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Kristin McMullen: English

Kristin McMullen has always had a plan. After she graduated from high school, she worked as a nanny in Austria for a year, and then she moved back to start classes at MU. “There was no plan B,” she says. “Multnomah was it.”

She soon discovered that being in the English program wasn’t about having a plan. “My goals have changed since I started here,” she says. “It’s molded my life.”

This molding has taken many different forms. From delving into deep class discussions to plowing through pages of assigned reading, McMullen’s views are being challenged, strengthened and established.

“There’s no better place to study English,” she says. “Many English majors emerge jaded and angry because the authors we read are the most honest people in the world. But at MU, the program is rooted and anchored in Jesus. Studying the Bible and English together is the best of both worlds. Without the Bible, I would have been hopeless.”

Thankfully, she also has devoted classmates and professors by her side. “Every professor I have is willing to meet one-on-one,” she says. “They help me process revelations, new thoughts and ideas. It’s almost a mentorship.”

McMullen cherishes her memories with fellow English students. One time, they spent a few hours listening to music from middle school days and laughing about it together. “Whether we’re discussing theories or shooting the breeze, we can go deep, but we can also have fun,” she says.

The biggest lesson McMullen is learning is to simply enjoy the process of learning. “Life is a journey of pressing toward Christ,” she says. “The professors here want everything to flow from a relationship with God.”

One of McMullen’s professors recently gave her some words of wisdom, which she has come to claim for herself: “God doesn’t want you to improve, but to be. He doesn’t want you to work, but to be faithful.”

McMullen, who was so used to always having a plan, is figuring out how to just be. “I’ve learned so much about what I don’t know,” she says. “I don’t need to know or claim that I know everything.”