Last weekend as I attended spring Kick-Off and Billy Funk’s senior show, I was reminded why I love Goshen College.

Maybe it was the exceptionally strong talent, or the pulsing energy of the crowd, or the way the audience cheered when Funk proposed to Alita Yoder at the end of his recital (congratulations, you two!). Or maybe I’m just sentimental because I’m a senior and won’t be seeing any more Kick-Offs and senior shows after this year. Whatever it was, I sensed a lot of positive energy and — dare I say — community on campus over the weekend.

We talk so much about community at Goshen College that it might as well be a sixth core value, but rarely do I feel the sort of full-blown, campus-wide camaraderie that we hold so near and dear to our hearts. Last weekend, though, that community spirit was palpable. From Funk’s comical impression of Edgar Degas to Scott Hostetler’s cheer-inducing salsa dance at Kick-Off, I found myself impressed not only by the talent at GC, but also by the ways GC students and staff applauded and supported one another.

You might not believe it, but I didn’t always love Goshen. My first three semesters here were less-than-idyllic as I struggled to figure out who my friends were, where I fit on campus and what I wanted to do with my life. At one point I even considered transferring. It wasn’t until my junior year that everything — my social life, my major, my addiction to tea — fell into place. Today, I can’t imagine myself anywhere else.

Excuse me if I’m being too sappy.

As graduation looms closer, I often worry how life will be after I leave Goshen College, my home away from home. In just a few short months I will be depart the familiar halls of GC and enter the big scary world of job interviews, bills and the uncertainties of adulthood. The thought of it terrifies me.

But for now, as the seconds of my last semester tick away, I am soaking in all of the Goshen-isms I can: watching my friend Kate chase squirrels around campus; questioning the bizarre mood swings of northern Indiana weather (a thunderstorm in January?); saying hi to Elsie as I enter the dining hall for lunch; and joining my peers at community-building events like Kick-Off one last time.

It’s been a great ride, Goshen.