One of the things I loved the most about my own time as a student at Wake Forest is that this was a place and space where you were prompted to think about Big Things. Certainly that meant big ideas in classes – notable theories, major historical occurrences, great works of literature – but also to chew on the Big Questions of Life.

I have heard Dr. Hatch sometimes phrase some of those Big Questions as “Who am I? In what do I believe? To what end should I devote my talents?”

We did a Meet a Deac feature a few years ago with our chaplain, Tim Auman, in which he talked about students grappling with questions such as: “Who am I? Why am I here? Who is my neighbor, and what is my responsibility towards him or her? Is there a sacred element to life?  Is there a God? If so, how am I to be in relationship with God?”

Allison McWilliams, Assistant Vice President for Mentoring and Alumni Personal and Career Development, printed up bookmarks for students with the following prompts to aid students in reflecting on their Wake Forest experience:

In the past six months, what is the biggest challenge you have had to overcome and what did you learn?

If you were starting Wake Forest all over, what would you do differently and why?

What were the differences between the best and worst decisions that you have made?

How do you want to be different six months from now than you are right now?

[and my favorite] If you were not afraid of failing, what would you do?

College is the right time to chew on these Big Questions. Your students don’t have to know the answers – part of the beauty of life is that you grow as you ask them.

And the point of this Daily Deac is not to have you pepper your Deacs with questions. It’s more a prompt for you to think about moments when it might be meaningful in your relationship to talk to them about stepping off the gerbil wheel of just thinking about classes and assignments and due dates. That’s the short view. Instead, encourage your Deacs to take the long view and think about what is Really Really Important (however they define that), and to ask themselves some of these Big Questions.

Or maybe even ask some of them of yourself. Growth shouldn’t stop just because we’re grown ups 🙂

Categories: the daily deac


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