This is one in a series of articles written by students who received scholarships in 2022 awarded through the Fergus Falls Area Dollars for Scholars chapter. The purpose of these articles is to thank the community for its support of students and their higher education goals.
The transition from high school to college started a new chapter in my life. Not only has it brought me to an unfamiliar place, but also introduced new people, ideas and endless opportunities. Wheaton College in Wheaton, Ill., has expanded and impacted my worldview in innumerable ways. I have appreciated learning with the diverse study body in an academically rigorous yet inviting environment.
I am currently a double major in Biblical and Theological Studies and Anthropology. Having taken multiple college classes in high school has given me the opportunity to explore classes in my majors right away. These departments are particularly highlighted at Wheaton, as it is a school that prides itself in its longstanding Biblical foundation and intensive global studies. In my first semester, I was able to take an introductory anthropology class titled “Poverty, Justice, and Transformation.” I have always been interested in traveling and exploring other cultures, but this class gave me a deeper understanding of topics such as globalization, colonialism, racism, and other social issues. I appreciate the deep level of care with which my professor approaches such difficult topics and showed a true desire for us students to be passionate and engage in what we are learning.
I also took a literature class, a “CORE” class relating to our liberal arts education, and Classical Greek. I have come to equate taking Ancient Greek with taking a math class such as Pre-Calculus. It is at times monotonous, difficult, and demanding, but I see its benefits in all areas of my life. I now see how much influence the Ancient Greek language has in our world today, particularly in relation to the English language and the Bible. I am now able to read the New Testament in its original language, which has opened a new world for me to study. I recognize that taking a classical language is a unique opportunity that I am blessed to have here at Wheaton.
I was able to find an on-campus job in the Academic Advising and Learning and Accessibilities Office. I work at the front desk and manage administrative tasks. This has been an amazing chance to learn from the advisors, discover more about the programs and classes offered, and grow in my communication skills. I love interacting with people and making connections, so this job is a great fit.
One core aspect of my life that has continued from home to college is my involvement in CrossFit. I have maintained consistency and adapted to working out at my college’s gym. This was very difficult at first, adjusting from a class-and-community-based fitness environment to moving solitarily. But I believe it was a blessing in disguise. By persisting and staying consistent, I have begun finding new community in my new situation. I have formed many friendships through my time spent in the gym and have been able to explore new opportunities as well. At the beginning of the year, I went through the training and received my CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Certification in the hopes that I can start and coach a CrossFit club on campus.
My time at Wheaton thus far has made me appreciate the home and community I have in Fergus Falls. I would not be who or where I am today without having the space to explore what the future could look like as a young adult. I am so thankful I was able to participate in many activities; swimming, orchestra, choir, CrossFit, knowledge bowl, and anything else I was interested in. Thank you to all my teachers and coaches for preparing me well for college and thank you to the Fergus Falls Dollars for Scholars donors for your sacrifice and generosity in helping me get to this point. I look forward to furthering my education and growing my worldview as I prepare for the future. However, I am looking forward to returning to Fergus Falls this summer with a broadened outlook and a continuous desire to learn and grow.
Tess Seay is a 2022 graduate of Kennedy Secondary School and is currently attending Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. She is the recipient of the Charles B. Hyslop Memorial and Eleanor Keane Johnson Scholarships. For information on making a donation for scholarships, contact Fergus Falls Area Dollars for Scholars, 601 Randolph Ave, Fergus Falls, MN 56537.