Written by: OKWU Alumni


As the 2015-16 year began, we asked our alumni to share with our current students: “What would you like to say to your college self?” Here are some of our favorite responses:

Rich Hunt (‘80)

Have at least one fun class a year. Stay on campus for the weekend. Who knows what will happen or who you will meet? Expect to be bored at times. These times are when your creativity comes into play. Get to know as many students, professors and staff as you can. They are and will be amazing.

Maloree Hamel (‘11)

If I have learned anything about this whole adventure called life that I wish I could give my college self, it is the fact that God must receive all the praise in all circumstances. On this Earth, we are called to glorify Him through our words, actions, and thoughts.

We are human.

We are selfish people.

It is the last thing within us to give glory to someone else, yet that is the very thing that we must humble ourselves to. “God’s purpose in this was that we should praise God and give glory to him for doing these mighty things for us, who were the first to trust in Christ.” Galatians 1:12 (TLB)

Donna Hemphill (AGS, ’11)

You do not have to make a perfect grade. Do not be disappointed when you make a 95 or 98. Enjoy the journey. My group was the first cohort that graduated with a M.Ed. I learned much more than content in Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership. Mostly, I learned that I can just let things go sometimes. Professors are here to help, not hurt. There is no reason to be nervous. I made friendships that will last a lifetime.

Leanne Salas (‘15)

Enjoy everything. The good times, the bad times, the happy and sad. Everything you experience while in college will impact you if not forever, then at least for a while. Learn to appreciate the late night studying, the early morning workouts. Appreciate the trials you are put through because there will always be some good to come from every upset, disappointment or heartbreak. And always appreciate and cherish the joys you experience. The friendships and memories are so precious once you leave and those stay with you forever.

Professor Amanda (Hensley) Dickinson (‘08)

Take time to enjoy it instead of wishing it away. (We are all guilty of thinking/saying, “Wish it was the summer,” “wish it was Christmas break,” or “wish I was finished with school.”) I would say enjoy those last-minute cram sessions for Dr. Weeter’s exams. Enjoy the stress of an all-nighter trying to finish the book and paper for Dr. Wimberly you forgot about until the night before. Enjoy pooling your money together with friends to order pizza and laughing about how broke you all are. It goes away far too soon and you will fondly remember those days and wish you could go back and relive all over again.

*Note to my students-do not procrastinate. 🙂

Kelli (Hill) Bryant (‘98, ‘11)

Enjoy the college experience. Make new friends, work hard and find help when you need it. The faculty is very caring and wants you to succeed.

Josh Telfer (‘13)

“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” – C. S. Lewis

Shame feeds self-consciousness and selfishness…So, react to failure with guilt not shame. Guilt maintains a disgust for error, wrong, and failure but meekly, tenaciously, and steadfastly seeks change. Don’t hold grudges against others or yourself. Don’t be offended when others don’t choose you. “You are free to choose. You are not free not to choose… You are free to choose but you are not free to choose the consequences of that choice.” – Adrian Rogers

Engage the people and life around you. Ask more questions, and take more risks. Actively listen to others. Be courageous.

J.D. Hatter (‘08)

I wish I had heard this quote from B.C. Forbes: “Think not of yourself as the architect of your career but as the sculptor. Expect to have to do a lot of hard hammering and chiseling and scraping and polishing.”


Help us keep up with our alumni! Visit OKWU.edu/alumni to update your contact information and let us know what’s new in your life.
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