Our community has, approximately, a 25% annual turnover rate.
That's so depressing, isn't it?
Actually, not really. It is bittersweet to see the seniors we love (and look up to) move along, but it's also a call to pick up the torch. I'd like to encourage you to think now about how you'll welcome next year's freshmen. It might not seem worth it to develop relationships with them when we'll just be gone at the end of the school year, but it really is. When freshmen are coming in, they're looking to us wondering what the norms of college life are. And we upperclassmen are the only people who can show them how it's done. Honestly, are they going to listen to their Core 100 prof?
You don't have to be an orientation leader or RA to take on this role. Meet a freshman of your gender. Get to know them. Show up randomly in their dorm. Encourage them to do their homework, if it's not done yet. If it is, play Guitar Hero with them or whatever freshman activity it is they want to do. And if they're sad to see us graduate, it means we've done something right. We've shown them Christian love and what it means to grow up. Jander, Mark, Josh, Justin, Dan(s), Alvin, Dale, Andrew and the rest of you, I'll miss you, but I don't think I'll forget you.
Of the fourteen kids in this picture, which was taken in August 2007, eleven still go to Dordt. Several I count as good friends. Two dropped out, two others were expelled and accepted back... and five went on to become RAs.
I hope to invest as much as possible in the Dordt class of 2014, while I'm still here. Join me?