Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The End of the World As I Know It

     This week marks a very important time in my life. It is my LAST WEEK of college classes. Yesterday I had my absolute last day of Spanish class at Hope College EVER. Tomorrow I will attend my last religion class and last politics class. In exactly 11 days I will walk across that stage and celebrate the last four years of college by receiving a diploma that I will later use as evidence of what I learned during this chapter of my life. But what does this little diploma actually prove? Yes, I have a degree in Social Work now and have significantly improved my Spanish, but that does not even begin to cover all the things I have learned in four years.

     This community has shaped me into a woman who knows where she stands on many issues like immigration and homosexuality. I have become passionate about fighting injustices like human trafficking, political corruption, and poverty. I have had deep conversations and silly moments with friends. I have pondered what it means to be a Christian. So while the academic life at Hope has improved my knowledge, the opportunities outside the classroom have been much more influential in challenging my ways of thinking. 

     I remember all-too-clearly the last day of orientation at Hope freshman year. As my parents drove away, I stood by my dormitory with tears of sadness and anxiety in my eyes. What was I going to do now? I didn't know a soul here except for my roommate and a few kids from my orientation group, and even those people I had only known for about 2 days. Wait a second, I thought to myself, you wanted to come here to Holland where you didn't know anyone, where you could explore a different place and get a quality education. It's the start of something new. Yes, it was challenging and awkward those first few weeks. But I made it through and I'm so glad I stuck with it. I really believe that coming to Hope College was the best decision I have ever made. 

     So now I'm propelling forward to the next step. I'm leaving this place I've called home and the people who have been like family to me. How do I feel about this? Emotional. In a bunch of different ways: excited, nervous, depressed, confused, and happy. Through this string of emotions, I have realized that all will be well. Yes, I'm nervous once again...because when I go to Costa Rica in two months I'll have to meet new friends and adjust to a new culture. I'll have new and interesting experiences and learn more about myself. And then one day it will be my last day in Costa Rica. I probably won't be ready, just like I'm not ready for my last day here, but that day will come regardless of whether I want it or not. Because God has bigger plans for me. Whenever I leave one place, another exciting adventure awaits. This is the end of the world as I know it. But I'm feeling fine!

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