Not Just a Number

Sep 30, 2016
By McKaela Larson

Sir Jimmie Blog

  • Life
  • Faith
  • Journey

McKaela Larson

Every Jimmie, whether on their admissions visit or after becoming a student, has heard the statement, “You are not just a number here.” I myself have heard it numerous times in both aforementioned scenarios.

As a Jimmie Ambassador, I enthusiastically conveyed it to countless prospective students to the point of becoming desensitized to it. This statement now ceases to move me when I hear it, but it has nonetheless become a reality and has shaped the “Jimmie” I am today. This statement is the paramount product the University of Jamestown offers. Not only is each and every student viewed as an individual, but the staff and faculty can see the unique potential in each one of us. Here, we find the excellence the University of Jamestown offers in cultivating the individual that you are and crafting your capability to succeed in future endeavors.

“What is it about me that makes me who I am?”

Each year at our Character in Leadership luncheon, I am captivated by one specific facet of the address given. This year, the idea of having a concise and thoughtful personal mission statement resonated with me.

I began to think, “What is it about me that makes me who I am, and what do I want to accomplish on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis? What about throughout my lifetime?” And so began my pursuit to discover my personal mission statement. On my journey, the University of Jamestown came into focus. I simply would not have been able to write this mission statement without our university’s promise that I am not just a number and the Journey to Success program.

McKaela Larson and dog

My Journey to Success

The Journey to Success program is not just an admissions campaign that draws you (or mostly your parents) into UJ. By Looking Inward, I found what I was truly passionate about: my major, leadership, music, volunteerism, Jimmie spirit, and my faith in God. I Looked Outward and started using those passions and strengths to get involved wherever I could, in both our campus and city community through clubs and organizations. I Looked Beyond through my participation in music ensembles with two international tours and five different regional tours to explore different cultures and perspectives. I used our amazing Career Services center to spend my whole summer in a Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation unit in the St. Cloud Hospital experiencing the career that I hope to pursue. In fact, I am now in the thick of Looking Forward as I use this very blog to procrastinate writing my graduate program admissions papers. I know the University of Jamestown has done everything in its power to prepare me for this task and my future in the field of cardiopulmonary rehabilitation. These years spent at the University of Jamestown are now a defining part of this author, who is attempting to put into words the purpose of her being.


Creating a mission statement of my own

Throughout my Journey to Success at the University of Jamestown, I have been challenged to search and define myself in an encouraging and provoking environment. One such example, during my junior year, we dove deep into our personal answers to questions of justice, forgiveness, our values, self-love, and leadership. The questions that arose coupled with the presentation by Professor Pederson inspired me to create a mission statement of my own. This challenge tested what I have learned at this university, because once I leave the safety of the UJ, the real lessons come to life.

I believe this mission statement will ground me and remind me of my core purpose and being. Using this statement, recognizing revisions will occur in the future, I can decipher the answers to my never-ending questions and continue lifelong learning. Thus, I can lead by living in a manner that is true to my values, to God, and to myself. This will provide a compass as a leader and guide me every day to be the best “Jimmie” I can be.

This mission statement sits heavily on my heart since last spring when I wrote it. It has a piece of my heart woven into it. I hope to keep cherishing and nurturing it to make it a part of my life, my goals as a leader. It is my goal to live so that those around me are infected by it and are encouraged to go boldly, absorb, seize, endure, grow, serve, and live in Christ to become greater and create a better world as they do.

I leave you with my mission statement and the proof that the Journey to Success program has made me more than a number:

“To go boldly into the world and absorb every lesson, seize every joyful opportunity, and endure every sorrowful occasion so I can grow as a unique leader in Christ in hopes to serve myself, all beings of this earth, and God to the best of my ability and ultimately to become something greater than myself.”*

I am and will always be proud to be a “Jimmie.”

*The last five words are taken from the University of Jamestown’s Concert Choir mission statement but it has always struck a chord within me so I had to use it (pun intended).
**Shout out to Ellen Schnabel for listening to my statement a dozen times until it sounded right.

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