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“Wheaton has been incredibly difficult…but incredibly formative.”

Shelby Anthony, a 21-year-old senior at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Ill., is nearing the end of her 4-year-term at the “Harvard of Evangelical Universities.” She “doesn’t know what’s next,” and seems a bit anxious about the unknown. What she may not know is that she has no reason to worry. As a graduate of Wheaton, boasting a rank as one of the top liberal arts schools in the nation, she will likely land a dream job within six months of graduation. Also, as a member of one of the top DIII soccer programs in the country, the perseverance and tenacity developed during her time as a varsity athlete will pay off in the long run.

Shelby played defense during her time with the Wheaton Thunder women's soccer team.

“Can’t hold us down”

After experiencing a torn ACL in high school and an almost-fatal car accident during her sophomore year of college, Shelby has experienced plenty of physical challenges. The accident during her sophomore could have taken her life–or her ability to play soccer. But it didn’t.

Even though she was knocked unconscious, broke her arm, and had to get stitches in her mouth as a result of the impact, Shelby’s optimism shines through in recollection of the traumatic event.

“The worst part was walking around with a bandage on my face,” Shelby says. “I couldn’t even laugh!”

Her lighthearted demeanor is contagious, and her passion for people and relationships is evident in the way she carries herself in community with others.

“You really need to invest in the people around you,” Shelby says. “I think growing up I didn’t really pay much attention to that. I was in my own little world because I had everything I needed, and I didn’t think too much about other people. Wheaton’s definitely taught me a lot about that, and how important it is to invest your time in other people, caring for them and helping them with their needs instead of just thinking of yourself all the time.”

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Selfless love is definitely something Shelby experienced during her time at Wheaton. She made some of her best friends in the soccer program at Wheaton, and was able to travel to Senegal with them to play a match against the Senegalese national team in addition to helping renovate houses, buildings, and yards in local communities.

“I think missions are great,” Shelby says. “I am personally really proud of people that can go to all these different places and really change people’s lives.”

Christian culture shock

Before enrolling in the #3 most religious college in the nation, Shelby spent her educational years at public high school.

“When I came to Wheaton freshman year I was just like, whoa, God is involved in absolutely everything here. It kind of freaked me out,” Shelby says. “But I think I adjusted eventually.”

Indeed, when she wasn’t attending soccer practices six days a week or winning tournaments and games for the Thunder most nights and weekends every fall, Shelby was knocking out two internships: the first with TeachBeyond, a small Christian missions organization, and another with Christianity Today, a global media organization.

“My internships were really formative for me because they helped me discover what my strengths were what my weaknesses were,” Shelby says.

After creating several e-books for Christianity Today and an educational guide for TeachBeyond’s numerous international teaching locations, Shelby has decided she’s interested in pursuing fashion–even though it may be a challenging field to go into.

“Life isn’t all about things,” Shelby says. “It’s going to be hard to keep that in mind as I’m in an industry in a world that revolves around things, and what you wear, and how you look. I also want to be sure I stay honest. In being a Christian, truth holds a lot of weight. Sadly in this world truth doesn’t always hold the most weight, so I want to make sure that’s something I’m always holding myself to: being truthful and honest. As long as I’m doing that, people can’t give me too much grief.”

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Shelby Anthony is a regular contributor to MillennialInflux.com hoping to land a job in the fashion industry. Read her posts on trends, fashion, and culture at this link.