Steph 2013Stephanie Yoder

Major: Public Relations
Minor: Marketing
Hometown: Goshen, Indiana

College is an amazing world. As a high school student, I understood the crucial decisions I’d make in the following years. The decision was certainly not easy, and I searched a long time for the right place. I knew a campus had to fit my personality – I’m outgoing and love making friends – but I needed a place that could challenge me in my walk with Christ by surrounding me with positive encouragement, and prepare me to enter the career world as a Christian employee.

I first looked at Huntington because my uncles went here. My parents strongly encouraged me to look into a liberal arts Christian college. I’d also met several Huntington alums, and they had a glow that seemed to make their eyes sparkle. I went to a large high school, and at first I was nervous about attending a small university. I thrive in a crowd, and I was intimidated by the idea that professors could call me out by name. But I was pleasantly surprised at the professors’ openness and the way that they make a point to connect with students. Classes at Huntington can be demanding, but I’ve found that the most challenging courses are the ones I gain the most from.

As a Huntington student, my awareness and appreciation for different cultures and lifestyles has increased as well. On our trip to India, I learned more about the Lord and about myself than I had in the past twenty years of my life, and I had no idea how many doors would open up. The trip rebuilt me from the ground up, and life as I knew it before is not an option.

One startling aspect about India was the amount of brokenness we saw everyday. I paused on multiple occasions to ponder the fragmented areas within my own life, especially my relationship with my biological father. After a genuine conversation with another team member, I was inspired to forgive him, let down my guard and to try to pursue a relationship. Through the trip, we all became vulnerable to each other, and it meant so much to me to be able to share in this life-changing experience with each of my fellow students.

From classes to my experiences in India, Huntington has shown me how to apply Christianity in the workplace. I know that as I head into the career world, I won’t just be armed with a degree – I’ll be equipped with solid morals, friendships, experiences and the ability to serve the world as Christ’s hands and feet.

After two years, I realize my parents were right about Huntington all along. What I discovered on my own was that I can truly thrive here, thanks to encouragement from fellow believers. The best part about being a student is the opportunity to enrich yourself – spiritually, mentally, academically and socially. I cannot wait to see what else Huntington has in store.