By: Dezaray Barr
Chloe McLaughlin, a 2016 graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University, said, “I applied for the honors college because I wasn’t very humble. I stayed in the honors college because it humbled me.”
Coming into college, McLaughlin thought she was brilliant, the smartest of the bunch, and wanted everyone to know it. This was her incentive for joining the John Wesley Honors College (JWHC) at Indiana Wesleyan University, but she quickly realized she was not the smartest individual in the room. While a horrifying experience, this was how she became humbled and how she grew into the woman she is today.
“The best way to learn something,” McLaughlin said, “is to be in a room with people who are smarter than
McLaughlin, upon graduation this April with a double major in Christian Worship and Honors Humanities and a minor in Church Music, took the position of Modern Worship Leader & Youth Director at Trinity United Methodist Church in Elkhart, Indiana. McLaughlin knows that the honors college readied her for the career she now has. During the first few years of the JWHC curriculum, students are required to question everything they believe.
McLaughlin said, “Now that I’m in the church I have a firm grasp on what the historic church says… and because of the honors college I have a better idea of how to have a conversation of those things and what I believe.”
McLaughlin easily affirms that the honors college is the community she enjoyed the most at IWU and the place where she never questioned her worth or if she was in the right spot. This affected McLaughlin so much that during her junior and senior years of study, she was both a peer educator and the chaplain for the honors college.
“I knew that we were all learning together and there wasn’t judgement in that process,” McLaughlin said. “If we had questions or started to bring up certain topics, no one would question our commitment to our faith or our education because we knew it was a process, and we would come out stronger on the other side.”
As McLaughlin works with teenagers in her role as a youth director, she uses this skill that the JWHC taught her everyday. She has a lot of students who have a lot of questions, and she knows the honors college prepared her to understand why these students have the questions they have, as well as help the students answer their own questions by asking them new questions.
As McLaughlin reminisced and remembered her time in the John Wesley Honors College at IWU, it was obvious that her love for the program and the impact it had on her life are both very large. As McLaughlin finished, she said, “the honors college challenged us, and we became better people because of it.”
Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a Sophomore Strategic Communication and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. At IWU Dezaray is involved in PRSSA leadership and runs both the JWHC Blog and her own blog. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.