I am now working at a traditional, four year university. Our students (typically) start right after their high school graduation and live on campus. Life for them revolves around classes, homework, activities, sports and trying to figure out how to live on their own without their parents breathing down their necks.
Watching these students get through their days reminds me so much of my time at Buena Vista University. I still look back and can't believe I made the decision to go away to school; to actually plan on spending four solid years away from Glenwood and my friends. I don't think I saw it as a permanent thing - I would go there for awhile, and if I didn't like it I would transfer to Bellevue University and move home. However, the night before I left, when I was saying goodbye to my peeps, Matt Boone told me I wouldn't make it and I would be back before the first semester ended. Well, that's all it took to make me decide, 100%, I would not move back home until I had a Bachelor's Degree under my belt.
I spent the first three years of my time there completely absorbed in my new life. I still remember how I met my first friend, Jaclyn. After my parents left me, I was so lost. I was already homesick. I knew I wasn't going to make it. Matt was right. Then I ran into Jaclyn in the hallway. "Will you go to Wal-Mart with me? I don't know where it is?" she asked. "Um sure, I know right where it is." I agreed. Anything to get me off that damn campus.
I did not know where it was. We got so lost. But it was perfect.
After that, I made more friends. Toni, Maren, Katie, Alicia, Kelly, Cindy, Jenny, Mindy, Trisha. My floormates became my family. I joined the student newspaper, The Tack, and became completely obsessed with it. My newspaper staff became my family: Eric, Kelly, Jeff, Adam, Micah, Courtney, Teri. Courtney would also become my roommate my last two years.
By my last year at BV, my interest was waning. I was ready to move on. The only thing I really cared about was coming home on the weekends to hang out with the boys and running the newspaper during the week. Classes took a back burner, and I barely skidded by to graduate. I look back at that last year and wish I had done things differently. I still have reoccurring nightmares where it's finals week and I am not prepared.
But hell, you live and you learn. It's pretty easy for me to talk to students now and be like "Dude, I get it. You're sick of school. Just fight through it, and don't do anything you're going to look back at in ten years and regret. Cause that sucks."
That's right. This year marks TEN years since I graduated from BVU. But I am sure I can still do the Beaver Train like no other.