Four graduating seniors write about their experiences at Eastern

Multiple ECards bring multiple memories

By Tremonisha Martin

When people ask me if I’m ready to graduate, I simply inform them that I’m on my fifth ECard.

I think getting to ECard number five is a poignant indicator that your Eastern University experience should be approaching its finale. Especially if it has been five cards in four years….shhhh. I always seem to find the ones I lose immediately after I get another one.

Despite that fact that I am glancing around tentatively as I stand in the security line and wait for a re-printed ECard a month before my undergraduate studies are scheduled to end, I don’t actually feel all that bad.

Yes, all those ECards have been a bit of a waste of money, and yes, here at Eastern not having an ECard is the equivalent of being at an international airport without a passport, but as a senior getting ready to walk across that stage, I’m dang proud of the fact that I’ve stuck it out for so long that I’ve needed five ECards.

Eastern University has not been easy. It has not been idealistic. And it certainly has not been cheap. But I can truly say that it has been worthwhile.

We were completely different people our first year. Male voices were still developing, and the ladies were timid and uncertain. McInnis seemed like a towering giant, and I had no idea where Heritage even was. But through the years, through the prayers, through the heart-to-heart conversations and through the encouragement of friends and family, God has given me the strength to survive.

I’m not sad about leaving; it’s time to move on. However, I will truly miss my friends, the professors who cared and the beautiful campus of Eastern University.

I wonder if I can still use my ECard when I come back to visit.

College degrees should reflect passion, not dollars

By Joe Gargano

Five years ago, I set out to study computers at Widener University. The plan was to get a degree, get a job and make boat loads of money.

And now graduation stands on my door step, and I am graduating as an English major.

My understanding of college as a first-year was fairly problematic. I thought people went to college to one day get higher paying jobs; student plus college equals dollar signs.

You have heard it said that money does not buy happiness, well neither does a fancy degree. It only took one tedious computer class for me to find this out, but three long semesters after that to find something that I was passionate about.

Once I found my passion, I only wanted to protect and cultivate it. As a growing Christian, I decided it best to do both of these at a Christian school.

I was a junior when I came to Eastern and finally declared my major.

Commuting all five years of college probably helped prolong my declaration of my major. Being outside of college life gave me a little too much time to think about what I might do rather than what I wanted to do.

Thankfully, venues to practice my passion opened up to me. In my second semester here, I joined the Waltonian and received huge fellowship and guidance from the staff.

It was an experience that helped me to not only focus my passion on a specific vocation, but to help me see how I could serve others with something I am passionate about.

The icing on my college cake would have to be getting engaged to my girlfriend, Alycia Scarito.

She, perhaps best, encompasses all that I have learned in my college career; be who you are, love your creator, love yourself and let others love you.

College means more than just getting good grades

By Megan Wilder

It is my last Friday night as an undergraduate student, and I am in the library doing my homework. As I sit here typing, I recall all the other nights I spent here. I am going to be sad to leave this comfortable space when my time here is done.

My first year at Eastern, I became good friends with a senior; we spent all our time in the library. We always sat at the same two cubicles, and were often tempted to decorate them in order to make studying seem more exciting. In order to cheer ourselves up, we lovingly called our time in the library “study parties.” It just seemed natural that college should be about studying.

I naively spent my first semester at Eastern attempting to read every single word assigned by my professors. It took me almost four years to realize college is not solely about studying. College is about growing and changing. It is about living in community.

When I remember my time at Eastern, I am going to remember the friends and professors who supported me when it seemed as if the world was crashing in around me. I am going to remember the joyous times I was able to celebrate with true friends.

Years from now, when I am telling my grandchildren about college, the grades I received will not matter, but the friendships I built and the life lessons I learned will. I arrived at Eastern unsure of my new surroundings and myself.

Over the past four years, I have learned to be happy with who I am, with what I can accomplish and with what my purpose is. As I prepare to graduate, I find myself not headed in the direction I had planned.

Fortunately, my time at Eastern has taught me that uncertainty is permissible. Life at Eastern University has prepared me well for whatever will happen next. As May 13 draws near, I am happy and sad; happy to be done, and sad to be leaving. I wish all those graduating with me well in the future.

My Eastern stretch

By Zachary Campbell

My time at Eastern University can probably best be described as a stretching experience. I’ve been stretched mentally, emotionally and spiritually. My mind has been stretched by new ideas and massive amounts of knowledge (much of it mathematical).

It was exciting and scary at first to hear all the new stuff around me – all the different social causes, moral debates and intellectual quandaries. The plethora of ideas was slightly overwhelming, but my mind has stretched to accommodate, and grown to better serve me through it all. Mathematically (since that’s most important), I’ve been very challenged and enjoyed every second of it.

I’ve encountered new and different “flavors” of Christianity, and they’ve turned out to be surprisingly less foreign than expected. These have challenged, stretched, and in some ways, changed my own beliefs, which are now in much clearer focus.

I’ve gotten to know, appreciate and love people I most likely would never have spent the time on if I hadn’t met them here. As an RA my sophomore year, I spent time with people very different from myself, and come out a better person for it. And I confess to being the stereotypical Eastern student who met his future wife here and is engaged before graduation. Totally unexpected and totally amazing.

As I come to the end of my time at Eastern, I feel that the stretching was worth it. Athletes stretch before they begin a game, and my time at college has been a stretch to prepare for the “real world” (okay, grad school). And just like stretching muscles, sometimes it has hurt, but in the end I’ve come out better for the stretching.

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