Don’t feel lucky. Feel at home.
I try not to define life in terms of successes or failures. But in some areas, it’s almost impossible not to. I’ve learned that many times, perceived failures can lead to even bigger successes. The best example of this is the sheer fact that I’m sitting in the chair I am as I write this.
You may or may not know that I am the only admissions counselor on our staff that didn’t attend OBU. I had a much different college experience at a much (MUCH) larger state university. You might think I’m about to say that my failure was going there instead of OBU, but you would be wrong. The truth of the matter is that I’m only sitting here because I went there.
I began as a biology major, intending to go on to medical school. Turns out though that science is hard (physics and organic chemistry ate my lunch) and giant classes didn’t afford me the help I didn’t even know I needed. After graduating (and changing my major four times), I thought medical school was still my calling. It was only after taking the MCAT several times and getting a few rejection letters that I saw a glimpse of God’s plan and instead went to grad school for counseling. The bigger truth here is that God doesn’t let us in on His plan until we’re ready to jump in head first.
Even on this leg of my journey, I felt like a failure for not getting into medical school. Since working at OBU, I have realized that had I come to school as an undergrad here, I very likely would have gotten into medical school and by now would be a doctor well beyond residency. It took me some time to get past this and realize that everyone’s path looks different, but if God is leading, then it’s the right one.
So what’s the point of this? My point is that you should be ready to trust God wherever He’s leading you. I make it a point to tell every student I meet that OBU might not be the best fit…and that’s okay. (After all, I went somewhere else…and I think I turned out okay.) BUT if you want a college experience that will intrinsically push you to make your faith your own, grow you academically (with TONS of support), and have what I missed out on by not coming to OBU, then maybe this place should be your home. And maybe you’ll be able to make that decision earlier in life than I did.
Even though I wasn’t here as a student, the people at OBU have become my family – and THAT is exactly what I want for all of the students and families I meet – FAMILY. So although my story started out as a failure, it ultimately led to one of my biggest successes by finding my calling in life and finding a family for each day I come to work. If this was the case for someone who started as an admissions counselor, think of what it would look like for an incoming student!
In the end, in measuring my failures and successes, I count being at OBU as one of my biggest successes. It all seems so very arbitrary. I applied for a job here because they were hiring. I took a desk in the middle because it was empty. But no matter how you get there or where you end up, human beings have this miraculous gift to make that place home. It took me a little while longer to get here, but from where I sit, I just feel lucky. Don’t feel lucky. Feel at home.