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woman wearing green graduation cap
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With Love to JCU: An Open Letter to JCU From a Graduating Senior

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at JCU chapter.

Dear JCU Students,

I’m writing this letter to all of you as I’m sitting on my bed, relaxing with the knowledge that I’ve turned in my last research paper, taken my last finals, and have nothing left to do at JCU besides graduation. It’s a truly bittersweet feeling. I write to all of you not to simply give advice, but to give you words of encouragement and share what a fabulous journey my time at JCU has been. 

I didn’t start at JCU like most of you. I transfered here after a bad experience my freshman year, and I was terrified. I was sure that I wouldn’t fit in, that I’d never find a group of close friends, that I would just put my head down and get my degree and get out. Luckily for me, JCU became so much more than just my school – it truly became my home. From the first time that I set foot on campus, I felt like I belonged there, and I felt confident that everything would work out. I enjoyed my classes, I adored living in Pacelli, and I made the decision to go through formal sorority recruitment and I accepted a bid to Kappa Delta. Pretty soon, the amazing JCU community had welcomed me with open arms. I greeted people walking to class, I had people to sit with during 10 pm mass and at every meal in the cafeteria, and I realized that JCU had truly become part of my life that I will never forget. Coming back to campus my second year, I walked into Hamlin and realized that even though it was the start of a new year, I felt so comfortable and at ease that you would think I hadn’t left for the summer. I became much more active in my sorority, and I made some of the strongest friendships I’ve ever had. 

Then came my senior year. I, along with my sorority sister Brittany, had the opportunity to start this chapter of Her Campus. I had dreamed of starting a chapter for years, but I didn’t have the skills, confidence, or connections to do it before. I’m so happy that I jumped at this opportunity, as it has been one of the most important things that I’ve done all year. My leadership skills have blossomed, I’ve met amazing people, and I’ve had the chance to do my dream job: writing, editing, and publishing!

So, you may ask “Why should I care about her time at JCU?” Well, I have the answer. You should care because I’ve learned from both my successes and my mistakes, my lost opportunities and my dreams come true. So now, it’s on to the encouragement and advice that I previously promised.

First, to any incoming JCU students that manage to find this page: WELCOME!!!! You’re about to embark on a journey among the most amazing people you can find. Don’t be afraid to jump in at the deep end – the community of John Carroll will always be there to love and support you. Find the activities that you’re interested in and join them. Make them your own. If you can’t find what you want, don’t be afraid to start up an organization of your own.

Second, to the rising sophomores: congratulations on finishing your freshman year at JCU. I trust by now that you’ve discovered all of the amazing opportunities that John Carroll has to offer. As you continue your journey, don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. Make an effort to expand your horizons and make new friends. Everyone has an amazing story, so make a point of trying to hear as many stories as you can. Don’t let declaring a major (if you haven’t already) scare you. Everyone in your chosen department will help you, care about you, and support you.

Third, to the rising juniors: welcome to the land of the upperclassmen! Junior year can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Allow yourself to have fun, and don’t take yourself too seriously. Explore all of your options when it comes to choosing classes, and don’t be afraid to talk to professors and ask for what you want. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, either. By this point, you’ll have realized that the JCU community is a force to be reckoned with. As you begin to become the leaders of organizations, let yourself grow and watch what an amazing adult you become.

And finally, to the rising seniors: well, you’ve made it this far. I wish you the best of luck in your final year of college. You should be proud of how far you’ve come. This is your time. Don’t rush walking to class – take in every sight, sound, and smell because you’ll soon be longing for those very times. Take everything in. As you continue your leadership positions and pass them off to the next person, share your tremendous talent, courage, empathy, and intelligence with those you’ll soon be leaving behind. Live in the moment. Worrying about the future will give you nothing but anxiety and stress, so simply do your best and pray, and all will be well in the end.

To everyone that is part of the John Carroll community, I have to extend my appreciation and thanks for all that you have done. Through my time here, I have met and gotten to know people that exhibit amazing strength, kindness, grace, generosity, and faith. This community has given me and every other graduating senior the chance to grow into adults in the best environment possible, with the support of people that I could only call spectacular. I encourage all of you to strive to know and love one another even more than you do now, to support each other both in times of immense joy and terrible sadness, and to allow yourselves to grow and change into the adults that you should all be proud to be. Each and every one of you makes JCU a special, unique place that cannot be replicated anywhere else. I know that I will be Forever Carroll. Now go forth and set the world on fire.

With much love,

Allison Gall

Campus Correspondent and Her Campus JCU Founder, President and Editor-in-Chief.

Photo Credit: Bri Pentuk

Allison Gall is a senior English major at John Carroll University. She is also a member of Kappa Delta Sorority. While not doing school work, Allison is involved in several other activities, including working with her church and taking Taekwondo. Allison also loves to read and write, sing, play violin, swim, and run. She is also interested in fashion, and she is known among her friends as the go-to person for hair and makeup help.