College graduation 10 years later

It’s crazy that I graduated from college a decade ago.

I still remember so many events from that time like they were yesterday. I can still see the map of campus in my memory.

So much of the person I am today I trace back to my time in college. So many of the friendships I made in those years I still maintain.

I think of myself as a freshman. So shy and quiet. I had very little self-reliance. I grew up in college. I went from someone who was always a loner, to being in a fraternity and becoming president of one of the largest student organizations on campus (and involved in what felt like every other student group there was). I never even went to any of our dances in high school and in college, I was popular.

I think about my fraternity. That community was what made college college for me.

I think of all of those philosophy classes. People make fun of philosophy as being a “useless major,” but I still take a lot of pride in having a philosophy degree. I think a background in philosophy gave me some tools that I’ve continued to use.

I struggled a lot at first. I had always managed to get decent grades in high school without really having to try, but college was different. Looking back, I doubt most of those 100 level classes in which I struggled were even that intellectually rigorous, I just had no idea how to take a college class.

Like many freshman, I would come home whenever I had the opportunity, I procrastinated with my work, and my grades suffered. After that first semester, I was sincerely considering leaving Bowling Green and trying to enroll elsewhere.

It wasn’t until my second semester that I had my first taste of Greek Life. That experience made me feel like I was truly a part of the university. For me and the rest of my time at Bowling Green, the rest was history.

Ironically, as a young student, I would go home every chance I got. When I first graduated, I’d go back every chance I got. But the years went on, younger friends graduated, I went back less.

My life has gone in directions I never would have expected. I cherish those experiences and memories. I will always be thankful for Bowling Green. Roll Along! 

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Josh Benner is the associate pastor at Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Fergus Falls, Minnesota and has a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He enjoys writing about faith and culture. He lives with his wife Kari in Minnesota.

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