Tonight we had our Honors Senior Reflection, and it was very bittersweet.
“It’s a full circle moment,” Dr. Mann remarked, addressing our graduating class.
It truly was– I looked around at the kids I lived with in Bergstrom all those years ago (only four, but I think we can all agree that college time has traveled differently), and found myself with that bittersweet, wistful nostalgia once more. It truly does feel like just yesterday that I was moving into Bergstrom with a bunch of strangers and going on a scavenger hunt with our torch leaders across De Pere, and they are now the same group of people I will be walking across the graduation stage with in just a week.
We looked at old photographs and laughed at memories, good and bad. It was fun to look back and see how we have changed and grown. We talked about our favorite memories, our adventures during first-year and throughout the pandemic, talked about hard classes and tough semesters, and reflected on our friendships.
Seeing my friendships morph and grow over the past four years has truly been a blessing– I have gotten to know so many wonderful people and created memories that will last a lifetime (as incredibly cliche as that sounds). Yes, college is about academics and getting an education, as all of us honors kids know, but I don’t think I ever anticipated how big of an impact all of the people I would meet and relationships I’ve formed would make on me. That amidst those late nights cramming for exams or writing 20-page essays, I would be forming relationships that would support me throughout my entire life.
It was indeed a full-circle moment, seeing some classmates I hadn’t seen since freshman year, and learning what everyone’s plans were for after graduation. I felt a strange sense of deja-vu of sitting in the Bergstrom second floor lounge four years prior, when we went around sharing our majors and careers we all hoped to pursue. It’s an odd sort of feeling to see everyone’s plans and dreams come to fruition four years later.
Everyone shared where they are going and the separate corners of the Earth we are retreating to in order to chase our dreams and continue our lives. We made promises to keep in touch and visit each other, and spoke excitedly about the futures that await us.
I will always look back at my time at St. Norbert and in the Honors Program fondly. As I reflect on my time at St. Norbert, I feel a lot of gratitude. Gratitude for the memorable experiences I’ve had, the opportunities I’ve been given, and the people that I’ve met. All these things have helped me grow and develop in so many ways. I am grateful for the time we spent together, and I think, in a way, the fact it was limited makes all the more special. We won’t be in college forever, and that fact makes these memories that much more valuable. It’s a beautiful time, as long as time is time at all. I am filled with gratitude as I say goodbye to the end of one chapter, but welcome the start of the next.