From time to time, about this time of the year, I’ve offered some “Grungy” advice to our seniors. What follows are two thoughts.
1. Take a campus tour…by yourself. Don’t follow a set path or the sidewalks. Follow your heart. If it leads to the 50 yard line, go there. If it leads to a lab in Hays Science Hall, go there. If it leads you up one set of stairs in Center Hall and down another set, go there. If it takes you to Chadwick Court, go there. In between stops, it’s almost mandatory to stop and take it all in. What is “all” will vary from person to person. At my stage in life, “all” is the fresh cut of the lawn, the coolness of an April morning, and the force for good and learning you feel at “this good place.” But it isn’t my campus tour and it is not your last campus tour. This walk is a time out…a brief escape from the time-crunched present to ponder where you were, where you’re going, and what the impact of Wabash – people, places, things – has been on you. You won’t need to memorize any images and signs – trust me on this. They will remain vivid…for as long as you live.
2. Focus on the whole…not a part of the whole. I transferred from one high school to another last century…I did that in part because I knew my life was headed in a different direction. But another part was a small incident that happened near the end of the school year. In all honesty, I don’t even recall the incident…I just knew it PO’d me and I blew it way out of proportion. Don’t let this happen to you. Don’t let a small bad taste in your mouth, maybe a disagreement over something or with someone, cloud your view of Wabash. You’ll find there’s no place on earth that’s perfect…even as you search for perfection. Everything is imperfect…it just means the world is ready for you, Wabash man of 2015, to take it another step closer to perfection.
So, as you get ready to walk across that stage in a few weeks, think back to picking up that red folder on Freshman Saturday a few years ago and fast forward to the man you are as you Commence. Hug Mom…shake Dad’s hand, thank Coaches and Professors, and walk away knowing that the entire Wabash experience – the good and the bad – made you the world changer you are now.