Bowling Green, This is for you!

Against all odds, against all odds I will be graduating from BGSU next week. My oh my have things flown by from when I was just a young blood freshman back in 2013. Feels like just yesterday I was moving into Centennial Hall here at BGSU. Now I’ll be moving out of the Arubbah House which has held so many great memories. Who would have thought how much I would have grown here and learned the things I have here. I mean I thought I had a lot of it down back in the day. I mean I could make my bed, do laundry, clean up after myself, and swipe into the Oaks. But I learned quickly that there where things I had no idea about and things I needed to know to grow as a man. I never would have thought when I first got here that I would be saying I was going to be extremely sad to leave this place. For Pete’s peppers this place is soooo cold in the winter, the wind has no chill and makes things way worse, there is literally nothing around here, and no beach near by. Luckily, I have been able to find some amazing friends and mentors that have helped my time in BG be such a blast and so impactful!

Truthfully, as many of you know (sorry Mom and Dad) I haven’t put my academics at the highest level of my concerns here at school. Coming to school I said I was going to focus on school a lot more than I did in high school, but that mind set didn’t last that long. In fairness I had my best year of school ever my 1st semester here. To summarize things a bit with a quote from the rapper Asher Roth, “I can’t tell you what I learned from school, but I could tell you a story or two.” Okay well honestly, I have learned some things from school but most of the things I will take away from BG has been the things I have experienced/learned outside of the classroom. Yeah sure I should have done better in class but when it’s beautiful outside and the sun is beating down you know I’m skipping class to go work on my tan haha. I remember times my friends would rag on me and what not but I’d always tell them the order of the things I find important here, 1. Jesus things 2. Working out/physical activity 3. hanging out with friends 4. Surf Club 5. School. I’ve passed all my classes so that’s all that matters lol. I’ve been extremely blessed with mentors I have met here who have helped me out in school and out of school. I have gained valuable information and knowledge from their successes and failures that they have shared which have helped me through situations and just life overall.

Coming to school I was excited to be independent from my parents and just be in college and have a great time. I didn’t know what to except, I was new in my faith as a Christian and was seeking to find out more about this whole thing. All my friends back home I pretty much met playing sports throughout the years and I had a lot in common with them and now I was in this weird Christian culture I had no clue about.  I was playing the game RISK, which I had no idea about and know love, with people that I would not have hung out with back in high school. Honestly, most of the people I was hanging with and associating with I never would have hung with before. So glad that I kept coming around and got to know all these amazing people that I love so much. People where just so honest with me about getting to know me and understanding what I was all about. Just like being real with one another and honest with one another has made my friendships here mean so much and it’s going to be so hard to not be around them. I won’t forget the spontaneous adventures, weird adventures, parties I’ve been to/thrown, and other memories that I’ve made here. And like I started a surf club in Ohio…legendary…yes…should I have a statue of myself on campus or to show the little school spirit I have a falcon riding a surf board… probably. Then have something dope engraved in it ahhh s/o to all the surf club homies, ya’ll are gnarly as frick would love to hang ten with you guys anytime anyplace!  Anyway those memories have made Bowling Green, Toledo, and Perrysburg (never forget Parker Coffee) grow on me so much. Northwest Ohio is a lot cooler than you realize and when you have nothing to do and go exploring for cool places and things to do you’ll find them here.

My faith has grown tremendously since I started coming to college. A friend of mine always brings up this time my freshman year where I sprained my ankle playing basketball and a few of my friends wanted to pray for healing and I was freaked out. Like now I’m that person to go to people wanting to pray healing over them ha! Through my experiences in Cru, going to the Dominican Republic with AIA, spontaneous Monday nights of United, every Tuesday at Ember in Toledo, and church at Brookside and occasionally City Light has made my faith grow so much and build this fire inside to just see the world changed by Jesus Christ. On a side note, I’d like to retire from the Brookside softball team. It has been a blast playing with and getting to know all of those men. We’ve had some good times…as always win loose booze haha. My mindset on just how I view life and my values has changed and now like sure I am looking at jobs in my major (sport management) but more I pray into it and what my heart truly wants, the more I realize I want to do work for His Kingdom. Sure I can do that anywhere I am but I feel like I want to do something radical that will change a lot of people’s lives and show them that inner peace, joy, love, and laughter that I get from knowing Jesus.

Welp as I head back to the Cleveland area I’d just like to say to everyone that I’ve met in BG and during my college years that you are amazing and have made a big impact on my life. You may not know it, but you have and I’m so grateful for everyone in BG. I know it’s going to be hard to leave all ya’ll, I hope don’t to cry when I’m leaving (I could because of the coldness though) because this place will always have a place in my heart and on my right thigh haha (free tattoo story). As for what’s next for me, I have 2 things on my mind. The 1st is I am waiting to hear back from an athletic communication job in Florida, the other is going to Australia with Youth With a Mission (YWAM) for 6 months starting in September. I know the road will be rocky but because of my experience here and my trust in the Lord to provide I know I will be okay. Maybe one day I’ll return to bask in the glory (obviously not when it’s winter) that is Bowling Green, Ohio…Peace and love…Coops out!