40. To My Dear Friends at Bethel College, IN

Anyone is welcome to read it, but this post is intended for my dear friends at Bethel College, IN.

My time at Bethel College has been excellent: sometimes pleasant, sometimes unpleasant, always interesting. I’ve learned a good deal about English, pedagogy, writing, relationships, faith, coffee, culture, grammar and literature. I’ve also learned a good deal about myself, which has surprised me a little—at the beginning of college, I thought I knew this person named Adam Stück after wearing his clothes, drinking his tea and generally living his life for eighteen years.

One of the things I thought I knew about Adam Stück was that he was an introverted, solitary sort of person who wouldn’t find many close friends at Bethel College. He might develop friendships, but probably not any deep, lasting relationships. As a missionary kid, he had spent too many years moving around—or staying in one place as his friends moved around—to form many strong attachments.

I thought I knew Adam Stück pretty well, but I was wrong.

Here’s the thing.

I didn’t know that I, Adam Stück, would make quite a number of friends—or rather, that quite a number of people would graciously decide to make me a friend.

I didn’t know that my friends would give me coffee cups, coffeemakers, cookies, candy, brownies, pies, parties, tea, stuffed chickens, books about ninjas or pictures of Uncle Iroh.

I didn’t know that my friends would put up with my remarks that seemed witty until I said them or my long ramblings about my writing or my vicious tirades against Twilight and crazy fundamentalist protesters.

I didn’t know that my friends would be willing to share their lives with me, whether in long conversations or pleasant cups of tea or epic bouts of Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

I didn’t know that my friends would be so quick to hug me or so patient when I grumbled about being hugged.

To wit, I didn’t know that my friends would be so kind, loyal, honest, generous, patient, fun or just plain awesome.

But they were. And they are.

My friends, you deserve all the points in the world. Thank you for everything. God bless you. Keep up the awesomeness. Drink much tea. Keep in touch.

With that, I take my leave.

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