This week has really crept up on me. I’ve finished my last final, turned in the final version of my thesis, and picked up my cap and gown.
Reality is setting in.
Tomorrow, I’ll be walking across the stage at Commencement after spending four years loving, living, and learning at Roger Williams University.
I’ve met so many impactful people- friends that will remain close to me for the rest of my life. From the members of the “Core Four” in my Admissions past- Lisa, Adam, and Claire, to Abby, to Senate colleagues in Kevin, Ryan, Celine, Emily, and Blair, to ExCon, to all of the other amazing individuals (Emily, Jill and Jill, Shannon, Bobby and more!) I have had the joy and honor of working with over the past few years- I love you all.
These relationships expand beyond that of my peers. I have never met a more dedicated, caring group of faculty members than those I have encountered at Roger Williams. June Speakman and Jeffrey Meriwether, the chairs of the Political Science and History departments, respectively have instilled in me a sense of passion and for a life in the academy. Joseph Roberts and Laura D’Amore have never failed to read a paper they did not have to, to help me develop the best work possible. Autumn Quezada-Grant and Charlotte Carrington have made me believe that I can do anything I want to do and be anyone I want to be. Dave Moskowitz, with whom I’ve sparred verbally on multiple occasions has kept me grounded, while Jennifer Stevens has helped me gain practical experience as a historian. They have carefully molded me into the individual I am today and without them I would not have had the success I did. From writing me countless letters of recommendation to letting me have the occasional nervous breakdown on the floor of their offices, they have never failed me.
This trend continues with staff members at the university. The amount of times I’ve pestered Carol and Adrienne in the SP&L office cannot be counted. I’ll miss little things, like Pat from the FCAS coffee cart knowing my order and brightening my morning or Jesse, the “honorary RA” in Maple who never failed to attend to our residence hall needs. This community I’ve been a part of has changed my life for the better. Where else could the President, Provost, and several Vice Presidents know your name? It’s kind of like Cheers.
But now, we need to move on. Forge new relationships while keeping the old close to your heart.
We are the Class of 2013. Remember that, where ever you go. Whether you’re in line for a coffee before heading to your big-boy/girl job or teaching English in a foreign country, or just living your life- let yourself remember. Be nostalgic. But do so with caution. Don’t get so caught up in the past that your forget to live in the present.
This is a place, these are the people that I will remember.