End of classes marks beginning of new life

Derek Thurber

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As I get ready to say farewell to this year’s seniors, I am struck by the importance of these four years of our lives. Whether people go on to graduate school or the Peace Corps, to professional school or a job in business, it is not possible to replicate these few short years ever again.

And so every year graduation is met with mixed feelings and this year is no exception. Graduating is a huge new step in any senior’s life. It means stepping outside of our small school to do whatever the world can offer.

But it also means stepping outside of this beloved institution and leaving behind these wonderful years of undergraduate school. It means leaving behind all those crazy party stories and heading off into the real world for the first time.

We like to think we are grown up at Whitman: that we are adults capable of doing everything on our own. But we are not there yet. This school teaches us more than just how to do complex math, analyze texts or build elaborate art pieces. It teaches us how to become an adult bit by bit.

We enter as first-years little more than children. And then we screw up. And we screw up again and again until we finally get it right. By the time we graduate we are able to truly go out into the world having learned how to do it right: having learned how to be adults. But in the meantime, we gather memories and collect experience.

I may not be leaving this school for another two years, but seeing seniors finish up their last final ever and pack up their Whitman lives into nice little boxes makes me realize just how short this time is.

Before I know it, that person will be me. And I will undoubtedly be excited for the future and sad about the memories that will be left behind.

I for one hope to get all I can out of the next two years so that when I pack up my last four years into little boxes, I will be packing up more than just clothes and books. I will be packing up happiness, joy, love, knowledge and all the experience that a school like Whitman can offer.

So to the seniors, I say farewell. I hope that you had some of the best years of your life at this school and will take those experiences with you to wherever the world may take you.
Congratulations and good luck on everything. The world is yours to explore and conquer.

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