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Brecken’s breakdown

By Brecken Mumford | Echo

Hey, you. Yeah, you with the paper — over here! I’ve got some things to say to you.

Now that I’ve got your attention, let’s get down to business: I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we have a brand new school year on our hands. Everyone is back on campus, classes are in full swing and the caffeine IVs are locked and loaded.

For some of you, it’s going to be a year of firsts: first day of college, first chapel, first Taylathon, first encounter with The Brotherhood, first syllabus shock … and for others, including myself, it’s a year of lasts: all campus communion, first day of school, Airband, Love’s run. Full disclosure: I’m kinda freaking out — and I bet some of you are, too.

And I think that’s okay.

We’re all relatively different people with different cultures and families and experiences, and while we all have at least one place in common (that place being, well, Taylor), that doesn’t exactly make any of the transitions we’re all facing any easier. But to me, it’s still encouraging to know I may not be the only person who is having a hard time getting into a groove.

Three years ago, I was trying to figure out what it looked like to be a freshman in English Hall. I was 17, three and a half hours from home, nervous, really sweaty and I had no idea what I was doing. How does someone go from the familiar, the places, people and things she’s known her whole life, to a school she’s been to twice — or not even at all for some of you.

Fast forward to today: I’m not living in English, I still get nervous, I’m definitely not 17 anymore and I’m not 100 percent sure I actually know what I’m doing. But so far I’m making it through — and that has a lot to do with Jesus and all of you.

Everyone here is different; even if our stories and backgrounds are similar, we’re not the same. I can attribute half of the change and growth in my life to conversations, chapels and classes filled with people, topics and music different from my “familiar.”

Sometimes the differences — the unfamiliars — are hard, but they are also so good.

Whether you’re new to Taylor or this is your final lap, this year is going to throw a lot of differences and unfamiliarity your way. And we’re going to have to extend a lot of grace to ourselves and one another as this year of transitions moves along.

It’s not going to be easy; my few years here have really taught me that, but it’s going to be worth it. The messy stuff makes the good stuff greater, and the lessons learned sweeter and the friendships more valuable. So, take your time gathering/gaining your bearings — college is weird; hold onto the things and places you love (they’re important), and give yourself the space to pull yourself into the unfamiliar.

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