On behalf of the entire Templeton Honors College, I’d like to say welcome to the freshman cohort of 2018! Whether you traveled thousands of miles or drove twenty minutes down the road, we are so excited that all twenty-nine of you are here at Eastern. Each of you has come for different reasons; perhaps you participated in the Summer Scholars Program, sat in on a Templeton class, or visited campus over Winter Weekend. Whatever caused you to come here, know that this is the start of a life-changing journey.
On a rainy Friday afternoon at Wayne Presbyterian Church, Dr. Amy Richards mentioned this journey in her matriculation address. She, a member of the first Honors College cohort, experienced the adventure that all of us students have embarked on. Throughout her talk, Dr. Richards offered an invitation to the members of the 20th cohort, and to anyone who might wonder what kind of journey they are on: “come and see.”
As a junior, it has been two years since I decided to “come and see” what the Templeton Honors College is all about. Realizing that I have reached the halfway point in my time as an undergraduate, I have been reflecting on what my freshman and sophomore years have taught me thus far. While I could spend days recounting the conversations and experiences that impacted me, I will share just a few thoughts.
First, allow yourself to be confused. Feel peace in saying, “I don’t know.” Do not worry about having all the answers at the onset. If you were to understand everything, there would be no point to being a student! As Dr. Richards put it, “seek truth and long for beauty.” The gift of the Honors College is having incredible professors and peers who are pondering the same questions; they are people you can be vulnerable with and ask for their insight.
This leads me to a second observation from my time spent at Templeton: treasure every moment–big and small–spent with friends. Go to a diner in the middle of the night, gather a group to play guitar and sing in Kea Lounge, or take study breaks to watch the sunset. Drink coffee (or tea) together and talk about the highs and lows of your week. Pack a car and take a road trip, whether it be to a different state or just the Wawa down the street. Cherish the company around you and simply be together.
Finally, set aside time in your day to be silent; this is something I still struggle to practice. In the midst of all the questions, assignments, and noise of college life, find a chance to “be still and know…” (Psalm 46:10). Seek out a church body where you can establish roots to grow and worship alongside people in the community. When all seems impossible, rest on God’s grace to finish the tasks before you and to love others as He loves us.
As you go about your freshman year, Cohort of 2018, find peace in confusion, relish in new friendships, and continually seek the Lord’s face. The Templeton Honors College is immensely blessed to have you!
Grace Newman (’20) is an Education major in the Templeton Honors College. In her spare time, Grace is involved in the Templeton Women’s Bible study on campus, and enjoys spending time with her friends and family.