To be honest, I’m pretty sad to be writing this blog. This is for a couple of reasons. First of all, I have thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to serve as a voice for freshmen at Wabash this year. People who know me well know that I love to talk, and they are fully aware that I could engage someone in a three hour conversation if I wanted. The opportunity to blog has allowed me to convey what would be spoken words about the college and community that I have grown to love so much.
Any other reasons should speak for themselves as I continue to write this blog. At this time a year ago, I knew that I was headed to Wabash, and I was excited. Graduation was coming up, I was finishing my classes well, and I was preparing to give a speech at my high school graduation. I also knew that graduation would be the last time I would see the vast majority of the people with whom I went to high school. For the most part, that was pretty disappointing to me. I had friends who were staying close to home and even going to college together. I, on the other hand, was headed to a small-ish town in west-central Indiana where I knew no one. As the time to move to Wabash drew closer and closer, I became more and more nervous. Finally, on the day my family loaded up the car and drove to Crawfordsville, it hit me, and it hit me pretty hard. I was leaving a place and a people I loved, and the chances of me going back for any significant amount of time were pretty slim. Every time I returned to the home where I had grown up, I would be a guest and not a resident. It was weird.
However, despite my concerns about going to Wabash and being somewhat far from home, I am convinced that I made the right decision. I have grown immensely and I think about things in new ways. When I was staying with my friend Nick’s family in Indianapolis over Easter weekend, his mom asked us if we felt like Wabash had changed our lives. I’d spent many occassions explaining to people that I’d learned about Wabash because of the book “Colleges That Change Lives”, but I don’t think anyone had ever asked me if Wabash had actually changed my life. I responded to her question without a shadow of a doubt, saying “yes,” Wabash had changed my life. The friendships I developed, the opportunities for leadership I pursued, the trials and tribulations of the year, and the lessons I learned not only from my professors, but also from my classmates and friends, have changed my life.
This morning, I said good-bye to a bunch of my friends as they went their different directions for the summer. I hadn’t expected it, but it was difficult to say good bye to them. Something about not talking to the people I’ve lived with for the last nine months doesn’t sit well with me. In fact, the feeling is pretty similar to the one I had when I left my biological family to come to Wabash in August. This has led me to the following conclusion: Wabash has become my family. While nobody will ever replace my actual family, my Wabash family shares many similar characteristics: it’s a group of intelligent, enthusiastic, hilarious, and caring individuals who laughs, works, lives, debates, and cares together. And as I learned in August, it’s tough to say good bye to your family.
So, with that, to those of you who have put up with my complaints, my enthusiasm for weird things, my dry sense of humor, and my sarcasm, thanks for reading my blog for all of these months. I hope that you’ll keep up with next year’s freshmen, and I also hope that you and your families have a great summer. It’s been fantastic sharing my year with you, and I hope that you’ve enjoyed it.