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Freshman Student Profile - Sophia Emmert

Sophia Emmert HeadshotMeet Sophia

Hometown: Muscatine, Iowa

Major: Anthropology, possibly changing to Interpersonal Communications

What’s been the best part of the first semester of your freshman year at Wheaton?

The best part of my first semester at Wheaton has seriously just been the people that God’s placed in my life here. From my hilarious roommate, to intentional friends, to prayerful professors, I’ve witnessed the heart and joy of Jesus every single day through the people I’m surrounded by. What a gift it is to be part of a community that is actively striving to love each other well, and welcome each other with open arms. We are so excited to have you be part of this community, too!

One of the coolest things about my first semester at Wheaton is that my personal relationship with my Father has grown in such beautiful ways. He has welcomed me into a season of joy and I fall into the excitement of a new school and new friendships, and has never ceased to be my rock when the homesickness starts to settle. This is the first year of my life that I’ve been on my own away from my family, and God has continuously used it to remind me that He is the only constant. No matter how much my surroundings and relationships shift, He remains the same. When my roots are in Christ, I can never be shaken. In those moments I don’t feel known, He knows me – and what a miracle that is; to be known and seen and loved by the Maker of Heaven.

What were your top highlights from your first semester?

Orientation week was one of the coolest experiences I’ve had the privilege of taking part in. Each activity was intended to unite us, not only as a class, but with the entirety of the rest of the student body at Wheaton. Orientation wasn’t simply a right-of-passage checklist to make sure we knew the ropes, but an opportunity for the whole of Wheaton College to accept new students as family – they were excited we were there! The upperclassmen welcomed us into their home with open arms, praying over us, reminding us that God has a purpose for us at Wheaton, too, just as He does for each of them. I have never been met with more support, encouragement and high-fives like that of my first week on campus.

One of my favorite memories from the first semester was the freshman class worship night during Orientation week. It was the first time the entire freshman class was in the same room, worshiping together for three hours straight, and God seriously showed up. I walked out of that room knowing certainly that He planted me at Wheaton with intention and purpose, and I was filled with so much peace in knowing that I was surrounded by a campus that desired to praise His name together. There is something truly incredible about 500 voices of students your own age singing to the same God at the same time; people whose names I didn’t even know yet, people who God had intentionally placed me at Wheaton with. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that feeling.

What was your favorite class this Fall and why?

I absolutely loved my Introduction to Cultural Anthropology class my first semester. It was the first college class I had ever experienced, bright and early at 9:20 am on Monday morning. I went into freshman year with uncertainty on what to major in, but simply knowing that God was calling me into missions. I spent the semester learning about Cultural Anthropology, which is the study of the development of people groups across time and space. Throughout that class, I was so clearly able to recognize God’s hand upon people and societies as they traveled and moved and worked, and was reminded that of course He would have His hand on my life, too.

Coming out of a secular high school, I immediately adored being part of Christian classrooms. My professors prayed over their classes, and some prayed for me individually, and regularly checked in on how I was doing with the transition away from home. The faculty at Wheaton seriously cares about the development of their students as a whole, and not simply just how we’re doing academically. To Wheaton’s professors, we’re not just a grade or a face. We’re people with potential, whom God deeply loves and has plans for, and they desire to walk alongside us in discerning His voice in our lives.

What’s your favorite restaurant/shop in Downtown Wheaton and why?

One of my favorite things is Saturday morning breakfast foods! In downtown Wheaton, there is a restaurant called Egg'lectic and the hashbrowns are simply too good. If you’re a coffee enthusiast like me, My Half of the Sky is the sweetest cafe. I’ve spent many afternoons studying and laughing with new friends in the sunny chairs outside. Downtown Wheaton (especially during Christmas time!) definitely makes you feel like you’re starring in a once-upon-a-time movie!

What’s your favorite menu item at Anderson Commons?

  • I absolutely adore Salad Tuesdays. Easily the highlight of my week. Enough said.
  • The bagel station is the best for on-the-go breakfasts and lunches! Pair it with one of the daily soups, and you’re setting yourself up for a beautiful day!
  • Dining hall hack for all you incoming freshmen… take some granola, peanut butter, and chocolate chips from the ice cream station, put it all in a cup and microwave it for 45 seconds. Seriously – you’ve got to try it.

What is your favorite study spot on campus and why?

The 5th floor of Billy Graham Hall is absolutely beautiful. When I have a lot of reading to work through, I make the hike across campus to the top floor and find somewhere sunny to just soak in alllll the vitamin D. When it’s time for a study break, I love to sit in one of the window seats and just look out over campus – it’s truly beautiful, and Blanchard Hall looks like a castle from up there. I love getting to call it all home.

If you could go back and tell yourself one piece of advice during the college search process, what would it be?

Transition is terrifying, stressful and unknown. It’s okay to be worried and scared. But there is something so special about the in-between, too – it’s like being in the sky on an airplane, where you’re somewhere in the middle of leaving and landing. Learn to rejoice in that waiting. Be okay with not knowing yet, and thankful for the opportunity to lean farther into Jesus. The best part of this whole college discernment process is that God has already gone ahead of you – all that He asks is that you trust Him with it, with your future. We have the privilege of waiting for Him to prepare it for us, and to simply walk forward in that light. What an amazing season it is!

Share some words of encouragement for admitted students.

As you’re discerning what college to go to, remember that God is NOT limited. He is not limited to only one school. As Christians, we have the privilege of coming to our Father with those big decisions, seeking his counsel. But it’s important to remember too that Christ resides within us. He goes forward with us – to any and every school. Wherever you look for him, he’ll show up. I know it’s frustrating to not receive a big, neon arrow pointing to a specific college, even though that’s what you’re praying for. God wants to be invited into your discernment process, and he desires to walk alongside you as you transition away from home. When I accepted Wheaton, I simply asked God to go there with me. He has since then shown up in every aspect of my life in the transition to college. Keep praying. Keep bringing your fears and worries and questions to God, and listen for his answers. At any school you attend, know that He sees you and knows you and loves you. He will go with you. He won’t let you go.