As homecoming week continues, we’ll hear from CDA 2014 graduate Emily McCalley, a junior currently attending BaylorUniversity and studying pre-medicine in Maastricht, The Netherlands.
Thanks for your time Emily!
What life lessons have CDA and your fellow classmates taught you since graduating from CDA?
My four classmates & I were (and are) extremely close, and they continue to set examples for me and be a source of sound, Godly wisdom. Being apart from them has taught me how essential it is to be intentional in long-distance friendships: we work around our elbows to get together when we’re all in town, and we make sure to stay caught up. I’ve treasured this time together, and we’ve continued to grow alongside each other, despite the sometimes thousands of miles between us. This lesson of how to pursue and maintain friendship is invaluable and is truly a lifelong skill.
What type of feelings did you experience when you returned to see your family and classmates at CDA homecoming?
Homecoming has always been a special reunion time for me, both as a student and an alumna. Getting to see friends and their families, all together, is so joyful! But my absolute favorite part is getting to see the teachers, because it’s often harder to keep in touch.
Also, coming back last year to the new Collin County building was especially meaningful: so much of my junior and senior year had been spent looking forward to this new space, and it was so encouraging and fulfilling getting to see the school all moved in. It was like the end to a story that I had been a part of at the beginning; but the truth is, the space is providing so many new opportunities that it’s really the beginning of a story.
What do you think is special about CDA's homecoming and how has it shaped your sense of community?
CDA was a community that shaped, equipped, and cared for me while I was a student, and that hasn’t changed just because I graduated or moved away. Homecoming is an annual testament to this: I feel so loved. I don’t think that’s something many people can say about their high schools: that my teachers, friends, and their families continue to care about and invest in my journey, my education, my personal and spiritual growth, and my experiences.
My mom once quipped that “community” is the 4th C of Coram Deo’s mission (after classical, Christian, & collaborative), and I think that’s true. It has helped me to understand that community can transcend stages of life.