Here I sit… the second to last night I will spend at Alma College. Tomorrow I will wake up, and the graduation festivities will begin. Packing, senior dinner, senior party and then commencement ceremonies on Saturday. I cannot believe that the end is finally here. Four years ago, I never believed the time would go by this fast, but here I sit wearing “Alma College Alumni” across my chest (only slightly premature!).
My goal with this post was to write a reflection and highlight all of my favorite moments throughout my time at Alma. However, it didn’t take long to realize that that I would need multiple posts to even begin to document all of the great times I have had. What I will say, though, is that the time flew by.
But tonight, I was asked a question… during an exit survey during graduation rehearsal: “Given the chance, would you chose to attend Alma College again?”
This question really got me thinking.
I’ve had some of my highest highs and my lowest lows through my time in college, and I believe that most of my classmates will agree to that, to some extent at least. College is a time to find friends, find yourself and begin to find your future. While bad times do happen, it is in those bad times that you find out what really matters, and more important, who really matters. As I walk across the stage on Saturday, I know that I have a support system cheering me on — some also dressed in cap and gown, some up in the bleachers, and some watching from home.
To say that I have met some amazing people through my time here would not say quite enough. I have met people I have laughed with, and I have cried with. I have met people I would drop anything for. From the roommates who have seen me at my very best and very worst, to the classmates who’ve pushed through the tough stuff, I am thankful to have met each and every one of you.
The professors who gave their all to get to know their students, and to truly care about our personal well-being were something that I believe is definitely unique to Alma. I’ve been to several of my professors’ homes and been fortunate enough to interact with their spouses, and children, and even their pets. Being at a school where I was able to build myself a home away from home solidified that I most definitely made the best decision for myself, and for my future.
I am going to miss this place tremendously when I get on US 127 and head south on Saturday. Seeing Alma in my rear-view mirror for what feels like the final time is going to be all too real. In reality, there will be many trips back to visit and many more memories created in this place that I’ve called home for so long. It will not come close in comparison to the times I’ve had in the past four years. As we head out into the “real world,” though I feel like Alma has been pretty “real” to me, I know that we have all been fully equipped to function and succeed wherever we go.
The Alma College mission states that it aims to prepare graduates who think critically, serve generously, lead purposefully, and live responsibly as stewards of the world they bequeath to future generations. My sorority, Phi Sigma Sigma, also gave me some core values to follow: inclusiveness, leadership through service, and lifelong learning.
It is through my time in Phi Sigma Sigma and at Alma College that I learned how to be the inclusive person that I am today. A simple smile or a friendly hello can turn someone’s day upside down. Each of those values have been so deeply instilled into me through my time here. I’ve learned to ask question, and to challenge the “truth” and to never settle. I’ve learned that I have the power to lead, and I’ve been given many practical experiences and chances to do so. And most importantly, I’ve learned how to live as a responsible adult. And now, as I go forward and leave Alma College behind, I will be forever grateful for the focus placed on these values.
While entering the “real world” is going to be scary, I know that Alma College has provided me with everything I need to succeed in my next steps. I feel comfortable heading forward, knowing that I have the support and guidance whenever need be and that I have a huge support network cheering me on and hoping for me to succeed. However, if I do not succeed, I also know that they will be there to catch me when I fall and help me get back on my feet again.
Thanks for a wonderful four years, and thank you for the memories!