My Time at Kairos
By Gabby Kaderli, Photography Assistant
What is Kairos? Kairos is a retreat offered by many Jesuit schools as an opportunity for students to step away from their everyday lives and reflect. Those who have been on Kairos are most likely familiar with the phrase “I hope you found what you are looking for.” Since returning from the retreat, I have thought about this sentence a lot.
I had no reason for signing up for Kairos. Honestly, what convinced me was the fact that I had such an incredible experience at the Leadership Retreat a couple of weeks prior. All I knew for sure was that I was eager to get off campus and that there was a bus taking students to Cradle Beach for a weekend and I wanted to be on it. So I hopped on the bus and spent the whole weekend building a better relationship with myself as well as with new and old friends. But I am not here to tell you what Kairos is about. If you want to know you’ll just have to see for yourself. What I do want to talk about is the impact it had on me in such a short amount of time.
Once we returned, I quickly realized it was going to be difficult for me to immediately hit the resume button on my studies and my responsibilities. So instead of heading to the library, I actually headed to Forest Lawn to go on a walk with a friend. I then proceeded that night to dance around in my room and listen to music. Then, I tried calling some of my friends I went on Kairos with to chat about what they were up to. Ultimately, after several hours of procrastination, it appeared as though I didn’t want to let the weekend go and return to my normal, everyday life. It made sense, I love my life, but the things I struggle to cope with exist primarily at school. For those of you who know me, you know that one of the biggest priorities in my life is my academics. On a very real note, I have a difficult time maintaining a healthy relationship with my studies while simultaneously being a perfectionist, so I was scared to return to such stress. Kairos was one of the first times in my life where it sunk in that “perfect” is an unrealistic expectation and standard to maintain.
With this thought in mind, I decided to give myself a break. For the week approaching, I would accomplish what I physically and mentally could and that would be enough. The next few mornings I got out of bed and put the waffle cross necklace that I received while on the retreat around my neck. The waffle cross acts as a reminder to live my Kairos experience out every day. While I wasn't searching for anything when I signed up for Kairos, I found answers to things I have been struggling with for a while. If you don't know what you're looking for when you go on Kairos, that's ok. Because Kairos has a funny way of showing you what you need to see.