Sitting down to write this, I’m finally coming to terms with the fact that graduation really is right around the corner (I still refuse to have an accurate countdown, though, because I definitely cannot handle that). The feeling is definitely bittersweet — new opportunities and a new chapter lie just beyond graduation, but that carries with it the reality that I won’t be coming back to campus in the fall for another year at The University of Scranton. My time here at the University has, in every sense, changed my life for the better. These four years here have been so precious to me and I have so many people and experiences to thank for that.
Being at the University has drawn me out of my comfort zone and into the habit of welcoming the unknown. I learned from the people around me and from my experiences here that not everything requires meticulous planning because why not be spontaneous — you never truly know what good could happen. If it wasn’t for this lesson I never would have done half of the things I experienced on campus. I would never have met some of my closest friends. I would have been stuck in a routine that wouldn’t have gotten me anywhere. But, the warm and welcoming atmosphere that I found when I first visited the University drove me to reach out and to try new things. I knew deep down that here, at the University, is where I belonged. And, it was in this sense of belonging that my love for The University of Scranton grew.
I want to leave some advice to the current students and the incoming first-years: Be open to the people and things around you. Welcome them in because that’s where you will find the most love for this school and for what it offers you. Cherish the little moments, as well as the big ones. When I look back on these four years, it’s not always the big things that stick out to me. It’s downtime I spent with my friends after classes, gathered in one of our rooms sharing stories of the day or cracking jokes and teasing one another. It’s all of my friends getting dinner every day exactly at 5 o’clock sharp. It’s watching the Dionne Green get crowded with students playing with frisbees and dogs and basking in the sun on the first warm day after a brutal Scranton winter. It’s realizing you can actually make jokes with your professors without getting in trouble. It’s every second of every day at The University of Scranton where you see a tight-knit community come together and form to create a place you never want to leave. This is why I love my four years here at The University of Scranton, and this is why I want you to love yours too.