“The truth shall make you free,” became the official seal and motto of Hesston College on June 1, 1920 after being used in a salutatory address at commencement. Now, almost 100 years later and a few days away from commencement, I’m here to tell you my truth about Hesston College.
Nobody comes to Hesston for the food. Nobody comes here for the state-of-the-art facilities or the comfortable dorm rooms. You don’t come here to be a part of the best teams in the country or for sweet apparel. You don’t come here for the chapel services or to get an easy A in the classroom.
You come to Hesston College for the people. Even if you don’t know it yet.
You come here to stay up until 12 a.m. talking to people in the Larks Nest. You come here to make random Sonic runs with different groups of friends. You come here because you never have to spend too much time looking for a place to sit and eat in the cafeteria. You come to Hesston to create lifelong friendships, and sometimes relationships.
You come here for people like DeeDee Landes, Kevin Wilder, Dustin Galyon and so many more faculty, coaches and mentors that believe in you, even if you don’t appreciate them. You come here because they see the potential in you even when you don’t see it in yourself and go out of their way to bring it out. You come here to grow as an individual among teammates and classmates who are enduring the same experiences right beside you.
I came to Hesston for the same reasons most people do; so that I could get what I wanted and then get out as soon as possible. For me, that was to gain some experience in broadcasting and then move onto a state school where I could really begin. For some, it’s nursing school, or to grow as an athlete to make it to the next level, for others it’s something else.
But what nobody expects when they leave Hesston College, is how much it’s given to them even when it feels they have little to offer at times. My truth about my time here at Hesston is I hated it- my first year. I told myself countless times freshman year that I could not return for another year and be happy. But I returned… for the people. And it was the best decision I’ve ever made.
Hesston College has made me a better person. I’ve become more empathetic to stranger’s stories and I truly value each and every friendship I’ve made here. I’ve opened myself up to experiences that two years ago I would’ve never imagined possible, such as liking baseball and taking a golf class. I met the bridesmaids that will one day stand in my wedding and the mentors, Dustin and Marissa Galyon, that have prepared me for what’s to come in the world.
So here’s my advice as I write my last article for the Hesston Horizon: sophomores, before you leave take a moment to reflect on all that you’ve gained from your time here and soak it up. Freshmen, don’t take for granted the people around you. Because I promise you, the Hesston College experience is like none other.