"For me, initially I decided to come to Auburn out of family tradition. I followed in the foot steps of my father, mother, older sister and older brother," said Kelsey.
"Auburn was a major foundation in our family after I grew up spending every football season on the plains. After making my first official visit I knew Auburn fit me - not just the rest of my family! I knew I could find my own place in the Auburn family," said Kelsey.
"I joined a social sorority at Auburn and found a great group of friends through the time spent with my pledge class. I was also involved in Project Uplift and enjoyed spending my time mentoring and building a friendship with a child in the Auburn area. I spent a majority of my time with Campus Crusade for Christ," Kelsey said.
Why did Kelsey spend a year in East Asia? She felt called there.
"Last semester (Spring 2011) in Auburn I joined a LIFE group with Church of the Highlands. LIFE stands for Living In Freedom Everyday. This small group pushed me out of my comfort zone and transformed my relationship with the Lord. I am forever thankful for that group of girls! God's timing was perfect (as always) and I believe He was preparing my heart for the next year in East Asia. I learned that everyday I choose between the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (TKGE). The Tree of Life represents freedom, grace, eternal life and forgiveness while TKGE represents bondage, the law, death, judgment and condemnation. The Lord pointed out areas of my life I needed to surrender to Him, and He also gave me freedom to experience a more intimate friendship with Him," Kelsey writes in her blog.
"I began my blog about a year ago before I left for East Asia. I knew my family (and some friends) wanted me to start a blog to update them through stories and pictures of my life in Asia. I love sharing funny stories about my new culture, city and language. I will be returning to Asia for another year and will continue my blog from there," said Kelsey.
China is well-known for their frequent internet outages. The government will frequently block social media and networking sites. Despite what is called the Great Firewall of China, Kelsey was able to blog and keep in touch via Facebook from time to time. In fact, the experience became rather interactive.
"Sometimes my friends or family suggest things for me to write about. I try to write once a week or sometimes once every other week. Because my life is so different living across the world, it's pretty easy for me to find topics to write about! The only problem is that there are security limits on what I can share specifically," Kelsey said.
Her blogging (the stories she wrote) was sometimes hindered. "The country where I live is not open to Christianity and I cannot share names of people or the city where I live but I think people can understand my life through my stories! I love to stay connected to people. I was nervous moving across the world and losing relationships. My blog has helped me to stay connected to the people I love the most," said Kelsey.
Editor's Note: This series highlights students and alumni blogging.
Whether it be for personal pleasure or for work, the practice seems to be growing.
This has now become a five-week series.
~ Robert French