Editorial: See You On the Other Side
A sappy editorial where I describe some feelings graduating seniors are experiencing
The end of this semester marks the end of many college careers for millions of seniors across the country. The wheels of the commencement ceremony are already in motion; fees have been paid, gowns have been bought, and everyone has made plans for that special time.
For many, this will mean goodbye.
Many will come back in the fall semester for yet another year, but many are also leaving NJIT for other pursuits. We all know someone. Whether it be a faculty member, a professor, a student, a friend; we are all losing someone. We all lose a little of the community every year. Someday, the same will be said of the friends losing us.
Thankfully however, new friends and family will arrive in the Fall. No, they don’t take the places of those that left; they add. As we once did when we were wide-eyed, young, naïve freshmen, some kid will come into our organizations when we leave and meet our younger peers. Our peers will talk about “the ones before” and remember them fondly. But those new members won’t know them, not really.
Those kids will go to the dining hall and get to experience campus food for the first time. They’ll go to their first class, struggle with adjusting, and introduce themselves in those Freshman Seminars. Those icebreakers will be hopelessly awkward, but that kid might make their first college friend. They’ll talk and find about a party in a dorm and go, just to meet new people. They’ll walk across campus, lie on the field, and think for the first time: I’ll be fine. Just like us.
Meanwhile, many that leave will be thrust into a scary new world: adulthood. Several will spread out across the world while some will stay close to home. They’ll keep in contact of course, sometimes they will even visit us on campus. It won’t be often though, they have to tend to their new lives and roles, but when they do, it’s just like old times. Then, when they leave and we exchange goodbyes, we know that we will someday be them.
One day, we will take the walk. Our campus tends to look more beautiful on the first and last days of our tenure here. We’ll look around the campus for the last time and probably explore every building. Bucket lists will be kicked. The celebrations in the last semester are always the most memorable, mostly because you won’t care for much anymore. Then we’ll get a paper in the mail that summarizes our lives at NJIT.
It’s cyclical. This has happened before, and will continue to happen. Those freshmen coming in next year will be new, yes, but they will also take the walk someday. We were those new kids for men and women we don’t know, and they are all over the world now.
But it isn’t our time yet. No, those of us not graduating still have time to be with those who are. However, when the time comes to say goodbye, realize this: they are losing more than we are. They are losing us, and their community. Yet graduation is something that virtually everyone is anticipating, and that it because it is the herald of what comes after.
For us, what comes after are the experiences, the people, and the things that we are going to do in the upcoming academic year.
For those graduating, you’ll experience what is possibly one of the happiest moments in your life.
And those who are about to arrive and meet the NJIT family: welcome home.
Thanks for all the memories, and I can’t wait to see everyone next year.