My name is Corrine Meekhof, and I am a senior Liberal Studies major from Wrightwood, California.
I heard about Vanguard University from a friend as a new Christian. The first time I visited VU, there was an incredible sense of community and God’s love seemed to radiate out of students all over campus. I had never felt a clear calling on my life until I visited Vanguard and felt that this was where God was calling me. It was overwhelmingly evident that this is where I would spend the next four years, but I just had no idea how that was going to work out financially. If it were not for financial aid, I would definitely not be here. I had fallen in love with Vanguard and was crushed when I did not think I would be able to afford it. At that point in my life I did not have an understanding of God’s provision, so I was really discouraged. Seeing God provide each semester has strengthened my faith in stepping into where God has called me and has ultimately increased my trust in Him. I cannot imagine how different my life would look if I was unable to attend Vanguard because of finances.
I don’t know if saying thank you to those who financially support Vanguard students is enough.
My prayer is that my contribution to this world during and after life at Vanguard can be a thank you. It is only because of their generous donations that I am able to obtain a degree and move on to reach my goal of becoming a teacher. The supporters are moving forth the Kingdom of God by allowing Vanguard students to feel empowered and chase after their dreams and, even more importantly, the call God has placed on their lives.
It is so interesting to think back to what my goals were when I first stepped foot on Vanguard’s campus. I started as an accounting major strictly because I wanted a job with stability. During my freshman year at Vanguard, I learned a lot about the importance of following God’s calling on my life. The following summer, I had a strong calling to switch my major to Liberal Studies and become a teacher. Details have unfolded since then and my ultimate goal is to become a middle school math teacher, and someday down the road also direct a middle school’s Associated Student Body (ASB) program. I would also love to teach abroad at some point, maybe during my time off during the summer. I am currently applying to masters programs in Oregon to pursue the next step of this adventure.
One word to sum up my experience at Vanguard would be growth.
Within that are relationships that have guided me through this growing process and the intentionality of Vanguard staff to create opportunities for me to be stretched. Some things that have contributed to my growth are the mission trips I have gone on since I have been here, being in Student Government Association my junior year, and being a Resident Assistant this year.
When I came to Vanguard, God placed people in my life who have helped me identify who I really am. I think my biggest struggle growing up was finding my worth in God. I was deeply impacted by the negative things people said to me in middle school, and I have carried those things with me ever since. My mentors and closest friends here at Vanguard have shown me nothing but grace and love during this journey of processing where these feelings of low self-worth came from. They never fail to point me to Jesus and remind me that my worth is in Him.
I cannot fully express how much I value the friendships I have made at Vanguard. I specifically remember a conversation I had with my roommate during freshman year, where we talked about how we had deeper conversations in the first week of college than we had in any of the years leading up to college. My friendships here have taught me the importance of vulnerability and being genuine. I have learned so much from the people I am surrounded by simply through the way they live their lives. Vanguard creates so many opportunities to grow deeper with my peers and continuously build new relationships. I am convinced that God has used Vanguard to allow me to meet certain people that will be a part of my life forever. When I picture my life in 30 years and think of the people that I will be surrounded by, the majority of those people are friends I have made at Vanguard.
Vanguard has had everything to do with my spiritual formation. I had called myself a Christian towards the end of high school, but I did not know what it looked like to live out my faith until my first year at Vanguard. Just being surrounded by friends who care about my walk with God has been huge. I have loved being a part of a community who holds me accountable and leads me to ask myself questions about my faith. I can guarantee that I will carry the lessons I have learned here with me in life beyond college.
Vanguard will forever hold a place in my heart. It is where I have built some of the most genuine friendships, where I first heard God’s voice and have grown closer to Him ever since, and has shaped me in so many ways. Being a Christian does not mean I attempt perfection and get angry with myself when I fall short. I have realized that it is about loving others and showing Christ’s love through my actions. God loves me unconditionally and pours grace on me so I can do the same to others. I hope and pray that I can show grace to others in and out of the classroom because of what I have learned at Vanguard, that they would look at the transformation I have experienced, and that God would be glorified through that. I know that I have learned so much from the people around me here and that I have been blessed by so many of my relationships. It would be amazing to impact one person in a way that I have been impacted at Vanguard.
Romans 12:2 would be my “life verse” if I had to choose just one. It is a good reminder to not live for this world, but to live for Jesus who can transform us from the inside out. Vanguard has played a huge role in this transformation process in my life so far.
Click here to read more stories like Corrine’s on our BECAUSE OF YOU blog.