Christmas is sadly over and going back to school in January is never as exciting as it is in August. Maybe it is just me, but January has always been the dreariest month. There is no holiday to look forward to, temperatures are constantly around freezing, and the sky is perpetually gray. Bleh! But there is a light at the end of the tunnel: Going on the Generation Life pilgrimage to the March for Life! This pilgrimage is such a unique experience. Here are just a few reasons for you to get pumped about Generation Life:
Don’t underestimate the power of the band during GenLife. When I could not keep my eyes open, they pumped me up, and when I was hyped, they pushed me to focus on Jesus. The music they play will make you dance during a jam session, make you cry during Adoration, and make you lift your entire heart to the Lord in thanksgiving. They. Are. Amazing.
I’m not really sure if these priests ever sleep. They are still awake hearing confessions well past when I go to bed, and they are prepared for Mass before I even opened my eyes to get ready. I am fairly certain they are awake 24/7. The priests are phenomenal during reconciliation, and hilarious during their talks.
As almost every Gen Lifer will say, adoration was the most powerful I’ve ever been to. Something about the priests’ reverence, the enormous, gorgeous monstrance, and the crowd of thousands of teens kneeling in the dimmed lights in awe of our Lord. The music quietly playing in the background calms your spirit as the whole world seems to slow.
As a teen and a food-enthusiast, I have to mention the food. With your high school group, or whichever group you are attending GenLife with, you guys will have more pizza than imaginable (although, I’m still not sick of it). While exploring D.C., you will probably stop in various coffee shops, cafes, and restaurants. It is all delicious!
History is not my favorite subject; it was always a little boring to me, but believe me when I say that these history museums (Smithsonian Museums) keep your attention. The memorials are huge and have so much history in them, though you cannot always see it. Every time I visit the Lincoln Memorial, I think of Martin Luther King Jr. He gave his “I Have a Dream” in the same spot that I stand. The memorials are also powerful, especially the ones that list names of our soldiers, such as at the Vietnam Memorial. One of my favorite spots to visit while in D.C. is actually right outside of D.C. in Arlington, Virginia. The Arlington National Cemetery is breathtaking. Watching the Changing of the Guard is also an incredible experience. Needless to say, the Gen Life trip made me appreciate history more.
Your group will bond. If it is a big group, it will be a nice amount of bonding. When you split up into the groups that you will sleep with in the hotel, you will bond even more. However, the bus is where you’ll definitely get the closest to all of those in your group. From St. Louis, it is approximately 18 hours, when you include stops for gas, food, and bathrooms. There is some intense bonding on that bus because it’s too small of a space to be worrying about boundaries. There is only so much sleeping space on the floor. You may find some random classmate accidentally sharing your pillow around 4 am. (Yes, that is a true story.)
If I ever talk to you about Gen Life, I will talk about the speakers over and over and over again. They are incredible! I have never once heard a speaker and thought ‘Eh, that was okay.’ They blow me away every time, and despite my sleep-deprived state, I am enthralled each time. There are speakers with a past involving abortion, men and woman who survived abortion, doctors, former Planned Parenthood workers, and each one serves its purpose: to get you even more pumped for the March for Life.
The March, of course!
Last, but definitely not least, get pumped for GenLife because of the actual March! Anticipate the signs that are handed out. Look forward to the new faces you will meet. Support each other with prayers and cheers during the March. Several times have I been a part of the “We love babies, yes we do. We love babies how ‘bout YOU?” spirit chant. Get psyched for the excitement of the day. Listen to the speakers before the March, sing along to the live music they play, and take pictures to share to the world. Prepare yourself to brace and ignore the cold, layer up, and go save some women and babies!