What is a college but the people that participate in it?
What are memories but the people who create them? What are the things you have learned outside of the classroom, outside of every paper, test, and project you have created? Who are you outside of these things?
While I spent 3 years at King’s, it is this passionate, deep care for people that the students cultivate amongst one another that has stuck and continues to live within me.
As I write this, I realize I might send sound like many others that write about this school. I have the classic “When I first walked on campus, as an inviso prospective student” shtick; I competed in founders, met a ton of amazing people, visited a class, and then returned home “a changed person”, knowing I could be nowhere else but Kings.
But to be honest, not all of that was true. I didn’t have a strong connection to the college itself right away. I wanted to be in the city, that much was true- but it wasn’t the classes or curriculum or credits that pulled me.
To put it simply, it was the students. We’ve all heard it before, but have you really stopped to consider how special it is? To be in a cohort of college kids with different ideals, aims, goals, loves, wants, and desires that are united by a small, 4-floor campus with the most impeccable faculty one could hope for. I visited far too many colleges when I was looking, many with better facilities, bigger rooms, and cheaper costs.
However, when I spoke with the people I would be learning and serving alongside, my brain couldn’t help but be pulled. There was a difference here- the capability to disagree in love, the ability to debate with respect, to form deep friendships with intentionality, and serve others without a mind to yourself.
That is what Kings, schooling, life means to me. Here, I have found deep friendships who I am proud to call confidants, people who are not just a “you look good” friend but ones who challenge me and aren't afraid to tell me where I have gone wrong, all with unabashed love.
I’ve been enveloped in a house that, though I am now graduated, still yearns to connect its members. The reason I even have to write this is because of a couple of first years that I could not be prouder to call my brothers, even though I never shared the halls with them. People such as this inspire me and make me proud to recall our house's ideals of community, discipleship, courage, and sacrifice. I know stories like these ring true for every house on campus.
Alongside the students themselves are the faculty. I still remember when I worked in admin, of all places (I’m an actor now) my second semester freshman year, and Dr. Bradley asked me if I’d like a smoothie. Do you know how small in the grand scale of life a smoothie is? It’s drunk in a few moments, but that memory had sailed with me over the past few years, a reminder of what a small gesture can mean to someone. The people at King’s remind me of this; everything we do has an impact, and while we may forget, others remember.
Kings connects you with those with passion, and it’s something I’ve realized as I’ve been around these people. I thought I would work as an editor, but many here have had a hand in finding the creative side and forcing it into the limelight. The first time I felt brave enough to share a story of my mental struggles was through a spoken word set to music in an original musical my last semester. My mentors and friends there have now become constant pillars in my life.
So, is this a tribute to Kings or its people? I love the people, and it’s those people that I pray and hope will have the same impact they had on me. Even if this institution leaves, I have no doubt another will be created to allow a community like this to thrive. It’s all a journey, and ours, yours, mine, is just beginning. This is a letter to everyone who adopts the term Kingisian, who continues to love another as we have been called to love, pushing forward the good.
I love you all. Thank you for changing my life.
Former House President | House of Dietrich Bonhoeffer | Class of '22
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