My mother has always said I was a “hello” girl. Goodbyes have never really been my thing, but then again, are they really anyone’s?
Lately I’ve been overcome with acute nostalgia toward the last three years. I’ve been reliving memories, recalling the moments that have meant most to me and preparing myself for a new chapter, without some people who are very near and dear to my heart.
When I moved from Michigan to Ohio, I did not expect to find the love that I have discovered at John Carroll. The thought of leaving my classmates of 13 years, all 30 of them, seemed outrageous. I was actually afraid of building new relationships, because I really didn’t have a clue how to do so.
Now, I struggle with the most remote notion of saying farewell to this year’s senior class.
As I look back as to why I’m here, I owe a lot to a special group of people.
The JCU track and field team has contributed to my best and worst moments.
Among you all, I found peace in times of anxiety. Even when I was bruised, beaten down and hidden in the trenches of life’s chaotic clusters, it was this team that lifted me up.
Junior year has proven to be my hardest year at JCU thus far, academically, socially, physically and mentally. There were moments where I tried so hard to find light, but I couldn’t do it by myself.
Then one day I was sitting outside, looking at the bricks surrounding Ignatius’s fountain when I picked up a sticky note that read, “Sometimes you need to rely on others.”
So I got up, went to practice and let everything go. I allowed an atmosphere filled with extraordinary people and dead legs become my solace. Thank you for being my support and relief, even if you didn’t know it.
The class of 2015 is a force to be reckoned with. But to the seniors who have become my nearest and dearest, know that I aspire to lead like you.
I hope that my presence is like yours, illuminating and magnifying. I pray that I can, if not fill your shoes, at least tie them tightly enough to stay on.
Some of my greatest role models walk the halls of John Carroll today, withholding a bold and determined dominance, ready to join a new “real world.”
Four years is a long time in one place, and a lot has happened, I’m sure. You’ve faced the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to classes, felt your body break beneath you while running and have probably fallen in and out of love a few times.
I speak for the track and field team when I say we are proud of you for persevering and overcoming the odds.
As graduation approaches, I’ve been attempting to remind myself that I’m not always going to be around the people I love most, and that’s okay. There is a certain beauty in maintaining relationships with those who may not always be physically at your side. I have faith that as each of you takes your very own road less travelled you will find that beauty, too.
Seniors, you have taught us that leadership comes in many different representations. Through your avid humor, strong will and tasteful assertiveness, we have learned to be diligent, to be full of punctuating poise, to be men and women who do not just listen, but who learn and act lightheartedly.
So yes, Mom is right, as always. I am a hello girl. Goodbyes will never be my thing. But I promise I will try with my whole heart to continue your legacy alongside the rest of the up-and-coming senior class.
We will do our best to guide as you have done for us. And we will continuously remind ourselves that we could not possibly be the leaders of tomorrow if it weren’t for the leaders of today.