After four years, I can’t believe that my time at Messiah is coming to an end. It has been an amazing experience and a crazy time for me, and I wanted to leave you guys with something before I officially hand the reins over to Brian Shermeyer, the next Editor-in-Chief.
Without a normal graduation right after finals, it definitely hasn’t quite hit me yet that I will no longer be a student after May 16th, 2020. My last final is on the 8th, so I consider myself officially done by then. Sixteen years of being a student have come to an end and I have no idea what my future will look like. I’m scared, excited, hopeful and all the other feelings that come with moving forward to the next chapter of my life.
As a storyteller and novelist, I know that the next chapter is full of new things for me. New plot lines, new character development, new discoveries to keep my life going forward. I just have to keep turning the pages.
Leaving Messiah is no easy thing for me. I have loved my time and experiences here, and I wouldn’t trade or change that for anything. The person I was as a freshman is definitely not who I am now. Messiah and the people here have changed me for the better, and I can only hope to continue changing for the better when I leave.
In my four years as a student, I met two of my best friends here. I strengthened the relationship with another really close friend whom I’d known for four years before college. I fell in love and had my heart broken. I’ve made really great friends with people in my program. I’ve learned the names of and pet so many great dogs. My professors have pushed me to be better in so many ways that I’m thankful for. And I’ve done things I never thought were possible before, like writing for a magazine and eventually getting to be Editor-in-Chief. The stories I’ve had the chance to share have made me a better writer and storyteller, and they’ve inspired me in so many ways. Getting to choreograph dances for Footprintz brought me back to a childhood love I had pretty much given up on, and I will always have fond memories of dancing.
Though the year didn’t end the way I imagined, things have ended well. I believe that all of this has shaped and impacted me in a way I will only be able to see in hindsight. There are still so many things I wish I could have done and still feel the loss of, but it makes all my previous experiences so much more meaningful. From International Gala to the Footprintz show, I will at least have previous years to look back on and remember fondly.
This is perhaps the most personal thing I’ve ever written for The Pulse, outside of my previous open letter. I had toyed with the idea of a parting letter when I started thinking about graduation, and it only grew as the semester went on. It’s the final piece of a legacy I’m hoping I’ll leave – as a student, a friend, a Pulse employee and a member of the final graduating class of Messiah College.
For all the people who are still on their journey at Messiah, I hope that you’ll continue to love all the opportunities you get and the people you meet. I hope things continue to inspire you and that the Pulse continues bringing you stories that are powerful and thoughtful and different. I hope your classes and professors push you to become better, to become more. And I hope that everything around you nurtures your passions in life. It certainly has done that for me. I know that Messiah University is going to bring so many more wonderful things to your lives.
College is truly one of the best times of your life and you should make the most of it. I’m glad I pushed myself to try new things and meet new people over the past four years. Some of the best things have come out of that and I will always think of them when I think about college.
To quote Bilbo Baggins, “Don’t adventures ever have an end? I suppose not. Someone else always has to carry on the story.”
The story is now yours to continue.