I arrived at King’s in the middle of Covid.
My parents had to cast me and all my belongings out onto the sidewalk, and then I was sent to my new apartment to quarantine for fourteen days with 3 people I’d never met. I thought that would be the worst part, but it wasn’t. 
King’s felt at first like a never ending climb up a sheer cliff face, with nothing to accompany you but pain and toil and silence. But the pain showed me just how much I could withstand, and it increased that threshold. The toil showed me both how hard I could work when I had to and just how much I needed God’s strength. And in the silence, God spoke.
I was a Christian before King’s, but it took my faith deeper than I had ever gone before. It broke me in many ways, and there are parts of me that I will never get back. Both parts that are better gone and parts that I miss every day. At the bottom of this figurative pit, if I may use such a word, I found that the strength and promises of God were actually real. It is one thing to emptily say it’ll be ok, and another thing to know it’ll be ok because God has seen you safely through hell before. What I also learned is that God’s strength doesn’t always look like you think it will. He doesn’t come down from on high and make us so strong that everything is easy. Sometimes he gives us just enough strength to drag ourselves through the mud on our elbows.
And in the struggle of King’s, I learned to be content. I even learned to be happy. I live a life now that my freshman self could only have dreamed of. I am surrounded by the most wonderful community I could ask for. And I am a person now that my freshman self could never have guessed. My friends see it, my parents see it, and I see it. I am better because of King’s, even though it was not easy and often not fun.
The point of this is not to be depressing but hopefully to show what King’s has done for me. It has been a crucible, but I have learned to be content in that trial. King’s has done for me what no other college could have done. That isn’t to say that other colleges are somehow inferior or less difficult. Certainly not! But for some people, like me, King’s provides just the right set of challenges to transform them into strong and capable people.
A verse I constantly return to is Job 23:10: “…when he has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” My time at King’s has made me into gold (I think and hope). In fire is how excellent people are formed. I came to King’s lazy, overemotional, self-centered, and foolish, among other things. I flinched from conflict, trial, and pain. I couldn’t bear the weight of even the smallest burdens. King’s has been my crucible, and in this fire I have been forged. I have much growing and learning left to do, but King’s has given me a starting point on which to build a strong, godly, and capable character.
Caroline Judd
President of The King's Players | House of Margaret Thatcher | Class of '23
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