by Emily Day
Until now, I have spent the majority of my life in a classroom. Shocking I know.
The truth is, for the average twenty-something, most of their memories are tied to some form of educational institution, whether with friends or family members. Some memories are good, like meeting your best friend or finally mastering all the bones in the body (cause one day you will NEED to know the difference between the radius and the ulna, promise). Other memories are more traumatic, like meeting your mortal enemy or discovering that for the past five months, you have been dissecting a pregnant cat (not that I’m speaking from personal experience, because that would be tragic).
Still others are memories you have come to regret, like experimental hair lengths or changing your final project the night before, forcing yourself to consume more coffee than humanly possible (but hey, I received an A).
It’s hard to imagine not spending my days in a classroom. For so long, much of my identity was tied up in being a student, excelling in classes and spending time with my friends. The closer I get to my impending graduation, the more nostalgic I become. I know what you’re thinking: “Typical, cliché senior, she’s going to get crazy sentimental,” and you may be right. However, occasionally, it’s nice to take a look back and see how far you’ve come and how much you’ve grown. So, buckle in, this may get real sappy.
During my time at Cedarville, God has worked in and through my life in some of the most unique ways. They weren’t always pleasant experiences. Yet, through every moment, good and bad, God was clearly shaping me into the person I needed to become so that when I cross the stage on graduation day, I will be assured that I am doing exactly what God has intended for my life.
The biggest blessing I have received while at Cedarville was probably my friend family. This group stuck with me throughout my entire college career (despite the fact they quickly found out I was a workaholic bordering on insanity). We celebrated each others’ successes and cried together through the hard times. We’ve challenged each others’ thinking and our perspectives have been altered. I’ve been eternally blessed by each and every one of them. Each one played a key role in forming the woman that I am today. For that, I am exceedingly grateful.
Never underestimate the value of a friend that pushes you to be spontaneous. For me, that person is Amy Abraham. Amy, thank you for being the self-appointed event planner. You made sure I took the time to have fun and relax despite the ridiculous amounts of homework and tests. You reminded me to take advantage of every moment and not take each other for granted. You also rant with me about anything and everything while using an overabundance of sass, so for that I thank you.
On the flip side, everyone needs a friend that gives them a bit of stability. For me, that is Grace Littlefield. Grace, thank you for your kind soul and sweet spirit. You are a constant source of encouragement and wise counsel. Whenever any of us had a hard day, you could always be found with a hug and a cup of tea ready for us. You gave our group a sense of sophistication like taking us to tea-rooms and the ballet while also joining in on our highly illogical, witty banter. You inspire me to work harder and to be better, and for that I thank you.
Sarcastic banter is a necessity in the majority of situations. Ali Hunter, you’re up. Ali, thank you for putting up with me in pep band for the past three years. I know it wasn’t always easy. You made each day 100 times more enjoyable. Whether it was mocking the players or more serious conversation, I always walked away smiling and feeling content. You are wiser and kinder than you are willing to admit. You help me not take myself too seriously and continually reminded me to get enough sleep. I promise I will start putting that into practice.
Because sarcasm cannot merely be a one-woman show, I’ve added another. Naomi Harward, I’m talking about you. Naomi, thank you for being willing to listen to my endless rants, about anything and everything. This is not an easy task, especially if it is me complaining about coding, social justice/political issues or Cedars, which it is nine times out of 10. I will dearly miss commentating all our classes, especially Simon’s classes (which I feel I need to apologize for, Simon you are the best). You are so kind and funny and I have come to truly cherish your friendship.
Now comes the person whose friendship I’m not even sure I can put into words: the one and only, Amelia Walker. Amelia, we have been friends for 12 years. I don’t know about you, but that seems utterly insane to me. You have truly seen me at my absolute best and complete worst. You are a constant source of support and inspiration. You push me to do better and to be better by pointing me towards Christ. I am truly excited to see where God takes us in the coming years even though it may mean being far apart. You have taught me what it means to be a true and loyal friend, and for that I will never be able to repay you.
There are many more people I could add to this list, but for the sake of my sanity (and most likely yours) I’ll stop. Each of these women has made a lasting impact on my life, they have helped shape me into the person I am today. Once I am graduated and gone from Cedarville, these women and so many others people like them will be what I remember fondly. They will be the memories of my time here. Not the classes, the events, the stress or even the diploma, while these are all benefits (except maybe the stress) of my college experience, they are not what truly matters.
So, my advice to underclassmen (to further lean into the cliché that is this editor’s note): create a friend family. Apart from spiritual decisions, who you choose to surround yourself with for the next four years will determine the success and enjoyment of your college experience. Choose wisely, don’t just make friends with those most like you. Find people who challenge you, who push you to be the best version of yourself. Surround yourself with people who won’t be afraid to say that you’re wrong. This friend family will help ensure that when you are walking across that stage, you spent your time here well and you finished strong.
There are many more things I could share with you about my time at Cedarville. I could talk about how wonderful the professors are or how great worshiping with the entire student body is, but there is simply not enough time or words to fully capture how unique this stage of my life has been.
Remembering back to the terrified, doe-eyed freshman that first stepped foot on campus, it’s hard to believe that I’m the same person now. Sitting here writing this, I think back to my favorite childhood heroine, Alice, as she is contemplating her own identity: “I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.”
Emily Day es una senior de la especialidad de periodismo y la editora de los artes y el entretenimiento por Cedars. Ella tiene my sentimientos encontrados sobre graduacion.