I’m currently laying down on my mattress pad…on my bedroom floor. My bed is sold. My walls are cleared of all decorations. My room is empty. I’m typing this on my phone because I have no internet.
I graduated today.
I turn 22 years old in 55 minutes.
I’m leaving her in about 12 hours.
She has been my home for four years. She has transformed me from a timid 18 year old to a man seeking to serve the world. She has shown me struggle and pain, triump and victory.
When I say that I left Baylor. I don’t mean Waco,TX. I don’t mean the giant stadium nor do I mean all the academic buildings.
When I start my long drive home tomorrow the sadness that comes over me has everything to do with the people I will not see everyday. The people I used to run into at a stoplight. The people I used to see in the library. The people I used to awkwardly wave it. Gosh I’m going to miss them.
It’s a scary thought, you know. To see people everyday for four years and then realize you will probably never see them again.
It wakes me up.
It allows me to reflect and think about how each person on campus has touched my life in some way.
I can put on a smile mask and say,
“We will catch up soon!”
“Let’s meet up again at some point!”
“I’ll see you next year I just know it.”
I truly do hope I see everyone again. I am not saying I don’t wish it. However, by saying that it serves as a coping mechanism. It prevents me from pouring out my heart and letting the people know, as if this was my last moment with them, why they matter.
If we fake it, we destroy vulnerability and openness.
We need to live in such a way where we treat every encounter like a final goodbye.
So today, I want to say thank you to the people of Baylor. To my family and friends outside of my university. Thank you for building me up with your love.
Thank you to the teachers that listened to me. The teachers that opened my eyes to the pain of the world so I can be an agent for change. The teachers that reminded me to never compromise the truth. The teachers that sacrificed their time to build me up as a student.
Thank you to my friends that lifted me up when my heart was heavy. The friends that pushed me to be a man of character. The friends that reminded me that I matter.
Thank you to my family for being excited for me. Family that laughs at my stories and cries at my misfortune. Family that prays for my safety and guidance. Family that calls to encourage.
Thank you to the strangers that changed my life. The strangers that smiled at me during test weeks. The strangers that left positive messages all throughout the library. The strangers that cleaned up my mess when my life seemed to spill all over the floor.
Most importantly, thank you Lord for sending the people of Baylor University into my life.
I have learned by example.
Even though I have left her. Everything the people of Baylor have taught me will never leave the well of my heart.