Senior stretch

Leah Perera:

What is the first emotion you feel when you think about graduating in four short months?

“Bittersweet. I’m really glad and I’m ready to be done, but at the same time I know I won’t have this community back or have all these friends in one place.”

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Leah Perera in front of Edman Chapel. Photo credit courtesy Laura Clark.

How would you describe your Wheaton experience? How was it?

“It’s the people that have made my experience what it is. The people I’ve met and been friends with, I can’t imagine my life without them. And I’ve loved my professors and my classes. The professors can take the time to know you; that’s really unique. The school takes their mission for Christ and the Kingdom seriously.”

What is your favorite memory from being at Wheaton?

“My favorite memory is when a group of friends and I went to watch the sunrise off Lake Michigan in Chicago right by Shedd Aquarium. Afterwards we went and got donuts at Stan’s Donuts.”

What was the hardest or most challenging part of Wheaton for you?

“Probably sophomore year because I had a back injury from basketball, but it carried over into everything. I was constantly in pain in class and I couldn’t sleep.”

Is there anything you would have changed about your experience?

“Take advantage of one of the summer programs.”

If you’re willing to share, what’s the most rebellious — or craziest — thing you’ve ever done here at Wheaton?

“Once we broke into the BGC and played sardines.”

What advice do you have for students now that you are almost graduated?

“Be intentional about your friendships and (do) not worry about other responsibilities. When you need to have a late night heart-to-heart, do it. It really grows friendships.”

What are your post-graduation plans?

“There are a million different possibilities. One could be going back to Boston to work in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court at a job that I’ve had for the past four years. Or maybe after my internship this spring I’ll stay in California to work with Fellowship of Christian Athletes.”

 

Levi Soodsma:

What is the first emotion you feel when you think about graduating in four short months?

“I guess I’m excited, but kind of sad. More excited than sad for sure. I feel like I’ve definitely gotten the Wheaton experience and done the things I’ve wanted to do here. I feel prepared. I feel ready.”

How would you describe your Wheaton experience? How was it?

“Wheaton helped me become a man of God. That’s the number one thing I’ll look back on, Wheaton helped me become a man of God.”

What is your favorite memory from being at Wheaton?

“I’m going to remember the experiences I had with friends forever. A few are: Spring break trips, many times at Studio Movie Grill, riding bikes all around because (we had) no cars freshman year and being a YoungLife leader.”

What was the hardest or most challenging part of Wheaton for you?

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Levi Soodsma in front of Edman Chapel. Photo credit courtesy Laura Clark.

“First semester of freshman year.”

Is there anything you would have changed about your experience?

“I wish freshman year and sophomore year, while living in the dorm, I would’ve been more engaged in my floor activities. You’ll never get that chance to live so close to other people your age.”

If you’re willing to share, what’s the most rebellious — or craziest — thing you’ve ever done here at Wheaton?

“I threw a water bottle at someone from T6.”

What advice do you have for students now that you are almost graduated?

“Socially: Be content with your friends. Embrace the people around you. Academically: Read the assigned material. … Your education will benefit from putting the time in instead of just trying to get by.”

What are your post-graduation plans?

“I’m going to work at Baillie Lumber in Buffalo, N.Y. as a lumber trader and I’m starting in July.”

 

Gini Pera:

What is the first emotion you feel when you think about graduating in four short months?

“I’m excited to start the new chapter and transition into a new part of my life, but I’m going to be nostalgic about leaving Wheaton and all my friends.”

How would you describe your Wheaton experience? How was it?

“I was Wheaton women’s basketball’s biggest fan.”

What is your favorite memory from being at Wheaton?

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Gini Pera in front of Edman Chapel. Photo credit courtesy Laura Clark.

“My favorite memory was when a group of us friends camped out at Ally Witt’s Water Park sophomore year.”

What was the hardest or most challenging part of Wheaton for you?

“My decision to come to Wheaton was a difficult one to make. Wheaton was never seriously on my radar, but I thank God every day for the plan he had for my life to bring me to this school.”

Is there anything you would have changed about your experience?

“Winning an intramural soccer championship.”

If you’re willing to share, what’s the most rebellious — or craziest — thing you’ve ever done here at Wheaton?

“Does watching Disney movies past (open floor) hours count?”

What advice do you have for students now that you are almost graduated?

“Go on (Wheaton in the) Holy Lands; it changed my life. Or work in the equipment room. And have lots of late night conversations.”

What are your post-graduation plans?

“I’m planning on working in Chicago within a sales training program.”

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