The defining moment
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The defining moment

Pursue opportunities that define the four years at Taylor

By Adam Kelly | Echo

Freshman year is full of unknowns. For most, gaining previously unfamiliar roommates, wingmates, classmates and friends is the most worrisome prospect. Others relish the idea and cannot wait for this new chapter of their lives.

Not to put the pressure on, but the first couple weeks can define the path college takes overall. It’s why Taylor doesn’t allow freshmen to have cars until after Thanksgiving—living without a vehicle allows people to settle into life at Taylor and make friends with upperclassmen. It can be scary to ask someone who isn’t a close friend for a ride to church, or to walk to the DC with a wingmate who hasn’t come up and said hello, but these are defining moments. Take a chance, walk into a neighbor’s room and introduce yourself.

Pursuing an opportunity that isn’t completely comfortable is like taking a leap of faith. It helped define my freshman year. After choosing to attend Taylor, I looked through Taylor’s website and found the study abroad programs, where I decided to apply for the Freshman Irish Studies Program. I was about to head off to college, and I chose to move to a different country instead of moving onto campus. My previous experience overseas was zero. God forced me to grow in ways I had never imagined I could, and my worldview changed completely. This single choice impacted my life.

This leap of faith applies on campus, too. Upperclassmen may seem difficult to talk to, but they are absolutely willing to sit down and listen. They have been where you are and can help in almost any situation. I stepped onto campus for J-term after my semester in Ireland and as I was unpacking, my PA and a couple others said they were going to Walmart and asked if I needed anything. They were strangers, but they welcomed me onto the wing right away. Upperclassmen will invite you to make a Love’s run, play a sport or join a game, and my advice is to say yes. Even if you aren’t the best at sports or are too healthy to eat at McDonald’s, it is great to hang out and have fun.

Don’t let fear of the unknown stop you from joining others in an activity. There are many organizations on campus to join as well. If one interests you, try it out. It may not be exactly what you are looking for or be your strongest passion, but that’s all right. Check out others until you discover one you’re passionate about and then get involved. The first step you take in any situation can help you discover who you are or find out what you want to do with the gifts God has given you. Just like taking that leap of faith to let Christ into your life, do the same the first couple weeks of school.

Create opportunities to grow and learn. Ask someone to hang out. It may need lead to a future best friend or significant other. I did that with a fellow incoming freshman girl. She is now my fiancée, and I am getting married in December. I had no idea that I would find her at Taylor, but it all happened when I decided to take a chance in the beginning. My willingness to take chances with Ireland and asking my fiancée out have led to where I am today: grateful for the opportunities God opened to me and deeply in love. I took a leap into the unfamiliar with both situations and the same can happen for anyone else. I have found and created my defining moments of my time at Taylor. Now it is your turn.

(Thumbnail photograph provided by Wikimedia Commons)

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