It’s the moment that no one prepares you for, or that moment that they can’t necessarily prepare you for. They tell you how to prepare for college, how to make friends that first day, and even some tricks of the trade. But how can one sit there and be ready to say goodbye to people who have become family to him over his first three years at Marist? Quite honestly, I don’t believe that you can. Nothing can prepare you for the day you witness you closest friends that are seniors walking across that stage and getting their degrees. There is no greater change as peaceful and swift as the moment you become a college graduate, and a member of the real world. You so badly wish you could freeze that moment in time, but it is impossible. It is inevitable that it will come for all of us.
When I first set foot on campus as a freshman in August 2010, I had envisioned what my college experience would be like. I had met people at Orientation, talked to random upperclassmen on Facebook, even asked me college seasoned sisters for advice (To this day, I still remember what their note to me on the kitchen table said the morning I left). They set a high standard for college experiences, each having one that is unique in it’s own way. My oldest sister was an athlete, spending four years on the Women’s Basketball team at Springfield College. My other sister graduated Cum Laude from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and found a niche on a campus known for research. What was I going to? I was not an athlete like my oldest sister, and I didn’t think I was of myself as a scholar like my other sister.
Fast forward, I am making my mark academically and professionally on this campus, taking advantage of every opportunity on campus that I can. And it is through those opportunities that I have met some of my closest friends here at Marist, whether it be as a freshman or a junior. Regardless, I know it is going to be so difficult to say goodbye come May. (I also know my younger brother is going to have to try really hard to make his own experience unique, but he has three years for that!)
The more and more I think about it, the more I know there is no preparation for the infamous day where I give these seniors a hug and tell them I’ll see them soon, but the reality is, how soon is soon? They’ll have jobs, internships, graduate schools that they’ll be in, all of which are extremely different that still being in college. Things won’t be the same. No more dinner dates in the dining hall, no more late nights studying, or hanging out in residence halls, no more nights out with these specific people. It’s like ripping off a band-aid. It is extremely difficult and painful, nobody looks forward to doing it, but at some point, that band-aid has got to go.
Pretty soon, the only thing I’ll have are memories and Facebook pictures. But the scary thing is, I’ll be so busy being a senior I won’t necessarily have time to think about ‘the old days’. It will be my time to leave my last mark on Marist, and I know each of these seniors would kick my butt if I did not take advantage of it.
In a way, this post is the start of me saying goodbye to some of the seniors I’ve grown so close with. To the seniors that are a part of my Orientation Leader family, you will always be who I think of when I listen to Boyce Avenue’s cover of “Will You Be There?”. I envision us on the stage of the Nelly Goletti theater in our Red Shirts, making ridiculous rhymes and fools of ourselves in the middle of June.
To the seniors I met as an Ambassador/Student Worker. You are all dedicated to Marist, and we sacrifice parts of our sanity everyday by working with prospective students wishing we could go back and do it all over again. We give 9:00 a.m. tours because nothing sounds better to us than that, or host a Shadow Student because we think they have the potential to make an impact on our community nestled in the Hudson Valley.
To all the seniors, you are a member of our family here at Marist. Whether you know it or not, my experiences here at Marist were largely affected by your advice, kindness, and open arms that I saw as a prospective student. You have changed me for the better, and have set a fantastic bar in which I can only hope to measure. This is for Kelsey, Melanie, Kristen, Caroline, Sam, Brendan, and all the seniors here at Marist. You are inspirational, and if it was not for you, saying goodbye would have been so easy. But what is life without a challenge? We were able to spend three amazing years together, and I would not trade it for anything else in the world.
Marist Class of ’14