The Senior Column

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Kristina Wyman's picture
McKaela Flannigan

I wrote this column a few weeks ago (because I needed relief from lesson planning), a full month before the much-anticipated, much-dreaded graduation. It is a tough pill to swallow. We have spent the past four years of our lives in the Assumption College bubble. We’ve encountered, lived and gone on Late-Night runs with people of all walks of life. People that we now consider family. We may never run into our next door neighbors ever again, an ominous but truth-laden thought, or experience another Duck Day, but we have those memories to look back on. I wish not to depress the readers into oblivion, as my intention is to make this Senior Column, the last one for the Class of 2014, a cheerful one. So I’m going to forego the morose, Vitamin C-esque emotions and instead reflect on all the great aspects at Assumption.

I oftentimes think about my decisions in life. How would my life have panned out if I took Robert Frost’s beaten path and not chosen Assumption College? I once wrote in John Hodgen’s English Composition class an essay reflecting that my decision to attend Assumption was the “path less taken.” And it certainly has made all the difference. Assumption has molded me in such a way that I could never have ever imagined. I entered college as an indecisive 18-year-old who was scared, excited and uncertain about the future that I was about to confront. Surprise: I’m leaving scared, excited and uncertain about the “real” world, but that’s okay because Assumption has unquestionably given me the tools needed to succeed.

On this exact day four years ago, I made my decision to attend Assumption. I know there are many prospective students shaking that magic-8 ball right now in hopes of steering them in the right decision as I had done. I waited until the last possible day to decide on Assumption College. However, it was probably my best decision. I’ve made countless best friends, experienced multiple SEND trips and START with some of the greatest people ever, watched Dr. Catherine Woodbrooks transform into a ruthless Mafia player, worked with an amazing PAWS team and was cultivated under incredible education and history departments. My time here was not always perfect, but looking back on the memories, it was pretty darn great.

I’ve grown so incredibly over these four years. Although much of me remains the same, I am a wholly different person than I was four years ago. I like maple syrup now (thanks to my Canadian roommate of four years, the amazing Bethany Sampson). But on a serious note, I immersed myself into situations that I needed to be vulnerable and ventured outside of my comfort zone. Stripping the façade was liberating. I think it’s safe to say that I was able to, for lack of better words, find myself here at Assumption College.

My duration at Assumption has been more than I could have ever wished for in a college experience. I met so many friends, best friends, who I could not fathom life without. We have lent a supportive shoulder during difficult times, laughed into the early hours of the morning, participated in Wednesday night dance parties, took infamous pictures on the hound statue, endured Leitrim’s and most importantly, made Assumption our home. It will always be ours; each one of us has contributed in such a way to make our class a special one.

As you hold this issue in your hands, seniors, take a moment to reflect on your experience. If you are an underclassman, take this simple advice: enjoy every stinking second of your college career. Suddenly, before you know it, you will be in my position: on the verge of graduating from the place that has been my home these past few years. These four years have been such a blissful blur. Four years filled with such fantastic memories, but years that flew by. That seems to be the trend in life lately—time flies. Time is an intriguing concept, sometimes it demands to be felt and sometimes it creeps by. My time at Assumption indubitably crept by. Did I really endure eight semesters? Am I really about to trek out into the “real world of teaching?”

To my fellow classmates of the Class of 2014, thank you for a wonderful college experience. We’ve made it so far and yet we have so much left to conquer. We may be finished with the undergraduate chapter of our lives, but there are so many pages yet to be filled with triumphs and successes. Our commencement is just another stepping stone.

Now, I challenge you to a three word memoir describing your college experience. What has been the most meaningful? What have you learned? My college experience can be summed up as such: highlighters, tuna and naps. Just kidding, I don’t nap. I’m pretty sure I napped four times in my four years at college. I’m not kidding about the tuna and highlighters though. Those have been definite staples. But I’ve learned more than anything else. I’ve learned about myself the most. I’ve discovered what I loved and unearthed what I could do without.

Seniors, we still have 17 days left. To my fellow student teachers, two days left. Let’s make the most of these moments and make memories that you will be able to smile back upon. As for the underclassmen reading this column, enjoy your time here. I can wholeheartedly tell you that each year gets progressively better. Don’t let the sophomore slump get you down. Get involved in something that you love and meet an overabundance of people. You will never know how much something means to you until it’s almost gone.

As for my closing remarks, “Go forth boldly in the direction of your dreams; live the life you’ve imagined.”

And I would also like to wish you all a happy humpday.

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