As a high school student Benjamin Craig's motto was, "Here's my plate, load it on." He brought that mentality with him to Emmanuel, where he has always been ready to take on a new opportunity.
Rounding out Founders’ Week, the Class of 2019 gathered in the Emmanuel College Chapel on January 31st for the 100 Days Celebration, an annual candlelit ceremony in which the graduating class gathers to celebrate 100 days until Commencement and reflect on the impact of Emmanuel’s mission in their lives.
This tradition offers an opportunity for members of the graduating class to reflect on their upcoming transition from Emmanuel College students to Emmanuel College alumni. The following reflection is the creative work of Courtney Simon '19, who is preparing to graduate from Emmanuel College in May 2019. A Communication & Media Studies major, Simon wrote a letter to her fellow classmates leading up to the 100 Days Celebration, ruminating on her journey to becoming an Emmanuel College student and how that journey has prepared her to go forth.
Dear Class of 2019:
January 31st marked 100 days until we walk across the stage to receive our diplomas. To be 100 days away from starting the rest of our lives is quite scary, yet exhilarating at the same time. As I'm sitting here writing this, I am reflecting on my time here at Emmanuel College. It has been the most unpredictable rollercoaster ride, but I realized that the ride is almost done.
I'll equate my college experience to rollercoaster rides: You get in line and you're not sure what to expect from the ride. You see the ride in motion. You hear screams and hear stories about the ride, which makes you nervous, but it's still something you have to experience for yourself. You see people getting on and getting off the ride, but you don't know what the ride is like until you sit down, fasten your seatbelt and prepare for what's to come. Once the ride is over, you can't help but go into a frenzy of emotions. You know that feeling you get after getting off a rollercoaster? You get that overwhelming sensation that you did it and that you can do anything. Anything feels possible, and this sense of power and achievement floods through your heart.
College has shown me what I am capable of, but most importantly, it's shaped me into the person I am today. I would not be who I am without Emmanuel College. The people I've met here are some of the greatest people I know. Emmanuel College breeds greatness. There is no doubt in my mind about that. Emmanuel is a place that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
When I was 18 years old, sifting through what colleges I wanted to go to, I thought I knew my destination. I'm sure we all thought we knew everything we needed to at the age of 18. I chose to attend a different university to major in Fashion Merchandising. I sincerely believed that my first college choice was where I wanted to be for the next four years of my life. As we all know, life happens, and feelings change for reasons we can't seem to understand. As a freshman halfway through her first semester of college, I sat in my dorm crying, wondering if my first choice was the right choice for me. College was supposed to be the best four years of my life, because let's face it: high school was not. I'm sure we can all relate-high school was a drag-but college was our shot to shape who we wanted to be and our chance to find our people. So, I wiped my tears and decided to hunt for a school closer to home. The first school I came across was Emmanuel College, and from that point on, I knew I was supposed to be on that campus. I want to say that it was love at first website. The sense of community I got from the website alone was all I needed to make my decision. Once I got my acceptance letter from Emmanuel, it was a no-brainer; Emmanuel College was where I needed to be, and it was the best decision I ever made.
The 100 Days Ceremony transcends the celebration of our upcoming graduation. It truly is so much more than that. It's a time for us to come together and celebrate the people we've become and the people we will be going forward. I look at my boyfriend and I think to myself, "If it wasn't for Emmanuel, I wouldn't have met such an amazing person." I look at my friends and I think to myself, "I wouldn't have these phenomenal, headstrong women in my life if it weren't for Emmanuel." I have made so many significant friendships in my short time here at Emmanuel College that the words, "Thank you," can't express the gratitude I feel toward this school and the people in it.
The countdown has seriously begun. Here we are, indulging ourselves with celebratory wine and beer, because as graduating seniors we're of age to drink at school events now. Laughter of people I love so dearly fills the air. I know we all wish we could stop time and savor these moments forever. It's bittersweet to know that there are only 100 days left of undergrad, but if I've learned anything in my time here at Emmanuel, it's this: Class of 2019, every single one of you is remarkable in your own way. Even if I didn't know you, you're at Emmanuel College, and that speaks volumes about your character. To my dear friends and to the special Class of 2019, we have 100 days left to finish the rollercoaster ride that is Emmanuel College. Cheers to 100 days. Cheers to 100 years of Emmanuel. Strap in, get ready and hold a friend close because we're about to embark on the best ride of our lives.
Courtney Simon '19