Graduation is 25 days away (and counting). It seems like an appropriate time to fight through the senioritis, chug down another coffee and think about what’s changed in the four years since I walked on this campus as an eager 18 year old who could miraculously function without sleep, or the aforementioned coffee.
While it’s true that I sit here tired, less motivated and counting down the seconds until I can say sayonara, it’s even more true that four years at ACU and in Abilene has, with every ounce of sincerity I can muster through using a cliche, given me the best time of my life and taught me some valuable lessons along the way. Here’s what I’ve learned, in ascending order of importance:
Take advantage of every opportunity:
When I was in high school, I was touring the JMC department as I was getting closer to the day I would become a Wildcat. I remember one thing from that tour, which was the chair of the department advising us to knock on the door of one of the student media outlets and ask to get put to work.
So I did. I poured too much time and energy into student media, spent several sleepless nights in the newsroom and control room (sometimes for no good reason) and burnt myself out. All the while, I gained incredible experience and met some lifelong friends along the way. Taking that advice four years ago left me fully prepared to enter “the real world.”
So, find what you love, invest in it and take every opportunity to grow.
Remember that people are really important:
I was not a socialite in the slightest four years ago. That’s still not a word I would use to describe myself. However, being at ACU has taught me more about friendship than I would have ever thought to learn. I had no particular intentions of investing myself in people four years ago. Now, I would trade every bit of the experience I just encouraged if I had to to keep some of the people I’ve met around. Some of those people I even met during that workplace experience.
Bottom line, a proper balance in life involves investing in people.
Don’t neglect your spiritual life:
This was a priority for me when I started college, but I can’t say it stayed solid the whole way through. I got to a point where church, Bible reading and prayer was a checklist. Don’t do that. Make it a priority to find a church that stirs you up to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24). Seriously, this is not a Sunday school lesson. This is your life. Find a church that’s number one priority is to preach the gospel and whose priorities of discipleship follow. If you do that, the rest will become an integral part of who you are.
I came to Abilene with a lot of excitement and a little bit of knowledge. I leave with a little bit more wisdom and an infinite amount of gratitude.Thanks for the memories, dear christian college.