Welcome back, everyone! Searcy summer is never the same without you all here. (Except the parking. That part is beautiful!) This summer, I have been trying to brainstorm ways to engage the student body in what we are doing as a Student Association (SA), and so, I am thankful that The Bison has given me this space.
When this summer started, I had very little idea what this school year would look like for the SA. We only had a theme: “Be Present.” Though this may sound cliché to a few people, I believe that it will be able to speak to our unique position as students at a Christian university. We are constantly bombarded with distractions, which detract from our human interaction. This often interferes with the mission of loving people. Exploring presence will allow us to grow in our empathy and to more fully understand and appreciate each other.
With all this in mind, when I found out that my friends sophomore Lindsey Bender and junior Luke Humphrey were making the theme of Impact “Adventure Awaits,” I wondered how I was going to be able to integrate that theme into mine. They’re opposites, right? And I’m a little cynical. However, after quite a bit of brainstorming with them, I realized that the two are not opposite themes — they’re ultimately reliant on each other.
We are not all freshmen, or sophomores, or even juniors. Some of us have very little “adventure” ahead of us at Harding. But still, isn’t this a great way to look at life? There’s always something to look toward and always something that will give us beauty.
So, when I stood in front of the crowd at Convocation to try and tell the adventure-awaiting new students why they should participate in being present, I just told them what you all already know: having adventure and being present both require leaving the past behind. Who you were in high school, or at another school, or even last week only matter if you allow it to keep defining you. College is the perfect place to decide the kind of person you’re going to be in the here and now, as well as moving forward. You must decide to give your present opportunities and experiences you have a chance.
So, I would like to invite all of you to join the Student Association in being present this year, because adventure awaits!