Features Latest News

PLNU Alumni: Letter to my Senior Year Self

Who else is counting down the days until graduation? Seniors, we’re almost there. For however long you have been at PLNU, I’m sure it has been a journey with moments that will make you smile and other moments where you will laugh and say, “Glad that’s over!” 

As this chapter in our lives comes to its close, figuring out the next chapter can be a difficult transition.

Three PLNU alumni — Rachel Brady (applied health major), Bethany Mavis (Adjunct Professor of Multimedia Journalism) and Karl Martin (Professor of American Literature) — answered the question: “What would you say to your senior year self?”

Rachel Brady, class of ‘17

If I could sit down with my 21-year-old self, I’d tell her that life is going to change a lot but to trust the process. I’d want her to trust herself and her ability to evolve beyond the spiritual and social norms she’s been taught. I would tell her that there’s a lot of goodness in how she was raised but that there’s an infinite amount more that can only be found by leaving that world. 

I’d tell her not to be afraid of where she finds truth. I’d tell her that she’s allowed to reinvent herself everyday because life is always changing, so she should too. I’d tell her that she doesn’t need to shape herself around what others expect of her and that she’ll feel the most free once she learns this. I’d want her to value curiosity over knowing, let herself fall in love, and be okay with making waves over pleasing others. 

Bethany Mavis, class of ‘09

Don’t take yourself so seriously. The little things you dwell on or beat yourself up about aren’t as important as you think they are. Give yourself grace, learn from your mistakes and move on. You’ll have a more positive attitude and easy going demeanor, which are attractive to any employer. 

Stay humble. Getting a degree doesn’t mean you know everything, even if it can give you a sense of confidence and accomplishment. In every situation, look for opportunities to learn and grow, and humbly accept constructive feedback from those who have already found success in their jobs. 

Look for the open doors. My career success has come from saying “yes” to opportunities that came across my path, then working hard to make the most of them. Don’t wait for the “perfect job” to drop into your lap — turn your opportunities into great jobs. 

Slow down, and soak it up. My senior year was a blur — I had moved off campus and was so eager to be done with school that I didn’t enjoy those final weeks and months. I would tell myself to savor it more — the community, the fun events and the Loma sunsets. PLNU is a special place, one you don’t fully appreciate until you’re gone. 

Karl Martin, class of ‘81

The easiest answer relates to relationships. I’d tell myself to foster friendships without worrying so much about finding a life partner because the process of finding a partner for life cannot be rushed or forced.

On the professional side, I’d tell myself to have more conversations with men and women who are in the profession I was interested in pursuing. 

And, of course, since I’d be going back to 1981, I’d tell myself to invest in Microsoft stock as soon as possible!

Written By: Mel Quijano