At the end of the last football game of the season, first-year Jordan Wachter took to the field in celebration with the rest of his teammates. The Dutch had just claimed a share of second place in the conference with a 37-14 triumph over Simpson College. It was a big moment for the linebacker—and not only because of the Dutch victory. After a few quick months adjusting to college, Wachter realized he was completely immersed in his new life.
“It felt like we were all there together,” he recalls. “It was all of us who won that game.”
It’s hard to believe that only three months earlier, he didn’t know any of the guys who would become that close-knit football team. Wachter arrived on campus a few weeks before classes started for football camp. “It was all a new experience,” he says. “I wasn’t used to that kind of lifestyle yet. It was tough at first, but you really adjust quickly once you get past the first few days.”
Wachter’s first weeks at Central were similar to those of most new college students—a combination of nerves, excitement and a desire to prove himself. But after getting to know the guys on the team and on his floor in Scholte, Wachter settled in to the college experience. He joined the health professions club and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and started going to Campus Ministries events.
Like many freshmen, Wachter was unsure what major to pursue, so he took Exploring Experience with Denise Barnard, assistant director of the career center. During the course, he learned he was interested in the medical field and decided to major in biology and exercise science. This semester, he is taking Diversity of Life with Russ Benedict, associate professor of biology. It is Wachter’s favorite class at Central so far.
“It’s early yet, but I’m thinking a lot about my plans,” says Wachter. “But I’m trying not to worry about it too much.” He hopes to study abroad in Merida, Mexico, his sophomore or junior year, where he can gain experience in the health care field and perfect his Spanish. Then, after graduation, he could choose between three dream jobs: a doctor, a physical therapist or a pastor. “All three are careers where I can help people,” he says. “All three are things I’m really passionate about.”
For now, he’s looking forward to the rest of his college years, especially growing closer with the class of 2015 and next year’s incoming freshman. And then there is next year’s football season, which already looks promising.
Choosing what college to attend was difficult for Wachter, but he’s glad that he ended up at Central. And he’s grateful to the coaches and alumni who helped make the decision easier. “A lot of alumni played a big role in helping me decide, especially in answering questions I had about Central,” he says. “Since they were so enthusiastic about Central and helping me choose, I felt that I would be a great place to go to school.”
Another factor in his decision was the financial aid the school offered. By easing the financial burden of tuition, the aid made Central a more viable option. One of his scholarships was given by the class of 2011, which raised money for student scholarships as their class gift.
Wachter is grateful to the class of 2011 and to the alumni who gave to the Journey Scholarship Fund. “My story is what the Journey Scholarship is all about—one class preparing the way for another,” he says. “I hope I can do that someday for a future class.”