I know the semester is long over, but in between procrastinating and trying to find the words to say, this took me forever to finish.
I’ve always been the kind of person that’s been able to best express myself through writing. From a young age, whenever I’ve felt distant or overwhelmed to talk to someone, my diaries and journals were my safe space to understand myself.
But for the past two months, I’ve stared blankly into pages of paper or my computer screen, unable to process my feelings into words. Somehow, it felt easier to bottle it up, distract myself however best I could and avoid the harsh realities that this pandemic has brought about.
In what felt like the blink of an eye, I saw the world turn upside down as we went into lockdown, the last few months of my senior year of college got taken away and the dangers of this virus began to infiltrate daily life in a way that none of us ever saw coming.
As I sat home, quarantined for the past two months, it broke my heart as I watched what were supposed to be my final days at SHU just pass me by; just wishing I could sit in class at West Campus, give another tour, show up late to choir rehearsal (again…), go to Red’s, complain through another work shift at JP’s, order-in Romanacci and watch stand up specials with my housemates, work out at Bobby V’s, get Merritt at 2am after a Friday night at Eli’s, the list could go on.
My classmates and I didn’t get the chance to have our “lasts”: the campus events, end-of-year dinners, concerts, pub nights, celebrations, Senior Week, graduation… (not to discount how much the SHU faculty and staff did their best to make up for it virtually, thank you for that)
And yeah, these may seem like little things but they would’ve given us a chance to commemorate the end of our college years. Having to walk away without any real closure made this goodbye so much harder.
Senior year of college is a rollercoaster of emotions as is. You cling to the familiarity of routine as a student that you’ve known your whole life before you finally step out into the real world as an adult. You try to make the most of the remaining time you have with your friends while doing your best to figure out your post-graduation gameplan. You add a global pandemic to the equation and suddenly, you have not a clue about how to think or act or feel about literally anything.
And while the rest of the world felt like it was slowly crumbling at the gravity of this pandemic, I couldn’t help but feel drowned in the disappointment and loneliness of not being at SHU with my friends, cherishing the last few moments of our college lives.
This past week, when I went up to pack up the rest of my house, it really hit me that this was the end of an era, and that the way I had to close this chapter of my life was just not how I had always imagined it.
Yet, in the midst of my sadness and disappointment at everything that got cancelled and we missed out on, it was easy to forget all the good that came out of these last couple of years.
The places, people, events, opportunities, crazy schedules, nights out, I’ll miss all of it. I wish I’d had more time. But I’m so thankful for all that I got.
I was a shy and naive 17- year old when I moved to the United States four years ago to pursue my college degree. It was the biggest transition I went through at that point in my life. Sacred Heart gave me the push to break out of my comfort zone and shape me into the confident and passionate woman I am today.
And much as I’ve felt all the negative emotions of sadness, guilt, confusion, anger about what could’ve happened, above all, I am so incredibly grateful for all that did. Grateful for my parents’ trust and confidence in my ability to take on this journey so far away from them. Grateful for my relatives in Connecticut who stood by me like a second family during these last four years. Grateful for the lifelong friends I’ve made who’ve inspired and supported me during my best and worst. Grateful for the faculty and professors that pushed me to excel academically and prepare me for the career I’ve waited so long to start. Grateful for extracurricular involvements that let me develop my leadership, talents and skills outside the classroom. Grateful for all the highs, lows and in-betweens that made my college experience something beyond I could have ever imagined when I first packed my bags and moved halfway across the world to be here.
Grateful for Sacred Heart for shaping me into the person I am today.
This is it.
Thank you, SHU.