To the members of the Quinnipiac community, I want to say thank you. Thank you for an unforgettable journey that I will never forget.
The Class of 2012 started our Quinnipiac experience in 2008 divided into different flavors of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream at orientation. None of us had any real discernible identity beyond the ice cream flavors pinned onto our shirts. There was a time when we were only able to distinguish each other based on our orientation group or the floor we lived on freshman year.
But we turned out to be more than just a label on a carton of ice cream or a room number in a hallway. We truly became individuals in the community and hopefully defied each and every expectation we had before coming to Quinnipiac.
Throughout this adventure, we succeeded, but made some mistakes along the way.
I won just as much as I lost. I forgave as often as I have been forgiven. I fell more times than I was caught. And heartbreak crushed any fleeting semblance of love I ever felt.
But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
When I first came to Quinnipiac, I didn’t really have any aspirations I believed in – that was until I received the best piece of advice in the most unlikeliest of places.
I went to Supercuts one Friday afternoon last year where I held a conversation with the woman cutting my hair. She spoke about traveling around the world on vacation at least once a year with her husband.
“I would love to travel around the world and write about what I see,” I said to her. “It’s one of my dreams.”
“Don’t dream it,” she said. “Do it.”
I implore anyone who reads this to not just dream, but do. Do what makes you happy. Do take risks. And do challenge yourself.
I never thought too highly of myself growing up. I always dreamed, but I never did anything to make those dreams a reality. I didn’t have many friends. I stayed in almost every weekend searching for an alternative. I envisioned a meaningful life beyond the ordinary.
Quinnipiac finally opened my eyes to possibility.
Take any and all negative experiences and learn from them. Repeating the same mistake twice is no longer a mistake, but a choice.
Be thankful for what you have and don’t take anything, or anyone, for granted. Don’t choose to sabotage yourself from finding happiness, and avoid sliding into a hole of cynicism. That’s one trap I regret falling into whenever things didn’t go the way I planned.
Do always stay true to yourself and don’t forget about the people who care about you. Never lose sight of those who were there for you from the beginning.
This journey might be ending, but I will always carry a part of Quinnipiac with me everywhere I go. Those ink stains on one of my white t-shirts? They’re from delivering my first stack of Chronicle newspapers freshman year. Those scuff marks on my favorite pair of Vans? They’re from breaking the shoes in on my first night of duty as an RA sophomore year. Those scars on my arms and legs? They’re from constantly falling up the stairs in Larson junior year. Those letters I proudly wear? They’re from joining Pi Kappa Phi senior year.
When I take a sip of coffee on my first day at work, I will be sweetly reminded of the countless all-nighters I pulled in Arnold Bernhard Library. And when I hear bells play at my wedding, I will think of those memorable sounds I once heard every day on my way to class.
I don’t know if I will ever travel the world or if I will even become a journalist. I always thought it was naive and impractical of me to want those dreams. But now, I realize that I’m unable to stop wanting.
I want to take the road less traveled. I want to write my first novel. I want to live in a different country. I want to see the world in color rather than endless shades of gray. I want to fall in love and not be afraid of a broken heart. I want to stop being my own worst enemy.
I’m incapable of predicting the future. I don’t know where life is going to take me, but I do see a full adventure ahead with endless opportunities and surprises at every corner.