As I approach my fourth and final year at LSU, I cannot help but be thankful for the past three years. When I think back to the person I was entering college, and the person I am now I see a radical change. Over the past three years, I have learned three important lessons, and ironically, each of these lessons comes from my various involvements on campus.
First, use your time to contribute positively to the surrounding community, and be an active citizen.
During my time at LSU, I have been involved with Reformed University Fellowship. RUF is a campus ministry of the Presbyterian Church of America (PCA) and welcomes students from any and all walks of life. RUF holds a special place in my heart. I’ll never forget the phone call that I made to my mother after one of our large group meetings. Our large group focused heavily on international missions and informed us of an opportunity to serve at a orphanage in Acapulco, Mexico. My parents, though skeptical of sending me across the border, supported me in one of the best decisions of my entire life. My experience at Casa Hogar was unforgettable. I served along side students from LSU as well as students from Western Kentucky University. In that short week, I learned more about love, unity, and strength than ever before.
Although I could talk about my experience in Mexico for days, the point of the matter is that there is an entire world outside of LSU. Be open to the possibilities to serve others whether it is overseas or locally.
Another important lesson that I have learned is that you need to accept responsibility when you are challenged.
One of the most rewarding experiences I have ever been apart of was serving on the Student Activities Board. During my sophomore and junior year, I served on the Executive Council as the music chair, and I learned many valuable life lessons. The year long experience allowed me to identify my own strengths and weaknesses. I learned that sometimes you have to make sacrifices in order to get things accomplished. One of my biggest accomplishments was planning the Back to School Concert featuring Ben Rector. Planning a concert while you are 9 hours away at camp can be slightly hectic, but with the help of my advisor we pulled it off. Although the concert took a lot of sleepless nights, and countless emails seeing the joy on students face made every sacrifice worth it.
Although not every student may find himself or herself in this situation, it is important to realize one thing. The challenges that you will face will mold you into a better person. My experience with SAB, allowed me to grow so much more professionally and prepare me for the “real world”.
Finally, I learned to respect others despite individual differences. When I joined a Christian social fraternity, I learned more about individual differences than I expected. Each member in our fraternity comes from a very different background, yet we unite together under a common bond. BYX has helped me appreciate how the little differences make us a stronger chapter. Another way I learned this lesson was through the S.T.R.I.P.E.S program. This past summer I served as a small group leader with 57 of the most talented and driven individuals, and through that experience I learned that each person works differently. Just because one small group leader facilitates an activity differently than another does not make them any less of a leader.
As an LSU student, it is important that we realize our Commitment to Community. Ironically, many of my experiences over the last three years have instilled a sense of tiger pride that I will take with me far beyond my time at LSU.
In all honesty, my time at LSU has been remarkable. The four years that you have at LSU will go by fast. For me, my involvement at LSU has made my experience beyond memorable. It has shaped me in ways that I never could have dreamed of. No matter what your student is interested in, LSU has something for them. LSU has the potential to change your life; it changed mine.
And may thy spirit live in us, Forever L-S-U!