Shakespeare knew what he was talking about when he wrote, “Parting is such sweet sorrow.”
Next Friday will be my last day as a student at Abilene Christian University, and I find myself conflicted. After all my complaining there’s nothing to do in Abilene, after years of waking up for 8 a.m. classes and pulling all-night study sessions, I find myself hoping time slows these next few days to allow me to appreciate what ACU has meant to me.
ACU wasn’t my first choice of universities – actually, I had never heard of ACU in high school. So, I ended up going to a school some of my friends got into. After I realized that wasn’t the place for me, I transferred to another university where I made a multitude of bad decisions and found myself out of college and working full-time.
After a few years, I found out the real world is a tough place when you don’t have a college degree, and I decided I wanted to go back to school. A friend of mine suggested ACU, so I applied.
I won’t lie; my GPA left much to be desired at that point, but ACU gave me a chance. Two years later, I’m days away from doing something many people never thought would happen – graduating college.
I’ll leave behind many memories, such as the tales of a ring by spring. I swore I wouldn’t fall into that trend – I’ve now been happily married for six months to a beautiful ACU girl. I’ll never forget the first time I saw Sing Song and began to see what all the fuss was about, or the pride I felt when I saw the Texas flag brought into Moody Coliseum during Opening Chapel. I’ll never forget working on the newspaper or having to stay in the newsroom until 6 a.m. completing the Homecoming issue.
But college is more than simply memories; it’s also about learning, and I’ll take some lifelong lessons from Abilene and ACU. These are some of my favorites:
Taco Tuesday is a really good deal, and no matter how bad a week I’ve had, a Sharky’s burrito always makes me feel better. Good coffee should always be close at hand, and it’s OK to talk to your professors because some of them are actually pretty cool. You and your friends – and your professors – should have a quote board because we say some odd things worth laughing about later. And I’m sure I actually learned a few things in class, as well.
More than anything, though, ACU was an opportunity to find out who I was, as cliche as that sounds. I’ll never forget the people I’ve met here. Thanks for the memories, the laughs and, most of all, the ACU experience.