Reflection on College Conference East 2015 - By Jordan Polanichka

In December of 2015 I attended College Conference East at Antiochian Village in Ligonier, PA for the second year in a row. After the first year I did not think that it could get any better, but I was proven wrong.

My experience at College Conference East was amazing and I was so blessed with having the ability to go. With each activity we did I was able to learn about our Faith as well as how to practice our Faith. Each speaker who offered workshop sessions had words of wisdom to share with us college kids that sometimes struggle with everyday life, because honestly, who doesn’t struggle. Meeting new friends and reconnecting with old ones is just another great opportunity that is given to you during your four days at College Conference. Overall the experience is just a blessing from God and I am grateful for every minute of it.

The theme of the Conference was being Modern-Day Martyrs. Throughout the conference speakers talked about modern day martyrs, and how we as Christians can improve our everyday life by committing to a life of sacrifice for God. Every day we are faced with situations where our faith is tested, and it is our responsibility, our spiritual obligation, to make sure we make the right choices and decisions. Sometimes, though, that isn’t easy and we make the poor decisions, poor choices that don’t reflect what we actually believe. At that point we have to step back and accept the fact that we made a decision or choice that doesn’t reflect our Faith and pray to God to forgive us. The choices that we have to make might seem like such a big deal, but the choices that martyrs had to make were a lot harder, and becoming one of Christ’s modern-day martyrs, one of His witnesses to the world is a choice and a challenge everyday. Every word that was spoken to me during the Conference was a lesson that I will use to help me through life.

College Conference is an annual event that I look forward. I look forward to all the experiences that have such a great impact on my life. Catching up with old friends, meeting new friends, learning about our faith, listening to speakers, and every activity that I have the opportunity to attend. Everybody who attends College Conference has a bond that is unexplainable. We spends hours in the church singing, attending workshops together, witnessing miracles together, and growing together in our Faith. By attending College Conference I have not only grown as a person, but as an Orthodox Christian as well.