Reflection on College Conference East 2015 - By Alexia Kotantoulas

College Conference was a brand-new experience for myself and my fellow Canadians. None of us knew what to expect, what it would be like, what the people would be like, what the food would be like…honestly we had no idea about anything.

Our trip started on a really rough note when we were delayed 12 hours in the airport. When we finally arrived at Antiochian Village, we were tired, grumpy and mad. The moment we got there, we were greeted with smiles and laughs and our moods were instantly changed. The atmosphere of College Conference was so positive and amazing that not even a 12 hour airport delay could bring us “down”. The Conference was packed with different events to always keep us centered on our Faith. We had different talks with priests, a hilarious keynote speaker, many different services, banquets, dances and so much more.

There are two main things about College conference that I will never forget. The first thing is the midnight vigil. So many university students would stay in the chapel and sing into all hours of the night. We would all stay and pray together and it was so spiritual and healing. The second thing that I loved was that everyone you met was friendly and even though we all had different interests we shared the most important thing- our Faith. It is so amazing to meet other Orthodox Christians from literally all around the country who understand what you go through and who know what it feels like to be an Orthodox Christian in today’s society. We were able to discuss our own views without someone telling us we were homophobic, intolerant or stupid. We could all just be ourselves around each other. For anyone in university, you’ll understand how big of a deal it is to meet someone who understands everything we Orthodox Christians go through.

College Conference was an amazing experience that helped enrich my faith, knowledge and friendships. I learned so much and loved every minute of it!