I Have Ceased to Be a College Student

Why, hello new identity. I am embracing the young-modern-day-hopeful-passionate-working woman persona. But let us reminisce for a bit.

I finished my last ever final at UCLA today at 12:58pm at lecture hall Humanities 169.

Well, let’s hope it is my last one. Feelings on the performance on my final are not of confidence and satisfaction, but I believe in praying hard. Real hard.

As strange as it may sound, a few days prior I was thinking of the endless possibilities of what I could do as I left that last final to express the overwhelmingly mixed feelings I had about finishing college. Party poppers, cartwheels, and an aluminum bat rampage all came to mind. None of them occurred. I know you were rooting for the aluminum bat rampage. So was I–I just couldn’t find one in time.

Upon exiting the last lecture hall I ever would as a student, I decided I’d go ahead and walk to Ackerman as I do after every class to unwind. There’s something about the student union at UCLA that makes me feel safe, entertained, and stimulated all at the same time. So I retreated there naturally.

After any even remotely significant event in my life, the cause for celebration always involves food. So a $5 Orange Berry Blitz from Jamba Juice seemed appropriate.

I proceeded to walk around campus while sipping on my fruity fun in a cup, and memories of the things that impacted me came up as I passed certain “hot spots.” Deep conversations with one person under a tree, a heated debate with a stranger on the validity of Jesus and the Bible on Bruin Walk, a huge anti-slavery campaign for two years on Bruin Plaza, late nights to the radio station, walks to InterVarsity’s large group meetings–it was endless.

I eventually stopped at Janss Steps and perched at the pillar on top of the steps. It took a bit of climbing, but it was a gorgeous view. I popped in my headphones and added the most appropriate songs to the soundtrack of my current emotions. One that I played a couple of times was Shawn McDonald’s “Take My Hand,” and as I put it on repeat, I actually wrote out a prayer for UCLA.

This prayer is one that I pray for the campus that I’m devoting the next two years to, but also as an homage to my time here. I wanted some level of knowledge and wisdom gained to be imparted.

A Prayer for UCLA

May God’s presence fill every person here.
May it overwhelm the grounds they walk on and the halls they pass through.
May love, compassion, and mercy always be of consideration, if not the ultimate intention.
May the desire to understand the things of this world always lead back to the one who understands it all.
May the lost, marginalized, underrepresented be forced to abandon those identities by those with hearts for social justice and a love for others.

May people be fostered and matured in a deeper community built on the greatest acceptance.
May advocacy be not a clanging symbol, but a resounding voice of hope and passion.
May identity not be dependent upon others, but the affirmation in one’s own unique self.
And may students leave this place as inspired, changed, and forever impacted for the better as I will.

That is my prayer for UCLA.

As I sat there waiting until I had to go into work, I absorbed the beauty of the campus and thanked God for every minute I was here.

The rest of the day was quite the roller coaster ride, and therefore I will continue this post in a new one tomorrow.

This is Amy Hu signing off for July 29th, 2009.

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