It always seems fitting to write a “year in review” for the last issue of the school’s paper. It forces me to look back on what I’ve learned or places I’ve been met with success or failure. It also results in a lot of you reading through about seven or eight “life lessons” from someone only slightly older (or younger) and likely none-the-wiser than yourself. So instead, I’ll try to avoid being too clichéd while still acknowledging the time of year.
When I was eight years old, I got a globe for Christmas. I still have it; it’s not particularly fancy, but it has the raised areas for mountains and all the countries with their major cities. More than ten years later, what interests me most is that my globe, this map of our planet, is out of date. In only a decade, countries have split and been created, and slowly but surely, the physical face of the earth changes as islands grow and humans continue to shape the planet.
My little obsolete globe is a great reminder of the change that we are constantly faced with. Change is one of the hardest things for people to deal with, yet ironically, it may be the one true constant in our lives. A lot of times we see change as foreboding or ominous—something that we need to grapple with and tailor to our expectations.
However scary it may be, change can be good for you and a necessary part of life. Change of scenery, pace, friends, career and any combination of the above can be pretty jarring, but it also forms much of what we see of ourselves (psychologists measure this with “life change units,” which won the “Most unsciencey name ever” senior superlative). This time of year is one where no matter who you are, change is coming quickly. The next few weeks will see change in work load, finals schedule, the percent of your income rerouted towards buying caffeine and then the abrupt release of summer break. The end of the school year challenges us to cope with huge changes to our everyday lives.
Here’s where I offer a toast to the senior class—to all of you who have been asked “what are your plans for the real world?” and “What jobs have you applied for?” too many times to count already. You all have been my friends and friends to many during your time here, something that never gets said enough and something for which it is often hard to show the appreciation deserved. We genuinely want you to succeed in your next endeavors because we are the next to followm, and we want to learn from you. Thank you for putting on a brave face while looking forward in the face of a whirlwind of monumental life changes.
To underclassmen, learn from those graduating next week. Many of them have gone through the same changes you are about to embark upon and have more to say than I do on the subject. Also, be aware that before you feel ready, you will be the one influencing the younger students and leading them through the massive changes ahead. It’s a big responsibility, but you’re up to the task.
In short, your world is ever changing, whether you mean for it to happen or not. Ignore change and it will pass you by. Keep up with it, however, and you will be able to get the most our of your experience here and the real world.
A class of 2013 psychology major with chemistry and biology minors, Patrick joined the Concordian as a contributing writer for Arts & Entertainment before writing and editing for the Opinions section.