Coming to DTS, I knew I had to give up my right for privacy and say yes to 24/7 community. In the beginning it was really exciting; it felt like this crazy, long adventure camp. But as soon as you’re out of the honeymoon stage, it’s starts to be more than just a camp, and it gets a lot harder. If you’re wondering why I put myself into an uncomfortable situation like this, and choose to live with 23 girls I barely know in one room, I’ll tell you. Below are 5 ways it changed my view of friendship for the better.

1. It’s fun! You probably will never have the chance again to be surrounded by 20 + girls. The dynamic of such a group is amazing. Imagine hanging out with your best friends, sharing secrets, laughing together, sharing candy your family sends you, and more. It’s basically a 3-month slumber-party.

2. These girls see me at my worst: no makeup, greasy hair, my mood with a lack of sleep, or my face when I’ve bawled my eyes out. But hey, no need for shame! That is the beauty of a safe place like this. It’s because of this vulnerability that these ladies are some of my best friends already.

3. It’s the best way to learn what it means to die to yourself. As Jesus teaches us about dying to ourselves through his servant heart in the Bible, we are challenged to follow in his footsteps. This basically means that I could do the lunch cleanup for my friend or clean the toilets, even though it’s something I don’t normally like to do.

4. The fact that we grow close together really fast is just amazing. I know that I can ask every girl here to pray with me, listen to things I’m afraid of, and love me when I’m completely crazy. It is a true sign of friendship to me.

5. Lasting friendships can happen faster than you think. I have some really good friends at home, and we cultivated our friendships over the years. Coming here opened up a new perspective of it all. I would have never realized that I can build up friendship in such a short time. I’m already sad to say goodbye, but I know, that these friendships here will last a lifetime. They may not stay as close as we are now, but somehow we will all be connected, and I love it.

Written by Nadine Mossimann