Salute to seniors

Before we get to the main content of the blog, wanted to point out that we have new resources for you about Move-Out:

webinar from last night

slide deck from last night

enhanced FAQ

And new hours for our Call Center next week: we will run from 10 am-2 pm Eastern (336.758.7500).

Finals end today. So for our Class of 2020, this is the last time you ever have to take college finals. Take a moment to enjoy that feeling.

I also want to celebrate our seniors. Earning a college degree is a tremendous achievement. It took four (or four-ish 😉 ) years of your life, a lot of mental energy, focus, concentration, and grit. So let’s think about the things most of our seniors have done:

Moved to a new school. You may not have known a soul at the start, and that takes bravery.

Adjusted to living with a roommate you did not choose. For many/most college students, they haven’t shared a bedroom with a sibling, so this is new territory in a lot of ways.

Figured out how to make friends. Sometimes that was fast, other times it felt painfully slow. But you got there eventually.

Took classes that were a lot harder than high school. And you had to take classes outside your comfort zone (hello, divisionals!) which is not always easy.

Figured out your academic interest – and once you got into your major (or minor/s), you learned a lot about your subject matter area.

Got to know your faculty and (I hope) formed some close bonds with at least one of them.

Took criticism. Maybe you got a bad grade on a test or disappointing comments on a paper. Perhaps your pride was hurt, or your questioned your ability. But you took something from that lesson, learned from it, and here you are about to graduate.

Joined clubs, extracurriculars, and/or Greek life.

Showed your family around campus like a pro when they first came for Family Weekend.

Spent some time in the Benson Food court or Shorty’s eating Chick Fil A or Moes or a salad or the Mr. Wake Forest burger.

Had romantic relationships, however casual or serious. I hope you fell in love at least once while you were here. You probably had your heart broken too, and that’s no fun, but every bad relationship helps teach you about what you want and need in the next one.

Spent some quality time in the ZSR Library. Whether that was to study or just to get a Starbucks, you were there.

Got into some deep discussions – about politics, the meaning of life, faith, social issues, whatever. Wrestling with big ideas can be great fun.

Piled in to someone’s car for a food run at your favorite place. Was that to get Krispy Kremes late at night? A Cookout milkshake? The Porch? You know your favorites.

Cheered on the Deacs for a sporting event. Maybe even rolled the Quad when we won a big game.

Partied. That may or may not have involved alcohol. See also: went to date functions, Shag on the Mag, mountain weekends, aWAKE All Night, or did post-exams at the beach.

Served in some capacity. That could be volunteering in Campus Kitchen, doing Project Pumpkin or Hit the Bricks, or been in a leadership role within your organization.

Made mistakes. Those could be errors in judgment, sins of omission or commission. College is a time for making mistakes and figuring it out.

Traveled abroad (likely 60-70% of you). If so, your worldview likely expanded and your self-sufficiency and confidence increased because you had to figure it out in a foreign country.

Pit Sat (is that the past tense of Pit Sit?) Got your omelet just the way you wanted it, or had the server at your favorite station smile and greet you like an old friend.

Got sick at some point. It stinks to be sick away from home. But you recovered.  (I hope it’s still a thing at the Student Health Center where you got Magic Mouthwash for your sore throat – that was a rite of passage in my day.)

Had The Worst Thing Ever happen to you, whatever that Worst Thing was (a death, a failure, a rejection, etc.). And it may have felt like the world was ending at that time. But you also saw the sun rise the next day, and you are here now. You survived that Worst Thing. (There will be other Worst Things that come – but now you have some muscle memory on how to handle those times).

Walked on the Quad grass, walked the path to Reynolda Village, sat on the Mag Patio or at the cafe tables on the Quad. Channeled your inner child and swung on the swings on Davis Field.

Persevered in the devastating blow it was to lose the second half of your final semester. It may not have been pretty or fun, but you did what you had to do. You leveled up in Grit.

Made lifelong friends.

Made your family proud.

Grew into the person you mean to be as an adult.

Class of 2020, you are ready for the world. I can’t wait to see what you do from here.


— by Betsy Chapman, Ph.D. (’92, MA ’94)




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