from the desk of Brian Hofman
Since I graduated from Trinity, I have spent most of my time living and teaching in Malang, Indonesia. Being in a different part of the world as well as being removed from my experiences at college has given me fresh perspective on the things I learned at Trinity, in addition to plenty of time to reminisce. So for all of you still enjoying the journey, I offer, in the best order I can think of, the five most important things I learned during seven spectacular semesters in Palos Heights.
5. The caf is a wonderful place. — I understand that the food gets old and that it’s probably not as good as what your mom makes, but not only is there always an available selection of food (and chocolate milk!), there are always people around. I thought I loved the caf when I was at Trin. Now that I need to find my own meals and eat a fair number of those meals alone, I think would love it even more.
4. Carpe diem. — I need to be careful about how I say this because this one can easily be taken too far. Spoiler alert: it’s true that you’re only in college once. Sometimes (not all the time or even most of the time) you should take the more fun and/or less responsible option. Stay up late and go on Nonna’s runs. Take a break from the homework to build snowmen or hold jam sessions or pull pranks on the kids down the hall or whatever else you think of. Take advantage of how close you are to Chicago. Be safe, be smart, and remember, these are the things that you’ll never forget about college.
3. Learning is not only a classroom activity. — I learned an incredible amount of things through my classes at Trinity. And I probably learned even more outside of classes. Some of those things were little, but some make all the difference. Remember the lessons you learn in the dorm, at practice/rehearsal, during worship, or even sitting around the caf. I know that these are the things that tend to stick with me.
2. Friends are great. — This seems like a no-brainer, but believe me, friends make the experience great. All those things I mentioned in #4 I remember doing with my friends. Most of the lessons I learned outside of class I learned with and/or from my friends. One of the hardest things about my transition to life overseas was suddenly finding myself thousands of miles and multiple time zones away from my friends. Keeping in touch with them has helped make my trip go much more smoothly. Make the most of this time of living so close to your friends. You won’t regret it.
1. God always provides. — This one I’m still learning and re-learning, but I am getting better with it. God is more than capable of doing anything you could ever ask or imagine. The danger with this is that God knows a lot better than we do and loves to give us what we need, not what we want. That being said, He’s also an incredibly loving Father, and He sometimes does give us exactly what we ask for, and often in spectacular fashion, whether it’s money to support an overseas trip, a friend in a foreign place, or anything in between. Count on that.