A final word

Caleb Pollema— Staff Writer

When you walk into a new place, you never truly realize its impact on you until you have left it. I am beginning to understand this statement will make itself a reality in the coming weeks as I graduate from Dordt University.

As I consider my final article for The Diamond as a graduating senior, all the great memories fill my mind as I open the blank canvas of a Microsoft Word document for the final time.

Coming to Dordt, I never understood what kind of impact this place would have on me. I will never forget leaving the parking lot with my dad on my first campus visit. I just knew. I knew this was the place God meant for me to spend the next four years of my life receiving a quality Christian education. 

Little did I know that I would get to experience so many great things, from fulfilling my dream of playing collegiate baseball, to working in the Defender Capital Management club, to writing for The Diamond.

I never expected a small Christian university in a Northwest Iowa cornfield to have professors and coaches that truly care about the spiritual well-being, athletic achievement, and academic success of their students. My professors and coaches are truly some of the people that have been my best mentors and my best friends.

Speaking of friends, I think that is the one thing that sticks out to me the most about my time at Dordt. I have had the pleasure of making life-long friends over the past four years. I have countless memories with my roommates, teammates, and classmates, that I will not soon forget. 

From studying to making dinner together to watching every sporting event possible on television, the friendships I have created over the last four years have been a blessing. I truly believe that many college students do not create the same types of friendships that many do at Dordt.

This far into the story, you may think Dordt University is the perfect place to attend college. While I would say it is certainly great, it is by no means perfect. Just like any other school it faces its challenges.

I will say that the cold weather is still something that I have not gotten completely used to over the last four years. A California desert is very different from the windy plains of Sioux Center. I will not miss the cold temperatures and the long winter months, that is for sure.

Similarly, I will say that there were some days where I longed for the quality food options from home that the Commons could never replicate. 

I had professors with whom I disagreed, yet I have been challenged to think about not only what I believed, but why I believed it. For that I am immensely grateful. 

I am thankful that Dordt pushed me to consider my Christian faith and how it relates to every aspect of my life moving forward. While its emphasis became repetitive at times, it is by no means devoid of importance and purpose.

My four years were not quite a breeze. During this time, I saw a tremendous amount of growth in my faith. My junior year and parts of senior year were interrupted by a global pandemic that brought its own set of challenges in addition to the usual rigors of college life. 

I experienced highs and lows. I laughed harder than I ever have before. I cried more than I ever have in my entire life with the emotions ranging from overwhelming joy to heart-wrenching anger and sadness. I have thought and been challenged more than I ever have before. Through it all, I have grown. I have been shaped and molded into who God has made me to be.

If you had told me four years ago of all that I would get to experience at Dordt, I never would have believed you. It has been a blessing to be at this place.

Thanks for reading.

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