Hannah Stafford, Staff Writer

A wise man once said, “Do not walk in the footprints of those around you but rather, study their footprints and then choose your own path.” Actually I think my fortune cookie said that last night, but it sounds like a wise man, right? Despite its origins, it is a message well-worth considering.

Whenever we feel alone or overwhelmed, it’s comforting to know that other people have been right where we are and they had to make the same decisions we are making. You aren’t alone in OT 100 or internships searches or post-grad job hunts. Hundreds of other students have been there before you and were once just as clueless as you are now. That is why I asked several Asbury alumni to share their post-graduation wisdom. Many graciously accepted my invitation, and here are just a few things that they wish someone had told them when they were in our shoes.

Mary Stricklin, class of 2015, said, “One, there is no rule stating you have to get engaged before you graduate… Two, studying with friends is always more fun than studying alone. People in your class typically understand exactly what you’re going through. No one should suffer alone! And lastly, I learned throughout my time that your professors can be your greatest friends and incredible mentors. Don’t be afraid to go to office hours. It’s what they’re there for! And crack a joke every now and then; they love it when students realize they are not some weird alien beings.”

Tyanne James Whitworth, class of 1984, told me that “life is full of surprises, God has a plan and learning doesn’t end when you finish your degree!”

Scott Ehle, class of 2015, said, “You don’t have to wait for spicy chicken day – you could just go to Wendy’s. You can audit a class for free every semester. Take advantage of it – it’s free knowledge.”

Rachel Melcher, class of 2015, “Make the most of every opportunity. God will use you where you are if you are willing.”

Holland Michael, class of 2007, is an Admissions Counselor and Tumbling Team head coach at Asbury. “I wish I had known that as a student, I had more power to change things. For example, if I wanted something to be different, (like no coin laundry) or wanted to start a club about something I was passionate about, then all I had to do was ask!” she told me.“Since I started working for Asbury about four years ago, I’ve realized that our number one priority is the students and what is important to them is important to Asbury.”

I think she puts to words the underlying theme of all the alumni I spoke with, and that is the importance of boldness both during college and after graduation. If we are given the opportunity to do something, we should do it! We should stand confidently in God’s promises and not be afraid to make a leap or many leaps of faith. We are Ransomed, Anchored, Vindicated and Merciful in Christ Jesus and He calls to live a life of freedom and assertiveness. At Asbury, we are surrounded by others, just like us, who are fighting the same fight we are and many more who have preceded us. We are not alone, and just as my stale fortune cookie said, we can-and should-watch their footsteps and observe what they did, but may we never be afraid to blaze a trail of our own.