After graduation, I am moving to Chicago to become a 9th grade algebra teacher. The challenges of the last four years will not have exactly prepared me for what I am getting myself into, but they have prepared me for how to ask for help when needed, what to do when times get tough, and reminded me that there will always be people around to support me. My coach, professors, family, friends, coworkers and countless other people have celebrated my success, helped me through my failures, and continually made me a better person.Just 10 days away from graduation, it is hard to pinpoint exactly how I got here. My PLU experience has been one of a lot of variety. From athletics to admission, tutoring to volunteer teaching, classes to community, I have been involved in many aspects of the University. On May 26th, I will be the Student Commencement Speaker. My speech is about the PLU slogan of Challenge – Support – Success. There were countless challenges along the way to arrive to where I am today, but it is because of those challenges that I have grown, been successful, and developed a strong support system.
My time here at PLU has taught me many things. I know how to make friends. I know how to live on my own (for the most part). I know what academic rigor means. I know how to write mathematical proofs, analyze religious texts, study for finals, and get everything done that needs to be done. I know how to win a National Championship. But more importantly than all of that I know who I am, where I am going, and that any challenge that comes in my way is just another pportunity to succeed.
As you venture of your own college experience, I know there will be challenges. For each of us they are different. But with those challenges comes a lot of fun, a lot of personal growth, and relationships that will stand the test of time. I am so thankful that I came to PLU and had these last four years. I would not be where I am today without each of those moments…just days away from graduation, like many of you!