The Final Countdown

Welcome back everyone. I hope everyone’s break was filled with lots of sun and fun and – for those of you who were chilling at home over break – lots of days sitting on the couch wishing you were one of those people who were on beaches with sun and fun. As the remnants of beach and alcohol-filled vacations and too much trashy television from break are behind us, seniors, we find ourselves at the last few weeks of our final semester here at Colgate.

For most of us, these final weeks are going to be the worst. Between theses, readings, late semester projects, projections of difficulty for final exams, as well as the dreaded job search and application process, it’s going to be rough, but as we know as Colgate students, it’s doable. We have been here before, staring down death – also known as the last seven weeks in the semester. Now, however, we’re almost at the finish line. But this time, the finish line is life and the real world outside the Colgate bubble of the mac and cheese at Hamilton Eatery, Bean boots and nights spent at Case-Geyer library (which is where I am right now).

It is strange to think back on the last four years and consider how they flew by, but also thinking about this senior year in relation to high school senior year. Just think about that: four years ago around this time, we were in high school, thinking about starting a process, which we have, today, almost completed. Think about what has changed in four years: your Spotify playlist (you can have one song from that year but come on, there has been some good stuff since then), your breadth of knowledge (I know you don’t do your readings but trust me you know something you didn’t know when you were in high school), your work ethic (let’s pray that you have changed from your procrastination ways when you were a freshman), your face (because your nose and ears never stop growing) and more importantly, you and your outlook of the world.    

Thinking about high school senior year reminds me of one of the deans at my high school who, at every assembly, every week for the last few weeks of the semester would come up and say “finish strong.” I remember how this phrase would be met with such exasperation and annoyance as well as responses like “oh my gosh, we know!” As a senior, I remember thinking not only how clichéd the expression was, but also how unnecessarily used it was coming from someone who wasn’t doing it himself.

As someone who is going through it, I’m not going to say finish strong because I know what reactions I’ll be met with. However, I do want to acknowledge how far we’ve come and how far we are all going in life as we leave Colgate. So as you look back and reflect on your Colgate career and Colgate experience, pat yourself on the back for what you’ve accomplished and finish stronger than you ever have before (see what I did there…).

So Class of 2017, I implore you, enjoy the final weeks, kick butt (you know what word I wanted to use) and finish strong(er). It’s doable and you know it.