By Garrett Chapman
Christopher Paddock, mathematics senior, could have ended up at Tabor, but instead he is at Southwestern College.
“I knew that I wanted to continue track and field at the collegiate level but could not figure out where I wanted to go. SC did not contact me until late in the game, so late that I had actually verbally committed to Tabor College.
I knew I needed to go to a small school where I would be held accountable. That way I didn’t party my way through what probably would have been five to six years of college. Thus, SC it was,” said Paddock.
Paddock competes in three events in track and field. He throws discus, hammer/weight, and is a shot putter. He just finished up his third year as an orientation leader. He is also in his second school year as a resident assistant in Wallingford.
A resident assistant has many responsibilities and challenges. “My most enjoyable part of being an RA is when I am able to actually gain friendships with the students I live with,” said Paddock. “The toughest thing in the world is having to report students who you have grown close to.”
Many students living in Wallingford know Paddock as a friend as well as an RA. “Chris is a friendly guy; he involves himself with the freshman living here. His door is always open if you need someone to talk to,” said Jerry Jones-Bruner, a freshman majoring in athletic training.
Discipleship, MANistry, and student ambassador require additional commitment. Paddock said, “When I get super stressed, I enjoy reading inspirational books. But in the end, nothing beats a nice, long nap in my La-Z-Boy recliner.”
Paddock has people encouraging him. Dan Falk, dean of students, Dr. Ed Loeb, associate professor of mathematics, and Dr. Bob Gallup, professor of physics and mathematics, helped Paddock when times got tough.
Paddock said, “The first semester of my junior year proved to be the hardest. Losing my grandmother was a harsh reality that brought me off the high horse I was riding. I felt invincible until this unfortunate event. But with the guidance of Dan, Bob, and some close friends, I was able to move forward and actually had my best semester in terms of GPA.”
Loeb has helped Paddock inside and outside the classroom. “Outside of the classroom I supported Chris whenever I could by attending his local track meets and attending events that he organized,” said Loeb.
With only one year of school left, he already knows what he wants to do when he graduates. “I plan on working in Student Life at the University/College level and working with lost students each and every day,” said Paddock.
This goes side by side with the advice Paddock would like to give to the entire freshman class.
“My advice is to just relax. You are not in any way, shape, or form in harm. I want what’s best for you so my room will always be a safe zone for you to come relax and talk through what you are feeling. That right there is the best advice. When life is not going to plan, take a minute and ask for help. There are seven billion people on this Earth. If you were meant to tackle life on your own there would only be one,” said Paddock
Garrett Chapman is a freshman majoring in communication. You can contact him at Garrett.Chapman@sckans.edu.