Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sarah: Collegiate Reflections

Someone asked me if I was going to miss Judson at all...I gave the polite answer of, "Not really, but I'll miss my friends there." But their question caused me to stop and reflect on how I really feel. When I graduated in May, I was worried that, come time for school to start again, I would feel sad or depressed or overly nostalgic about college. And while I do kind of miss that back to school nervousness and excitement for a new school year, I'm not sad or depressed or nostalgic in the least.

If I'm feeling anything (other than excitement to continue on with my life) it's definitely relief. Relief that I'm done with school (forever if I want to be), done with certain people, and done with Judson itself.

I did not have a fun, easy-going, party-it-up kind of college experience. My experience was full of anxiety, conflict, and walking on eggshells. During my last year at JU, I barely even felt like myself most of the time. Because of some mistakes that I had made, there were certain people and certain professors that I just hated having to be around. I walked around campus fearful. I was afraid that if I said the wrong thing, did the wrong thing, was the wrong thing that someone (in particular) would go out of their way to prevent me from graduating. In my last semester, there were very few places on campus, and even fewer classes where I felt at ease to be myself and vulnerable. I was going through all the correct Judson motions just so I could come out in one piece on the other side.

I would say to myself, "You only have to do this a little longer and then you're free." Isn't that sad? It's sad that at a Christian school, where I should be able (and encouraged!) to be myself, I felt like if I wasn't fitting into the cookie-cutter mold they were trying to cram me into, I wasn't going to succeed. It also saddens me to look back on my college experience and realize that the feelings I experienced most were anxiety, anger, and bitterness. I told my friend Meghan the other day that the most valuable thing I learned during my time at Judson was how to handle and manage my anger and bitterness (which I'm still not very good at doing, btw).

Wow. This post has been super depressing so far. Sorry about that--I'm not one for sugar-coating things. But, you should know, that along with all that crappiness above, I still value my time at JU. I don't regret going to school there, because:

1). Because of all the crap that went down in those 4 years, I have grown tremendously. I am not the same person I was when I was 18, just coming to college.

2). I have had some truly amazing, life-altering, affirming experiences through Judson that I otherwise would not have had if I didn't go to school there. I have travelled across the world to Kenya, Haiti, and China. I have had my dream of doing missions work affirmed in my life by professors and mentors who I respect and look up to.

(Left to Right) Margaret, Kimberly, Kels, Sarah, Molly, Tiffany, Meghan
The kiss that sealed the deal
3). I have met good people who I know will be in my life forever. I have made some of the strongest relationships I have ever had by going to JU. I met my husband, my best girlfriends, and some strong and present mentors there.

But all in all, now that I have my degree, I feel FREE. Free from the anxiety, fake-ness, and the people. I feel free to move on with my life. And I'm not looking back. So, no. I'm not going to miss Judson.

Not even a little bit.


  1. Amen sister! I agree on all accounts :)

  2. I'm glad to know I'm not the only person who feels like that about JU. This is my last semester and when I'm in your position I'm positive I'll be feeling the same exact thing.

  3. Ladies, it's really sad to me that it's not just my story...that more people have experienced this at JU. Unfortunately, that's the reality...