It has been one crazy semester, that is for sure! Wow! Today, I took my last cell physiology exam and I’ll be honest: it feels very good to be done. I absolutely loved that class, but it is time for a break. I think I performed well on all my examinations. In the past week and a half, I’ve also turned in five lab reports. I am thoroughly exhausted… but it is good exhaustion. I feel accomplished and I know that I performed the best I could… and my best will be enough!
This time is bittersweet, though. The past three years, every spring I have had to typically say goodbye to students that are graduating and aren’t returning the following academic year… and every spring, I will be honest: my heart cracks. Although I am confident I’ll see them again, it’s uncertain when and it probably won’t be the same as how it was when we spent time at Franciscan together. I have had to say goodbye to some of the most humble, authentic and down to earth people I have ever met–and many of them hold a very special place in my heart (like some of the guys in the picture below). In the past, I’ve tried to allow myself to feel the pain or discomfort that comes with saying goodbye and simply use that as an indicator that what I had (and still have) is good.
This year, the goodbyes have started to come early. I have two household brothers graduating early (and both are getting married to their fiancées!) and I also have four household brothers going to Austria next semester… meaning, I’m not really sure when I’m going to see them next. I’m graduating in the spring, and I’m not sure where I’ll end up next year. I had to give some good, long hugs today and with some of them, you just don’t want to let go. And that’s okay. It hurts to say goodbye because that friendship was (and is) a gift. In those moments of particular discomfort from saying goodbye, I try to use them as an opportunity to recognize just how good it was. If it hurts to say goodbye, that is a good thing. Don’t run from the goodbyes — redirect them as a genuine prayer of thanksgiving. I had ample opportunity to do that today, and praise God. Praise God for blessing me with some of the most life giving relationships I have ever had these past 3 and a half years. I look forward to nurturing my existing relationships and welcoming the new!
My name is Matt Stewart and I’m a chemistry student. I’m excited to be a student blogger representing the sciences at Franciscan University of Steubenville for this next academic year. Franciscan has provided some pretty incredible opportunities for me the past couple years. I am excited to see what God does with our work, and I look forward to sharing more and keeping you updated.