Friday, May 20, 2011

Graduation 2011

Last Friday, I graduated! How do I even begin to talk about my past four years? These past four years have been the most intense four years I've yet to have spiritually, emotionally, mentally, familial-y, and the list goes on.

I came to USC with tons of hopes and ambitions, but deep down I knew that none of those hopes or ambitions meant anything without a proper context. I had an extremely shaky understanding of who I was and almost no real understanding of what I was living for. At the time, I was questioning almost everything I had grown up believing and wondered frequently if I was merely a product of indoctrination. I wondered if those things I had grown up believing were merely fanatical beliefs or if they were indeed firmly rooted truths and if they were the latter, where should I even begin to look to affirm those truths?

I think it was the longing to understand the deeper things of life that drew me to philosophy. As it turns out, I never found the answers to those deep things in my study of philosophy, but rather studying philosophy provided me a different mode of thinking and reasoning that helped me to filter what I let guide my life and my beliefs. I learned the importance of the Socratic insight to "follow wherever the argument leads you." I took a course in Reasoning & Logic that helped me to understand the basics of sound reasoning and logical thinking. I took several courses in Ethics that affirmed to me that there is something very unique about being human in regards to justice and fairness and that for since as long as humans have lived, there has never been an Ethical Theory that has been capable of ending injustice and human-induced suffering. Those things I learned in Ethics affirmed to me that sin is in fact a very real thing and no human institution nor amount of philosophical reasoning has ever been enough to eradicate the sinful nature.

The ever present amount of evil and suffering in our world and indeed even in my own life, helped me to see that if left alone to figure out the mess we've made as a species, we'd be utterly defeated.

In my biological coursework, I was given the unique insight to see and study the complexity of life at the micro-level. Each course, whether in chemistry or in physics, affirmed to me that the order of the universe could not have spontaneously arisen. The more I studied life at this level, the harder it became for me to deny some intelligent being back of it all.

God very much used my coursework to lead me to where I am today. I believe that what I've gained from my knowledge and experiences at USC was a gift from God, intended by him to shape me into the person I am. He gave me those opportunities and the knowledge as tools to know him more deeply and more truly.

I'm so thankful to God for these past four years. I cannot even begin to count the number of blessings and trials that led to blessings that the Lord provided me with. Above all else, I thank God for helping me to see the immeasurable worth of Christ, in whom, I now find all of my meaning and all of my purpose. There are so many things still lurking in my heart and still looming over my desires and ambitions that I know I have not yet given to the Lord, but again I thank God that even in my insufficiencies, Christ is all sufficient.

I thank God for the friends and family that he provided me with along the way. Only the Lord knows that I would never have made it through so many countless hours of studying into the late hours of the night without my friends and family. I thank God that he provided me with friends in whom I could confide in and learn from and grow with and that he gave me a family who has supported me since Day 1. When I began at USC, I thought that I could do it alone and all within my own strength, but I couldn't have been more wrong. Thank you Lord, for putting patient and loving individuals in my life, to help me to grow into the woman that you've called me to be.

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