It is my senior year at Point Loma Nazarene University, and if you aren’t familiar with this particular column, I pity you. You’ve missed out on one of the most joyous pleasures life has to offer: reading my column. Luckily, you are here reading these words now; the words that comprise my final entry into the “Stupid Cupid” compendium. I know, it might feel natural to cry over the fact that Cupid is finished but please save those tears for your children as they walk across the stage and shake Bobby B’s hand.
This past year I have used this space to talk about the concept of dating and relationships within the environment of PLNU. Every week The Point published a paper, my column would show up on the last page, answering a specific question from a concerned student.
Sometimes I wrote about goofy things like relational red flags, meeting the parents, and first date smooches. Other times, things got pretty serious, and I wrote about undergrad marriage, codependency, and optimal love.
Now with my time as a student here — and my time writing for the paper — wrapping up, I thought I could speak on a few topics I’ve learned while preparing to graduate and continue my life in post-grad. Topics that I feel are pertinent to hear at any point in one’s life. Here are my musings:
Change is inevitable. It comes upon us slowly, creeping up behind us. Sometimes it comes from before us and its approach is so methodical and calculated, we stare it right in the eyes as it advances, yet act surprised when it finally reaches us.
When it arrives, and it surely will arrive, there will be nothing for us to do. We must accept the change, whatever it may be, as reality and continue on with ourselves, our lives, for what is the alternative? Remain stagnant? Carry on in a state of hollow security? Abide in decadent comfort?
Change comes when we step out of what is comfortable and embrace what is disagreeable or unpleasant. Change can come in many shapes and sizes. Physical, mental, and spiritual change are all types that I have experienced during my undergrad and expect to experience in postgrad as well.
In these moments of discomfort, when life became unbearable, it was the love of others that carried me through the troubling time. I’m grateful that I had people like my family, professors and true friends in my corner, encouraging me to press on.
In those moments of discomfort, if I had chosen to remain or retreat, there would have been no growth for me. I was able to mature and develop because of the realization that stagnation was death. The moments in which change occurred, and personal growth flourished, were times I felt uncomfortable and continued on thanks to the love of those around me.
The immediate change that awaits me — and a lot of seniors — looks quite daunting at the moment. Moving away from a community I have cultivated over 4 years, terminating an academic lifetime that has spanned 18 years of my 22 year existence, and basically taking the first step on the journey that is the rest of my life. I am not staying in San Diego. After this summer, I am moving back home with my parents and looking for work. I do not know what is in store for me. I do not know what the future holds.
Despite this abyss of uncertainty I find gaping before me, I stand resolute in my decision to leave the Point Loma community that I have learned to love and cherish for so many years.
Point Loma is a bubble of repose. There are few populations in the world that exhibit the same amount of kindness and respect for others that Loma does. However, these high levels of compassion are not an accurate gauge of how the real world functions, in my humble opinion.
The real world is hostile. It does not care who I am or who my mother and father are. In the year of 2022, the citizen does not function as homo politicus, but instead as homo oeconomicus. My worth is found in the dollar and the state. I am valuable based on what I can earn for myself and my country, or so I’m told by the authorities that oversee such proceedings. Thankfully at Point Loma, I have learned this is not the Truth.
I must venture out of this bubble and experience true discomfort if I ever wish to change and grow. We are not meant to stay here our whole lives. I wish to carry the love of this place to the brokenness of the world. I echo the sentiments of a wise Franciscan Monk, “May God bless me with enough foolishness to believe that I can make a difference in this world, so that I can do what others claim cannot be done.”
Would I love to one day return and teach a few American literature classes at PLNU? Yes, of course I would, but that’s something that I would hope to expect later in my life after I have gone into the world and lived apart from the place that has given me so much and made me who I am. We are called to go out into the world and share the love of God, for the love of God.
So, thank you to Point Loma and the people that I have met along my journey. Thank you to the people that loved me and the people that didn’t. I have learned the importance of change. I have learned the power of growth. I have felt the power of love. I now hope to find a meaningful community in my post-grad life, a community that resembles PLNU, where I can continue to grow in my faith and hopefully wander into circumstances of that same caliber of love.
Thanks for reading.