Make the most of opportunities
As I am sitting here writing this I cannot help but feel nostalgic.
I have spent the past year continually counting down the minutes until I could walk across the stage and receive my diploma. And now I sit here with one week standing between me and whatever comes next. I am not sure where I will end up, or who I will meet, or what I will be doing. The more and more I think about it, the more I come to realize that this is OK. This is exciting; this is a new start.
With this in mind, I would like to dedicate the majority of this goodbye to the students of Shippensburg University. To start, I hope and I pray that you realize the opportunity that you have sitting in front of you. This is a chance to show the world what you are made of. This is an institution that can give you the tools you need to succeed. The rest is up to you to build a future.
Listen to your professors, ask as many questions as you can. I remember feeling anxious before my start in college. I remember packing up my room and allowing reservations to overwhelm me to the point of concern. There are so many unanswered questions about new chapters in our lives.
If you just keep reading, and turning the page, you will find that in life there is no climax, no dénouement. Every day adds another story to the anthology that is your life. Milestones are not obstacles to overcome, but rather advances into your future.
Be proud of yourselves for coming this far. Be proud and excited about what you can do and achieve. Please get involved, and learn as much as you can. Getting involved on campus was the best and most influential decision that I have ever made.
You will learn so much more than you ever thought you could imagine. Do not be afraid to make a commitment to this, with every new experience there is a learning curve that will bring changes.
Taking on the role of editor-in-chief has been on of the hardest obstacles I have ever encountered. It is important to know that challenges are sometimes the best things to occur in your life.
Ernest Hemingway once said, “Courage is grace under pressure.” While pressure can sometimes get the best of us, do not be afraid to reach out to new people, and do not be afraid to try new things. That is one point I cannot stress enough.
There have been so many people that I have met during my time at SU. Some have left, some have drifted away, but there are some who I have known since my freshman year. It is those people who have made my time here everything that I hoped it would be.
To Crissy, Kathleen and Julia, I hate that four years have gone by so fast. Thinking about all of the trouble that we caused in McLean to drinking religiously at Wibs every night of the weekend, there has not been one moment these past few years that we did not experience together. We may have lost one along the way, but I think we all agree that was for the best.
People say that college friendships are the ones that last a lifetime and I hope that is true.
So whether one of us moves across the country or the world, or if we all drift away and lose touch one day, we will at least, if nothing else, remember that we had the time our lives living here in Shippensburg, at 211 N. Queen. This is something that no amount of money could ever replace.
Also, to Patrick James Taylor, you are without a doubt in my mind the most original, selfless, happy person I have ever met. Please do not ever change.
To Alec, for teaching me that letting go and trusting is sometimes the best thing for a person to do. In terms of surprises that I have encountered here, you are absolutely one of the best.
Thank you to my supporting family for helping me during my time in college. There is no doubt in my mind that I could not have done this if it were not for you.
To everyone on The Slate, thank you for some of the best times. This publication has taught me the meaning of hard work. I am so excited to see what you all can do next year. I am confident that you will produce some of the best content this campus has ever seen.
Remember to always ask questions, and that while this may be a job, have fun, and always remember to work as a team. This is such a wonderful team that understands persistence, creativity, respect and integrity.
Finally, thank you to Dr. Michael Drager. When I think of my time here at SU I consider you to be a pillar that has stood strong in support of me.
If someone asks me one day why I love this profession I will not hesitate to say that it is because of you. You do not teach your students, you explain your passion for this field.
I will never forget when saw you at the front of the class lecturing about Oxford commas, I saw you praising the work we did, I saw you so excited to be teaching. You have so much love for writing and all of your students and I pray that I make you proud.
Sitting here now I find myself tearing up thinking that I will not be sitting in one of your classes next year. While I will never have a class with you again, I will never forget this; the best and most important skill that I can take with me in my future is the ability to communicate effectively.
You have taught me so much more than this, but this is what I will never forget. Thinking about it now, I think this is something that we are all trying to do. To just communicate; to tell each other what we are thinking and how we feel. This is the simplest concept in its essence, and yet the hardest obstacle to overcome.
You are the definition of persistent and patient, I admire the work ethic that you exhibit everyday.
When I lock the doors to The Slate office before leaving I will remember your laugh, and endless advice and support that you gave every single one of us.
You have been such an impactful part of my life, and an endless support system for all of us.
My time here at Shippensburg University may be over, but this school will forever hold a place in my heart.
I was proud to be a Red Raider student, now I am more than excited to become a Red Raider alumna.
Thank you for all that you have done.