My Timehop tells me that April 1, 2011, was the day that I announced to all 350 of my Facebook friends that I would be attending Xavier University that fall. Four years later, I stand at the brink of leaving the place that has not only become my home, but has been my support system and, despite frustrations for so many reasons, has become my own sanctuary.
Before I came to Xavier, I had it all figured out. I swore I knew who I was and what I wanted to do with my life and had a foolproof plan of exactly how I was going to get there. Four years later, even I am dumbfounded by my own stupidity. But hindsight is always 20/20.
With graduation looming in the near future, nostalgia, anticipation and uncertainty are in the air. Where am I going to live? How will I make money? Who will I meet? But this time around, I am smart enough to admit that “I don’t know” is a completely valid answer.
Alright, I’m a theology major (don’t ask what I’m going to do with my degree, I get enough of that from my parents) so let’s get some theology involved. I’m reminded of a prayer by the Trappist monk, Thomas Merton, that begins, “My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.”
That in mind, dear reader, saying “I have no idea where I am going” is actually completely terrifying and exciting and satisfying. We are at the top of one of the many rollercoaster hills and are looking straight down at the ground, just as our stomachs start to churn from the drop The best part about this time in our lives is that we are allowed to still be finding ourselves. After four years of hard work (for most of us ― I’m looking at you, marketing majors) we have a piece of paper that tells us that we went to college. It tells us that we are supposed to have knowledge about the subject that our degree is in. We are not required to know what we want from this life yet. Most of the time, we are not required to know what we want for dinner. This is the time for trial and error, for entry-level positions we end up hating or finding a job nowhere close to the area our piece of paper tells us we know about. If nothing else, we can check off one more thing we know we don’t want to do.
In my humble opinion, Xavier is the prime environment for learning about yourself. This place has surrounded me with people that amaze me every day. From tipsy conversations about the meaning of life,to retreats where God is one step closer, Xavier has provided me with people to do it all. Perhaps every trek through the snow despite every other school closing was worth it (yes, I’m still a little bitter).
Without getting too cliché or teary-eyed, I’m going to end this column the way I will end my four years at Xavier: thankful. Thankful for the people that have come into my life, the experiences I’ve had here and for the opportunities that are yet to come my way.
As a wise half-giant once said, “What’s comin’ will come, an’ we’ll meet it when it does.”
Staff Writer Richard Meyer is a senior theology major from Findlay, Ohio.