and we had to somehow control over 100 younger students, definitely not an easy feat. But likely everyone is mature and they all fell in line soon after being given an order. I don’t think there’s much to say about numbers that I didn’t already mention in last year’s posts. I suppose there were so many of them that I didn’t know this time round, mostly students that were at least two years younger than me. And yeah this is one of those opportunities to meet as many new people as possible. Although I would hope to speak fairly and say that it isn’t as big a deal for our grade anymore considering that we’ll be gone in the next six months and won’t really be able to actively take part in helping the younger students grow spiritually in uni. Yes, the fact that looms over us is that we’ll be expendable really soon since we’re about to graduate.
And so begins my last year’s experience at UNSW’s MYC before I graduate. The major difference so far that I can speak about is that my week begins on a Sunday, as opposed to the standard Monday as in the previous three years. Pre-MYC is a small “event” that takes place on the day before the week of MYC, simply as an extra day for those who come to prepare themselves for the week ahead, and for them to plan how to serve the rest of the faculty and campus; this includes things such as preparing the folders of material to give out the next day (that is, tomorrow) and to help with decorations and organising how to usher people to park their cars and direct them where they need to go.
So for once on the last night of MYC, I managed to rack up 3-4 hours of sleep as opposed to 0 hours. Still, the dawn of the last day pretty much meant that camp was coming to an end, and we would soon no longer have all that time to sit together with other Christians, to have fellowship and to study God’s Word. Which is probably why over the years we’ve managed to see that the time spent at MYC is precious and needs to be used in a manner that reflects how rare the opportunity is. Just like all the speakers say, you really don’t get a daily chance to study God’s Word so in depth outside of MYC.
It’s funny how by the fourth day, you seem to not think about the rest of camp that lies ahead, but start to reflect on how much has gone by in the last three days. And to put things into perspective, the start of Thursday makes me think about how there’s only one more night left to enjoy the fellowship with everyone, one more night that have fun and to catch up people we weren’t able to chat with since the last three days; because Friday would pretty much be the end of MYC (and everyone goes *sadface* over that of course).
Come Wednesday, people had lost a lot of sleep:
But then again when you only get like 4-5 hours a sleep per night you are bound to start getting exhausted; this is a fundamental factor for any camp. I think Wednesday was the start where we all gradually slept closer and closer to breakfast time, such that we were facing the possibility of not having breakfast at all in the morning. Thirty minutes more sleep in exchange for breakfast probably wasn’t the best deal, but when you’re tired, you’ll take all that you can.
If you haven’t read Monday’s post, please do, because I’m just going to move straight into things without giving another introduction.
I forgot to mention cabins in the last post. So this year, our MYC was really full so some of us had to upgrade from the normal cabins to the ensuite rooms (with a surcharge of course). This year I upgraded to an ensuite (to help free up spots in the normal cabins for other people) and it was a really pleasant experience. The ensuites aren’t the most luxurious of rooms of course but the attractive features for me were that:
Non-communal bathrooms. It just felt nice not having to be using a shower or toilet that 50 other people would be using throughout the week as well. Each ensuite held 3 people.
Fewer people means fewer snorers, which means better sleep. I’m a really light sleeper and I detest snorers (in a friendly way). So having fewer people snoring definitely helps me get to sleep easier.
Better beds allows for comfortable sleeping.
Better D&Ms. Fewer people allow for more bromance haha.
Of course having said that, there was still one person my room who snored, but it wasn’t as bad as other people I’ve shared a cabin with. So for once this year, I actually got decent sleep (even though the hours weren’t any better) and so I had a bit more energy for MYC this year, than in my previous two years.
This is conference number three for me and it couldn’t have come at a better (or worse) time. Worse in that I kind of wish I had another week to relax and cool down from the busyness that was last semester, but good in that I needed something to help give me a bit of a push in terms of growing as a Christian. I guess for me growth has been slow in that spending all your time in ministry growing others gives you less time to grow yourself. I still need to find a balance of Christian ministry in my life.