Fourth Year Reflections

Titles, careers and a note to the graduates. 

I am a fourth-year student, preparing to head into the “real” world in just a few short months. I wanted to write a bit of a reflection about this, as I begin the preparations because, honestly, I have no idea what life will be like after I graduate (seriously though if somebody could tell me what I need to know before I leave this place, that would be awesome.) Redeemer has prepared me well in regard to knowing how to write a good essay, and I know grammar through and through, but I don’t know how to pay taxes or change my oil on my car (Thanks Dad, for all the times you’ve changed my oil for me.) Big life things that I should perhaps know, but don’t. I’ll learn when I get out of here… hopefully. All that to say, my education here at Redeemer has brought me closer to my dreams, and I’ll always be thankful for that and my time here. 

I have been feeling more reflective as I have had a lot more time to myself to think about these things (Thanks COVID.) Over these years, I have carried a lot of titles: I’ve been an RA to a couple of dorms; I am now a RLF; I worked in two positions on the Crown; I led the women’s ministry for a couple of years. However, out of all these titles, the one that has seemed the heaviest, and the busiest, is the one we all carry while here at Redeemer, and that is the title of student. I will pass all of these titles on, but the student is the one that I feel like I am holding onto as tightly as I can, because for as long as I can remember, I have been a student. And in a few months, that title won’t be mine anymore, and I will enter into the workforce, taking on a title of wherever I end up working. 

Don’t get me started on trying to choose a career; I have been all over the place with that these past few months. Chances are I’ve shoved a latte into your hands and told you over the steam that I think I know what I want to do now, but it’s not what I came into school wanting. I’m trying to wrap my head around this – that these halls won’t carry me into classrooms anymore, and the bench where I do the majority of my writing will still be there, but it will become somebody else’s bench. All of these things that have become so common over the years, that will soon become so foreign soon.  

Perhaps this is a reflection on graduating so soon, but also an encouragement to those who won’t walk across the stage this year. I heard it said once that people always say these are the best years of your life, and to some, they might be. But these years, these four years are just the beginning of something so much bigger out there. 

Being at Redeemer has been such a gift, and I have had the honor of being taught by professors that I will probably look up to for the rest of my life. I have also made some of my best friends here, ones that I know will walk alongside me even after I walk across the stage. (If that’s happening, I really hope I get to.) I am nostalgic as I write these words, the memories of everything that has come into my life over these years. I hold them tight, as I write letters to those I love, and send them through intercampus mail, I hold them tight over socially distanced coffee dates and picnics in the park. Over weekly Wednesday night walk dates. I hold these memories tight as I prepare for something that I don’t know how to prepare for, so I’m not really preparing. Because soon, these moments will just be the memories left. 

There have been a few moments this year, where I feel like I’ve gotten a glimpse of maybe making writing more of a career than a hobby, I recently hit twenty thousand words for an independent study that I have been working on, and that is a milestone that I thought I would never hit. I didn’t think I would see that number attributed to my own words. I also had a professor encourage me in my writing, telling me that my words could take me somewhere. These are two examples of things that have come up this year that are like little glimpses into maybe something bigger than just a hobby. And in case my mom reads this article, I’m planning for a career that will carry me into the years, but writing is a huge part of my life and I am excited to see where it takes me. Because there is so much out there, and this is just the beginning.

To the graduates of this year, well done. You aren’t done yet, but the day you throw the cap in the air is getting closer. Even if you throw it in your room over zoom, throw the cap. These years have been long and beautiful and hard and everything in between. You are entering into the world as an educated human being, and that is a beautiful thing. 

To everybody else, send the mail. Hug your roommates (and nobody else on campus because covid.) Hold tight to the moments that you have right now and know that dishues are never as big of a deal as they seem in the moment. You are facing some really good years; I won’t say best because I think every year has the potential to be the best in our lives. There’s so much more to experience, and we are just dipping our toes into it.