By the beginning of May, all ENC students are getting ready to leave campus with plans for their summers. However, the seniors prepare to leave ENC in a different capacity: They say goodbye with no intention of returning in the fall. Many seniors express excitement when reflecting upon their accomplishments over these past four years, and some express a more humble level of gratitude as well to the school that has shaped them to be what they are today.

Joanna Joseph, an Accounting major, has enjoyed her time here at ENC and the relationships she has developed with members of the faculty and staff. Just like ENC’s motto, “Discover Your Purpose,” Joseph feels as though she has truly discovered her purpose. However, Joseph wanted to give up more than once, and this semester specifically was extremely overwhelming. “I sort of had a mental break down. My body was fatigued, I couldn’t really eat and I got irritated easily. My friends are the ones who calmly talked to me and had me realize that it’s OK to say no [to certain requests] in order to take care of myself,” Joseph said. “I learned a lesson on self-care and I am grateful for it.” Being at ENC allowed her to realize her love for God and the path that she has chosen.

Like all seniors, Peter Braswell is very excited to cross the stage this May with his Crime Law and Justice degree and the hopes of becoming a police officer. Braswell says that being at ENC has increased his faith in God, as he has been blessed by the great support system of the people he was surrounded with. Braswell deemed his greatest accomplishment at Eastern Nazarene was the many connections and relationships he made, but he included that he would have definitely tried to gain more internships and work experience if he had to do these four years over again. Braswell believes the only way he was able to get through school was through the support of his friends and family.

Like both Braswell and Joseph, Darlene Julien, a Biology major and Psychology minor, has specifically enjoyed the relationships she has built with others which made her time in college memorable. Attending a Christian campus helped Julien foster a closer relationship with God. She commented that if she were to have gone to a secular school, she would not make as much time for God as she did while being at ENC. She gave thanks for the Refiners Fire group on campus that holds late night events and has helped her get back on track with God despite everything that is going on in her life. Julien became an RA, which was a great accomplishment for her, although she states that “my first two years here I was the one causing the disturbances and being reported, and now to be in a role that regulates something like that was a complete turn-around for me.”

Julien has been challenged many times throughout her college career and has always felt times where she wanted to throw in the towel. “You’re being challenged in so many areas but trying to balance them all at once was a lot for you to handle. The beauty is when you overcome those hardships. Knowing that it won’t last forever and it’ll benefit me in the long run is what pushed me to continue my journey.” After graduation, Julien plans to take a year off to gain experience in health care and volunteer before enrolling in a Physician’s Assistant program.

Treyvon Clegg is also graduating this May, receiving a degree in Sports Management. He appreciates the small campus, which he credits for allowing him to make great relationships with others on campus. Attending ENC has brought Clegg closer to God and being surrounded with those that have the same religious beliefs as him helped him keep his faith on track. However, Clegg wishes he would have made better relations with his professors and asked more questions in class which would have caused him to receive higher grades. Despite any stress Clegg has experienced throughout his college career here at ENC, he said he never wanted to give up because of the strong support system he had and the amount of people he has counting on him. One of his greatest accomplishments while being an undergrad was making the basketball team his sophomore and junior years.

This is just a small sampling of ENC Seniors. All of ENC’s graduating seniors deserve recognition for the hard work they’ve done while attending Eastern Nazarene College. We would like to congratulate all students in the Class of 2017 and we wish them all prosperity and success in their lifetime!