Ever since I began high school, I vowed that I would never attend Southwestern Adventist University. I had gone to SWAU for trips so many times through high school that I felt as if I had already attended there. I wanted something new, something exciting, and I felt Southwestern couldn’t offer me that.
I ended up attending a different adventist university for my first semester of college and it was the worst experience ever. For me personally, the environment and atmosphere didn’t feel welcoming. I wasn’t close to my teachers at all. The number of students in each class was too much for a teacher to have a one on one relationship with the students. I also ended up going into a lot of debt with the other university and didn’t know what to do with my life.
I felt stuck, because I was so far from home, but I didn’t want to go back home for school. I prayed to God for guidance and answers. At the time, Pastor Pagan reached out to me and I ended up at SWAU my second semester of freshman year. I absolutely hated it. I was so negative and questioned “why God?” It was the only place that I could really afford and wasn’t too close to home. Throughout my time at SWAU, at the end of every semester, I would say that I wasn’t coming back. However, something always brought me back.
I noticed that being at Southwestern has taught me to be independent. This school was also leading me closer to Christ. I have made the best of friends and memories here that I wouldn’t trade for the world. My teachers are amazing and I’m able to have that close relationship where they actually know who I am and I can talk to them about my grades. Southwestern portrays hospitality that I couldn’t find at the other university. I feel the love from my community; I’m part of a team, family even. I couldn’t wait to come back this semester because I feel lost when I’m away from SWAU.
A Christian education is one of the most important things in life and I know I’m getting everything I need to succeed here. My spiritual life has progressed so much with all of the opportunities SWAU has to offer. All the events and activities allow our school to unite together in Christ. This is my home away from home and I know I’ll miss it when I’m gone. So far these have been the best years of my life and looking back, I know I made the right decision in coming to Southwestern and becoming a knight for God.
by Marisha Grimes