This I Believe – Jaime Pangman

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I, like many of my fellow students, entered Boston University with many fears: fear of the future and my unknown place in it, of failure, of newly achieved independence. I expected college to placate these fears by preparing me for the world after I left the safety of campus and began my real life. As I arrived for my first day of classes, the future loomed large thanks to my indecision concerning my major. Of course, this hid the long term problem of a lack of direction in finding out what I wanted to do for a career. To my freshman self, the university symbolized the step between childhood and adulthood, and the lessons I was going to learn here would magically discern and guide my entire life. In essence, I hoped that the four years of education would uncover hidden truths that would do the work for me. However, at the fundamental base of my preoccupation with the future lay a deeper problem. I wanted to find a lasting happiness. It was this simple desire that lay behind all of my thoughts and fears. When looking to the future, I sincerely felt that it would not matter what I was doing, as long as I was happy doing it. Therefore, it was much to my chagrin that I realized soon after starting college that this dilemma, the root of all my fears, was not going to solve itself. Unsure of how to continue, I almost gave up when the answer came from what probably should have been the first place to look for it: my faith.

It was Paul who wrote, “Whatever was to my profit I now consider a loss for the sake of Christ.” This statement sums up the role that faith has played in my college life perfectly. The reconnection with faith that occurred during my time here changed my life completely and permanently. All of those answers on which I had tried to base my life, and thereby placate my fears (for example, finding a good job, searching for Truths in education, obtaining a secure future), mean very little when compared to my faith. Or more correctly, when observed through this faith, these answers seemed incomplete. Moreover, the fears which once loomed so large seem small and inconsequential. It is for this reason that during my time at college, my faith has moved from being a secondary force driving my actions to playing a very central role in my life. So, far from the fear I felt four years ago, I now face the future with excitement and tranquility.

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