the Honors College supported my nontraditional decision.
It was past midnight when I sat down to write to the Honors College Dean and explain my choice: a year and a half off of the communication and education grids, inviting people somewhere else in the world to come to Christ while serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I remember the butterflies dancing around in my stomach but the words just pouring out of my heart: “It may not be the course of life that is recommended…., but it is the one that will help me become the person I need to be.”
How would my advisers, counselors, and professors react? Would my scholarships be deferred? Would I even be allowed to embark on this seemingly-crazy adventure: putting school on pause smack dab in the middle of my sophomore year?
I shouldn’t have worried.
Turns out that all Ball State’s buzzwords (“education redefined” and “immersive learning,” etc.) are more than just a brand image.
I don’t recall the exact words our Honors College Dean said to me as I sat, squirming but determined, nervous but hopeful, in the chair facing his desk a few days after sending that email. I remember that he looked at me with amused eyes. I like to think he marvelled at the conviction that would take me away from what truly was, until that point, a too-good-to-be-true educational experience.
Whatever he thought, he let me go.
The promise of deferred scholarships came with only one condition: send postcards. You better believe I did.
And in that moment, walking out the Honors House’s squeaky side door with a whole new future growing like a Chia Pet in my mind’s eye, I thanked God for sending me to Ball State and its exceptional Honors College: where people are permitted to learn exactly how they need to, no matter how immersive it may be.