A Quarantine Graduation: Congratulations Class of 2020

And just like that...my time at Marist College has come to a close.

When I first started at Marist, I was a terrified and naive 18 year old.  I didn't know what to expect from Marist and college life, and I was terribly afraid of the unknown.  Four years later, and I can't imagine having gone to school anywhere else.  I had my fair share of ups and downs as a college student, but I wouldn't trade my experience for the world.  The moments where I found myself hopeless and at the bottom were the most important of them all.  These were the moments where I grew, became stronger, and ultimately discovered who I am today.  

But life doesn't stop giving you challenges.  In fact, things often become even more difficult.  The current pandemic is something that I never anticipated happening, especially during a period in my life that was supposed to be celebratory and free.  It has been an extremely difficult time for many around the globe, essentially putting life as we knew it on pause.  Priorities have shifted, and the safety and wellness of those around us has become the most important thing.  

I, along with my fellow graduates, am very disappointed that my last few months of college have been lost.  But just like in all of my prior difficult moments, I will learn and grow from this experience.  At a pivotal time in my life, where I'm trying to find a place in this world as an adult, my entire world view has shifted.  My values have changed, and I've learned to never take anything for granted.  There will be a lot to resolve following this pandemic, and we will be the driving force in the solution.

I am forever thankful for the friends and memories I've made, and look forward to what lies ahead.  While this is not what we expected, it will only make us a stronger and better people.

Congratulations to all graduates on your achievements.  I couldn't be more proud to be a member of this class.