by Josh Burkholder – SportsStance Columnist
Looking back at my high school graduation, I remember being pretty excited. Excited about being done with high school, working for the summer, and especially for all the new future possibilities. Throughout high school, I was a pretty quiet, shy kid (yes, even more than I am now) and I did not have a very large group of friends, and honestly none that I would call best friends. I just kind of breezed through high school; getting good grades, playing as many sports as I could, and more or less just keeping to myself. To be honest, there were actually days when the only people I would talk to were teachers, and that was only if they asked me a question. During my senior year, though, I began to have some regret. I realized that I needed to change. I had to become more outgoing, actually talk to people, and learn how to make friends. That is why I was so excited to graduate and be done with high school.
I decided to come to Hesston for a few reasons, one of which was that the only person that I would know and who knew me was my brother. I wanted to start new, and thought that Hesston was the right done place to try to do that. But I never would have known just how perfect Hesston would be for me and how much it would change me. At Hesston I experienced something that had rarely happened to me before: People actually wanted to get to know me and be my friend. After all, we were all in the same boat, in an unfamiliar place. This helped me to be more outgoing and gave me experiences that I will treasure for my whole life.
All this change for good did not just come on the outside, though. Hesston has brought me through some intense spiritual change as well. Being far, far away from home (1,684 miles to be exact), I have had to make decisions on my own and my faith has been challenged. But more often than being challenged, my faith has undergone growth, which I would not trade for anything in the world. This year I took Peacemaking and Justice, which was the most interesting and thought-provoking class I have ever taken. For those of you who may come to Hesston in the future, I highly recommend it.
Now, of course, graduation is approaching, and I am coming to the realization that in a short time my experience at Hesston will be over. I have made friendships that will last a lifetime, and if I had the face the college decision again I would choose Hesston every time. But we have to move on, that’s just a part of life. Even with my irreplaceable time I had at this college, I have to be excited about my next adventure, which happens to be Bluffton University. I am eager to discover what new possibilities come from this next experience, because I would have never imagined all the good and change that came from my first college experience. There may be plenty of tears and sad goodbyes come graduation, but everyone needs to look forward to what is in store for them next, and greet it with excitement and enthusiasm.