Senior statements: holding on and letting go

By Bojana Jankova

Four Goshen College seniors presented their senior statements during convocation on Monday.  In their speeches, Anna Pasquarello, Errick McCollum, Piper Voge, and Steve Cress reflected on their experience at Goshen College.

Pasquarello, a music technology major, stated that at first she didn’t really like Goshen College. “I didn’t fit in,” said Pasquarello. She had no Mennonite affiliations and wasn’t sure what she wanted to major in, but the college challenged her ideas about God, community, and travel.  Looking back at her Goshen College experience, Pasquarello says she is “glad [she] ended up staying.” After graduation, she is taking a year off to do work related to art, music, and people. She suggested that Goshen College students should take time to make experiences they will remember 10 years from now.

McCollum, a business major and member of the men’s basketball team, noted in his speech that a main reason he came to Goshen was because he felt comfortable here. McCollum said that as corny as it sounds, Goshen College “just felt right.” He said that he has become a more outgoing person and learned to be a leader. After college, he plans to play basketball for few years and then work in the business field.

Voge is a communications major and the head of the Student Senate for 2009/10 school year.  She was home-schooled before coming to Goshen, and didn’t think colleges would understand her academic background. After graduating from high school, the only school she applied to was Goshen College before heading to Europe to travel. Getting into Goshen College made her work hard and become a better person. “I came to college a caterpillar, and I’m leaving a butterfly,” Voge said. She is grateful for the amazing friends she met here at Goshen, and suggested that students take note of who people are, rather than what they do.

Cress, a physics major from Ohio with a minor in music, reflected on the things Goshen College and its seniors should hold on to and what they should let go. Among other things, Cress suggested that Goshen College let go of the perception that it is solely a Mennonite institution, of the national anthem tension, of the crumble burger at the Rott, and of racing the train.  He also said that Goshen College should hold on to its core values, the energy that comes with May term, as well as the name for the cafeteria: the Rott. He also suggested that Bible and religion professor Paul Keim hold on to his beard. According to Cress, seniors should let go of the comforts of wireless internet, quarter saving for laundry, and unfortunately, to let go of the comfort that good friends will be always be close by. He also said that seniors should treasure the progressive spirit, the social and environmental awareness, and most importantly they should hold on to the great relationships they have made at Goshen.

At the end of convocation, Goshen College seniors were encouraged to sign the graduation pledge, which encourages them to take into account the social and environmental consequences of any jobs they accept in the future, and improve any organizations for which they work.

Written by Kate Walker

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