We all know why the seniors are writing their traditional opinions articles now instead of in two months. We all know why the fact that this is happening now is especially unfortunate for Brandeis University seniors. We all know that it sucks for everyone who had an event canceled that they worked their butts off for, and for everyone who has to miss the last moments of their college career, spending them at home. But I’m not going to talk about that because I have no doubt talked about it enough in the past few weeks.
Instead, I’m going to talk about the last almost-four-years that I have spent as a student at Brandeis and what I learned about the world and about this school. I came to Brandeis wanting to get as far away from high school as possible—something to which I’m sure a lot of people can relate. I was still a person obsessed with keeping my nose in a book and ignoring everything around me, and I was reluctant to look up and make an effort to talk to people and find friends. I rolled through a few friend groups the first few weeks of freshman year, trying to find where I belonged. And eventually I did. One of the first people I met in class is now one of my roommates, four years later. I met my best friend during my first club meeting and, through her, found the place that I had been looking for and had been missing throughout high school. There are a lot of great people that I have met here, and my life wouldn’t be the same without them.
In fact, out of anything, the classes that I took, the clubs and the events in which I participated, I think I learned the most about people. To be honest, before I came to college, my main goal was to avoid them. But, in the last four years, I have certainly become more confident in talking to people. I suppose that was my “glow up” in college: being able to talk to strangers without an anxiety attack. Brandeis was a weird place to learn how to become social, as half the people I met were just as timid as I was, and the other half were so outspoken that it was hard to get a word in edgewise (why are you booing me? I’m right). This led to a lot of clashes between students and a lot of people talking over others. But I think many of the people I met here grew alongside me, the latter learning to listen to the former, and the former learning how to speak up.
We are never going to be perfect. We were flawed when we came to Brandeis and we continue to be flawed now. All we can hope to do is change as we go along, to get better and more confident and to love ourselves and the people we care about more with each day.
For seniors right now, life feels like a TV series that got canceled after a nail-biting cliffhanger, and we’ll never get to know what happened. What could have happened if this year had continued the way it was supposed to? But I think it is important for us seniors to think not about all the things we have missed but about all the things we were able to accomplish and to experience. It sucks. I am here to validate all your feelings of suckage. I am also here, however, to remind you that you did well, and you should be proud of yourself.