After about a half hour I decided to migrate to a random spot on campus and observe other students. As I situated myself on a bench off to the side I began scoping out my next victims. With pen in hand I sat and observed. These students all had the same exact worries: work, school, homework, family/friend trouble. But this time something was different. These students didn't seem happy or at ease. To my left I watched as one girl screamed and cried into her cell phone while talking to her mother. On my right a girl swayed back and forth in agony hunched over a math assignment and incessantly biting her nails. She looked so stressed I felt bad for her. Kids walked by and I would catch random tidbits of conversation as they shared their problems. And not one of them smiled. Not once.
What a testimony strengthening experience this was for me. Having the Spirit in my life is such a blessing...more than I realize. Without it, I KNOW that I could not get through my busy, stressful, college days. It helps me so much. I was so grateful for this experience.
Now the rest of this assignment was to pick one of the people we observed and create a character out of them: appearance, life, relationships, situations, fears, desires, inner struggles, and so on. Here is what I came up with (it's not my favorite...but oh well):
At nineteen, Maddie Stoltz is experiencing the thrills of her first year at a university. So far the experiences she is having proves to enjoyable, for the most part. But something – and she isn’t quite sure what that something is or how much of an affect it is having on her well-being – something is keeping her from being fully and completely happy.
Maddie attends class Monday through Friday and spends her afternoons working at a bookstore located just off of campus. She doesn’t mind working. It keeps her busy and it is nice to be able to have some extra cash to spend during the weekends. But being away from her family is proving to be a real challenge. Though at times she is ashamed to admit it, her parents are easily her best friends. She can tell them anything and everything and truly respects their advice. And yes, despite the annoying pranks her eleven year old brother Dax plays on her, she misses their Saturday morning television watching sessions – talking, laughing, and imagining together what it would be like to live the lives of the characters in their favorite shows.
But above all she misses her sister Jaymee. Even though Jaymee is now married and has a baby girl, she lives near her parents. Everyday during the summer Maddie visited Jaymee and helped with the baby. They talked about everything from boys to friends, church to trashy
Despite the fact that she misses home, Maddie is enjoying college. She is very excited about getting a degree in elementary education: she loves working with children ages 6-10. This is her passion. And her classes are very intriguing, exciting, and overall easy to get a decent grade in. Maddie never struggled in school. It has always been an easy task for her to get straight A’s and for this she is truly grateful.
She lives in an apartment just north of campus and really enjoys the area. The apartment complex is occupied by mostly students and it is easy to make friends in the area. She doesn’t have a boyfriend, but there are a few interesting prospects in her life. Now, it’s just a matter of getting their attention.
Maddie is the kind of person other girls find themselves jealous of, the kind of girl you want to hate but can’t bring yourself to do so because she’s so perfect. Not only is she drop dead gorgeous, she has an amazing personality to accompany her looks. Plus, she is an unintentional flirt. Honestly, she isn’t flirting with every guy she meets on purpose; she is just an extremely friendly person. And this makes it hard for her to keep close girl friends. They all just get frustrated that she keeps flirting and every guy keeps falling for her. Sometimes she wishes she could find a girl best friend to spend her time with but instead all she has is a bunch of guys surrounding her all the time. Despite what others might think, this isn’t what she wants. But life goes on. She is blessed with many great things and is honestly happy. Or is she? Sometimes she’s not so sure. She knows she should be happy; she doesn’t have much to complain about. But sometimes it’s hard not to. However, it is very unusual to catch Maddie without a smile on her face. Living life to the fullest seems to be her motto because that is what she does. It appears to all those around her that she has all the confidence in the world, but deep down, she feels inadequate in many aspects of her life. But she continues to smile through life and pretend like nothing is bothering her. Slowly, this is wearing her down.
Maddie is very organized; she keeps a daily planner with all her appointments, classes, homework, due dates, work times, other’s birthdays, etc. written inside. She has short blonde hair that is perfectly styled on a daily basis. She doesn’t wear much make-up, and doesn’t need to because she is naturally pretty. And she has the body of a model – skinny, toned, golden brown skin. She honestly and truly cares about other people and is interested in what is happening in their lives. Basically, she’s the kind of girl others strive to someday become.