I went to the local high school today to put in some time for my TA assignment. Sometimes I come on days where the students have to participate in mandatory tests or there’s a guest speaker. Today was just like that. As the students shuffled to the auditorium, I walked behind them, trying not to look too obvious. Sitting in the back row of the room with the other teachers, I thought about how I was three years ago. I was sitting through these information sessions about college visits and federal loans, but it all seems very distant. Like a slight blur in the back of my mind.
I remember specifically trying to get as far away from home as possible, but not too far. In the spirit of intrepid intrepidness, I had first settled on a Christian university about 40 miles from my home. I was dead set on attending this school and it seemed like my high school fed into this college anyway. If you were a football player at my high school and wanted to play on the university level, this school was probably your best bet. If you didn’t want the close proximity of St. Catharine’s but still wanted to do your laundry at home, this was your college. It’s where everybody seemed to go, and I was on the bandwagon. Until I heard of another college buried so deep in eastern Kentucky that it was practically in West Virginia. I had to go there. It was three hours away and totally exotic in the sense that it was three hours away. So I visited and had my heart crushed by the lack of enthusiasm on campus. Maybe I expected too much.
However, I found the college that I attend now only because my parents made me visit. I didn’t want to get up early in the morning, drive 65 miles, and come, but I did. I didn’t have a “I fell in love with campus” moment, but I knew that when I was taking the campus tour in the dead of that snowy March weekend, that this is where I’m supposed to be.
Not everybody at my campus probably feels this way, but I do. I hope that the students in the auditorium this morning find their places. Sadly, many will not. However, I quickly realized after graduation that things that mattered then aren’t really significant now. If I could have told the seniors in the auditorium one thing, that would be it. Some things just don’t matter after a while, and it’s up to the person to decide what those things ultimately are.