Editor’s note: This story is reprinted from the April issue of GCU Magazine, where it was the My LopeLife feature. To view the digital version of the magazine, click here. My LopeLife is a feature in which GCU students, staff and alumni share enlightening experiences. To be considered for My LopeLife, please submit a short synopsis of your suggested topic to GCUToday@gcu.edu with “My LopeLife” in the subject field.
Story by Erin Honeycutt
Photos by Ralph Freso
When I was told I was moving during my freshman year of high school, I thought this must be the end. My heart was finally content in Tennessee after five moves and five states, and the thought of calling Tucson, Ariz., “home” made me sick. I decided if there was any hope of escaping the desert heat, college was the answer.
As long as it was about 1,000 miles away from Arizona.
Throughout high school, writing became an outlet for me. I felt heard and understood best in essays, poems and journal entries, when someone could read my words and say, “I get it.” I decided to major in writing and apply to the state schools at my parents’ request.
During this time, I visited my best friend at GCU. That day, something inside me changed. I wanted to be a part of this campus. I couldn’t believe what I was thinking. I was no longer meaning “apart,” as in 1,000 miles far, far away. I wanted to be “a part” of the student body.
Every student I came in contact with was stoked to be there. Yes, I’m using stoked because it’s like meeting the Energizer Bunny. But instead of one, there are thousands of them.
I went home and was accepted into all of the state schools but was disappointed to discover GCU didn’t have a writing major.
Then, out of nowhere, I got a call from a GCU representative. He told me they were adding a Professional Writing major in the fall and I would receive the President Scholarship.
By November I had officially committed. Lopes Up!
I wish that I had the words to describe why I felt called to GCU, especially when I spent years planning to leave Arizona. The only word that comes to mind is “movement.” The people are always moving and the campus is moving, growing and reaching out to its community.
The first day of Move-In, I was nervous. I didn’t expect the large surge of students to be walking up to the cars, yelling excitedly and swarming to move my things into Willow Hall.
The RAs checking me in were warm, smiling and immediately noticed my ukulele. They asked how long I had been playing, if I would teach them, and said there were other musicians in the hall I should meet.
After going to my first couple of life groups and becoming close to the Life Leader, I realized this is how I wanted to be involved on campus. I applied and was accepted for my sophomore year. I was placed with freshmen and was excited to show them the GCU I had come to love.
Not only did I get to build relationships with them once a week during life group, we went on weekend trips to Sedona, enjoyed movie nights and joined intramurals with each other. This was not happening for my friends at their colleges. They never felt encouraged to bond with their leaders, and no one was getting to know or support them on a personal level.
At the beginning of my senior year, I began a mentorship with my writing professor through the Honors College PAC program. I felt inspired, encouraged and challenged to dream big and brand myself. Through this experience, I got more writing opportunities and connections.
I realize now as I near graduation that I am moved to be a better person, journalist, friend and Christian. I have been reminded continually that it’s not always about me and my wants and needs. It’s not even about my career. It’s about moving people and letting God move me.
And it’s about being OK when it’s not always moving in the direction I want.
GCU is moving, and it wants the students to move right along with it: moving to help the city, moving to help the nations, moving to get active on campus, moving to be a leader and moving to be excellent in their career path.
All my life I have moved to new places, met new people, and never understood why God would make my life one of constant change. Yet, all along, God knew “moving” was the key to finding my voice through the written word. He knew moving would be the reason Arizona and GCU would become home.
Honestly, GCU is what you make of it. You can be apart from the movement, or you can be a part of it. Either way, God is working on this campus and He is working in individuals.
If He could move a bitter, grieving girl’s heart and plans, He can move you too.
Erin Honeycutt is a senior graduating in April with a degree in English with an Emphasis in Professional Writing and a minor in Communications. When she’s not writing, Erin is playing her guitar or ukulele, obsessing over The Beatles or forcing her friends to play board games with her.
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