Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Thoughts on the End of an Era

This past Saturday, my college career came to an end. After years of anticipation, I walked the line between being an undergraduate student and being a college graduate. I now hold in my hand (figuratively... we won't get our degrees for a few weeks) a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. This "key" to life as an adult, this goal that so many dream of and work for and strive after, is now realized in my life.

And what difference has it made?

What lessons have I learned from four years of advanced academia? How will my life now be any different from someone who never had the opportunity or desire to go to college? What difference does a degree make?

I can't speak for everyone, of course. What I have experienced is personal to me, and even my husband Brandon, who has walked this path beside me, will have something different to say, a different lesson he has learned from his experiences.

But here are a few things Campbellsville University has taught me:

Campbellsville University

1) To value diverse perspectives.
A university is a place full of ideas. During my time as a student at Campbellsville, I came up against many that I disagreed with: some in the theology department (my area of study for my minor), and also a few in the psychology department (my major). At first, when I bumped up against these ideas, I balked. I stuck my fingers in my ears and taunted, "I can't hear you! You're stupid!" But then I realized that these new-to-me ideas weren't plucked from thin air - people had thought hard about this and studied and searched the scriptures and prayed and came to a conclusion about it, and I would be arrogant to flippantly dismiss them because they at first repulsed me.

I considered these diverse opinions and did much research outside of class in order to draw my own conclusions. On some occasions, I changed my position on the issue. Other times, my original opinion was strengthened because I had seen both sides of the issue, and after analyzing both sides, I believed it to be a better interpretation of the facts and/or the Bible.

I am sometimes prone to believe my stance on particular issues is the best, but my experiences at CU have taught me to have an open mind to arguments which have biblical support.

Additionally, I have made friends with people who disagree with me on basically the whole spectrum of theological issues, yet I have been able to love them and see their love for the Lord and appreciate their friendship in spite of our differences. Denominational lines and doctrinal issues should not keep brothers and sisters from loving one another and being in fellowship.

2) I like to write.
You might not have been able to guess it while I was taking classes, but I do actually enjoy writing; particularly if I have something to respond to, such as an article or a certain idea. It's harder for me to choose a topic and write whatever I think about it, such as with blogging. Occasionally, when I finished a class, I would go back and read some of the papers I had written because I was proud of how articulate I can sometimes be with written language. I maintain my humility, however, making up for my decent writing with deplorable oral communication.

Now that I'm finished with college, I might perhaps get more into writing for pleasure. Maybe I will even try out some different genres, like poetry or fiction.

3) I am an unfinished work.
Having a degree does not mean that I am finished with learning. I will never be finished learning. The Lord has much work to do in and through me, and I will use my life to serve Him through gaining, applying, and sharing knowledge and wisdom with those I encounter.

Philippians 1:6 says "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." Some days, that work leading to completion seems to be especially slow-going, but I know that the Lord will not give up on me.

No comments:

Post a Comment