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The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

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Sophomores find inspiration on 2017 RoadTrip


The weekend before the new semester began, over 40 Loyola students arrived on campus for the Sophomore RoadTrip. This sophomore-only retreat was held at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Led by a mix of student leaders (referred to as Atlases) and faculty members/professors (referred to as Compasses), students learned tools for reflection, discernment, and ways to find one’s sources of happiness.

“This retreat was amazing, even though I may not have found my path in life on the retreat, it equipped me with the tools to take on any challenges that the coming years have, and the tools to discern for myself,” Matt Strott ’19 said.

The retreat allowed students of the class of 2019 to connect more deeply with themselves and the world around them. The retreat focused on where students are in their vocational discernment and how to utilize the tools given to help discover or understand the path that students are on. Through the power of personal stories and talks from both the Atlases and Compasses, students were able to listen and learn how vocational discernment is a lifelong process.

“At first I didn’t think that I would get much from the retreat, but I was wrong. Not only did I have a good time with new friends, I was [also] able to solidify my plans and figure out my next steps [in life]” Stephon Smith ’19 said.

The retreat even inspired some to improve their lives as students. “RoadTrip helped me see a deeper and more intentional way to live my academic life while also fostering growth within myself” Jen Sporysx ’19 said.

Without giving the premise of the retreat away, students were given time to reflect on three key questions posed throughout the weekend. Students used silence, journaling, and other activities to reflect on the future.

The benefits of RoadTrip were not confined to the sophomores, however. Atlases also experienced growth and change, even though they were leading the retreat.

“I went on RoadTrip as a sophomore and enjoyed it so much that I wanted to do it again in some capacity. I got so much out of it and wanted to be able to help others learn the lessons I did. This year, I returned as a student leader, and was surprised at how much I was still able to learn the second time around” Seth Willis ‘17 said.

Click here if you are interested in attending next year’s retreat, or simply want or to learn more about the trip.


All Photos Courtesy of Michelle Mencia

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Sophomores find inspiration on 2017 RoadTrip