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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Scranton chapter.

Imagine taking a weekend to form bonds that you knew would last a lifetime. Bonds with a group of women who want to support, encourage and love one another throughout their journeys in college. I was given the opportunity to experience this very kind of weekend.

The University of Scranton hosts a retreat called Divinely Designed for any woman who wants to take some time away from the bustling life of school and turn inward toward self-reflection. Divinely Designed is a weekend trip that includes bonding activities such as writing each other positive affirmations, hugging people after sharing their struggles, singing karaoke late at night and more.

The team leaders who organized the retreat prepared talks that followed different themes such as body image, relationships, self-care and faith. The speakers opened up about their own difficulties and triumphs with each topic, while also encouraging the participants to be vulnerable as well.

The participants were split into small groups of about ten people, including team leaders. After each talk, the groups would meet to discuss how the speech touched each individual in a unique way. These groups were filled with nothing but love and compassion for one another’s obstacles. Listening to these strong, powerful women open up about their lives helped me realize that I am not alone in my difficulties.

The specific theme for this retreat was, “No rain, no flowers.” This statement shows that you cannot expect to have only positive experiences in your life without periods of disappointment or failure. These periods of time help water your life so you can grow into a different version of yourself. While we may dislike these phases of sadness or loneliness, this retreat demonstrated that they are necessary for an individual’s growth.

I am so proud to say that I attended the Divinely Designed year 12 retreat. I have established friendships that I feel confident will help carry me through college and life. This retreat gave me the chance to meet a community of women who empowered me to feel comfortable in my own skin and learn to accept the challenges that I face. So, the next time you experience a period of growth, just remember: No rain, no flowers.

Marie Baldwin

Scranton '27

My name is Marie Baldwin and I am a first year at the University of Scranton. I love reading, writing, baking, watching movies, and dogsitting! I am currently undecided, but I am excited to explore my different interests and passions!