By Brooks Whitehurst
I once heard a friend describe the surreal and intimidating experience of realizing that he only had one more year left at Baylor. Not intimidating in the sense that the toils and work load of his final two semesters would be daunting, or even that he was intimidated by finally having to figure out what he was going to do with himself after the guise of academia faded away. He was intimidated by his own sense of fulfillment.
Would he look back at his four years and have regret? Would he wish that he had done more, or would he wish that he had done something different?
I would be willing to bet that every person that is or has been a senior at Baylor has had similar feelings at some point. I know I have.
Looking back at the previous three years of my life, I really don’t have many big regrets. I’ve invested my time in things that I truly believe are changing the world. I’ve laughed, quite a bit I might add. Still, I’ve made quite a hefty portion of mistakes, learned how to make them right and apologized when I couldn’t.
Despite all the things I’ve learned and all the ways I’ve grown and changed, when I looked forward this summer and thought about my senior year, I had the same feelings of intimidation toward my own fulfillment in my senior year.
For my friend, the pinnacle of accomplishment was being able to give other students a similar experience to what he had. He came into college a vastly different person than when he left. Through Baylor students, and the church he attended, his life changed for the better. In true “pro ecclesia” fashion, he wanted to reinvest what had been invested in him.
As many athletes will know, the most rewarding feeling in any athletic event is to have left it all on the field. For those not as familiar with sports jargon, the saying simply means that an athlete has done everything he or she can to contribute to the success of the team.
As my friend thought about his upcoming senior year, and as I thought about it months ago (and even still now), I can’t help but think that all we really want to have done is “left it all on the field.”
Academically, spiritually and relationally I find myself wanting to give everything I have to my senior year. I want to actually do my work, and know my professors. I want to invest deeply in friendships that I already have, but also make new ones. I want to meet underclassmen and show them the joy I’ve been given through Jesus Christ and a community of believers.
It would be easy to give into the sweeping epidemic of senioritis and only do the most immediately fulfilling things that are laid in front of me. I think, though, that for all the seniors wondering how to best spend their final months, the key is not spending it on ourselves.
More and more, as I consider how seniors can make the most of their final year in Waco, I’m convinced that our fulfillment lies in giving away the things we’ve received.
Brooks Whitehurst is a junior journalism major from Longview. He is a reporter for the Lariat.