I once read that graduating is like taking steps into a fog, unaware of where each step will and—I think this is a good analogy, but for me, leaving ORU is more like stepping for the first-time sans security.
With part-time jobs, internships, summer and winter breaks, ORU has been there. A surface to stand on, even when everything else felt uncertain. As seniors, I can see the changes in myself and others.
My roommate and I sometimes joke that we wouldn’t have liked us if we had met ourselves as freshmen. This was because we have grown so much. Some people would call this period a “refining process.” If this metaphor works for you, then great, but for me, it has been more about stretching, not removing.
Stretching and filling places I did not know I could fill, and molding areas I needed to work on. As I think about all the things I wanted to do at college—that I got to do, I feel a sense of accomplishment. I may joke about not wanting to go back and be friends with myself three years ago, but it is because of her, that I am here. I said I wanted to study in England, and I did. I said I wanted to write for the Oracle, and I have and I said I wanted to graduate early, and I am.
Those things are great, but what I have found is that there is much more inside those accomplishments and much more inside me, more than can ever be described by a diploma (though it’s nice to have—thank you).
Deciding to do something is the first step. Looking back to see who you were molded into during the process, that is the real accomplishment.
So here you are, and you’re reading this article thinking, “so how does this apply to me?” Well, we December grads have some advice for you undergrads.
Isaac Jacobson, an International Relations major, said, “find your inner circle and hug them tight.”
Jill Wiltz, graduating with a double degree in communication and biblical literature, said, “By nature, ORU is a place of healing. The greatest decision I made during my time as a student was being open to the process of healing. My advice: Don’t resist the voice of the Holy Spirit, lay aside your pride, lay down the idea of perfectionism, and take up your cross. Walk in healing. Walk with authenticity. Walk in freedom. If your heart is open, God will use your time at ORU in remarkable ways.”
International Community Development major Divina West said, “The best thing you can do for your neighbor is to love yourself.
Lillian Mcleod-Schaffer, a health and exercise science major, said, “You don’t have to do things the same way others do. Just because they chose to live one way doesn’t mean that you’re living it wrong. It only means you’re living it differently. Have confidence in your choices because they’re your choices. Not the girl next to you, but your choices. You are worthy, powerful, and beautiful. Don’t shy away from making your life your’s.”
And with that—we take our leave. It’s been fun, ORU Winter Graduates—signing out.