My name Jay De Man. I am from Rockford, MI.
On September 2, 2015, I migrated the rather small span between my hometown and Calvin College.
It was a clear morning, highlighted by endless vehicles pulling in and the strange duality of the twilight between my life Before and what will be known as life After, or College, or Adulthood. The work of pulling the old bones of your old room from the family SUV calls from you nostalgia, anxiety and hope. This isn't home as you know it.
And then: introductions upon introductions! Everything is new, and everything has a name. There is an unspoken whiff of difference in the air, a scent of change — I felt overcome with the thought of knowing even a little of it all. Eighteen years, and all in a sudden moment, everything moves.
It's a really beautiful thing. The continuation of an education, and an opportunity in all the newness to bear new and old introductions. Transition, I feel, is wasted if not used to relearn as much as possible.
An introduction is the surface moment. It sits a little below the truth, because you know so little of what you're first seeing. Everything exists as the faintest suggestion of place, person, history. I find this the same as shouting one’s name from the top of a very high mountain. An introduction may sit upon the post before the trail, but it is a map and a depiction: it's at the gentlest part of the ascent, where you are most able to accept it. At this bottom, you can’t know concretely what the climb will take. You simply drive forward, reliving and growing toward the voice at the summit.
I am very glad to be beginning this ascent. In this new beginning, I am new to myself, new to the feelings, hopes, and fears which come with this experience, and renewed to a place where these are felt in fullness. My feeling is one of paramount gladness to begin the ascent with all these beautiful people — to recreate, in my own way, the journey of many before, and perhaps many soon to come.
Consider this an introduction to this strange and new expedition I lead. The voyage of education is never easy, but I could not be more excited.