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Sincerely, A Senior

Dear Underclassmen,

Recently I’ve been thinking back to four years ago, senior year of high school, when I was making my college decision. We’ve all been there – the common app, the stress of deciding whether to leave the state you’ve grown up in and preparing to leave everything you know. But the way that I ended up at Xavier is a little different from the usual reasons people choose a school. I was deciding between Loyola Marymount, in California, and Xavier. I had met a guy who told me that if I was struggling to make a decision, to pray a novena – a nine-day prayer to a saint named St. Therese of the Little Flower. Apparently there have been miracles where St. Therese gives people a flower for direction. The guy told me that if you dedicate one color flower to one decision and another color flower to the other decision, the answer will appear to you in the color flower of the decision you should follow.

Thinking this guy was slightly insane, I finally decided to give this whole prayer thing a shot. Everyone else knew where they were going and I was running out of time. So I decided to pray the nine-day prayer and not tell anyone about it so they wouldn’t interfere. I prayed that a white flower would represent Xavier and a red flower would mean I would go to Loyola Marymount. On the last day, I was done praying. I kept my eyes out for any signs I could find. I was home alone and my mom came home from the store and she started crying. She came into my room saying, “Thank you so much. I was having a bad day and you knew I needed that.” Having absolutely no idea what she was talking about, I asked her what she meant. She said, “the flower you put on the refrigerator for me.” My heart stopped. I ran into the kitchen and there, on the refrigerator, was a paper prayer and a white flower. I couldn’t even gather the words to attempt to tell my mom that I hadn’t put the flower there and that it wasn’t exactly for her. I asked my friends, my family, everyone I knew if they had put it there and to this day – no one has any idea how that flower appeared there on that last day of that novena.

Flash forward four years from being a senior in high school to now being a senior at Xavier University. Although I was bummed that there wouldn’t be an ocean minutes from campus, I knew the moment I came to Xavier’s campus as a freshman, that I had made the right choice. I am here for a reason. You are here for a reason. We are all here for a reason, whether you know why or not. You are here and I can promise you that this is where you are supposed to be at this period of your life. You will grow in ways you can’t imagine during your time here. You will meet people that will challenge you and people that will always have your back. You will become a fan of basketball, whether you liked sports before or not, it’s inevitable. You will create friendships that will last a lifetime. You will grow to have a love/hate relationship with the caf. You will become too familiar with Dana’s. You will fall in love with Father B the more and more times he calls you Saint. You will have the time of your life during spring breaks, whether you are at the beach with your friends or doing alternative break. You will be homesick and then you will overcome homesickness. You will find hidden gems that you had no idea existed that make Cincinnati such a great city. You will join something you are passionate about. You will learn way more about yourself than you will in classes. You will change your mind about what you want to do seven times or maybe never and you will somehow learn to enjoy the process. And by senior year, you will be able to say that you have built a life for yourself here.

So even if a white flower didn’t appear on your refrigerator – it is a miracle that you are here. Seek the reason and the moments and the people that you are here for. Seek the ways that you make this campus a little better in which you are here for. And finally, welcome home.


A Senior


Katherine Plucinsky is a senior at Xavier University studying Public Relations and Advertising. She is a Colorado native who loves her mountains and Red Rocks concerts. Her free time consists of eating cookie dough, hanging out with friends, being outdoors, going on runs and enjoying the little things. She is a sunrise addict and a travel enthusiast in love with being alive. She also thoroughly enjoys God and adventure.
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