Thank you, President Fox. Faculty and staff, Board of Trustees, family and friends – welcome. Before I begin, I would like to thank my fellow class officers and my co-president Bella Winston for their dedication and hard work in coordinating a successful Senior Week.
Four more years, that’s what we all say, right? Four more years of friendships, of late-night pub trips, of Saturday afternoons bouncing from football games to squash matches.
So let’s think back to four years ago. Some of us were first generation college students who had navigated the application process mostly on our own. Some of us were international students who hadn’t had the opportunity to see SLU before move-in day. And all of us were certain that we were too cool for this name game our orientation leaders were making us play. And, of course, the big questions: How do I find my classes? What was my room code again? And why is it called the Dirty South? We were all uncertain and fearful and uncomfortable.
But we found our places here. Our favorite study spots, our go-to Pub snacks, our forever friends. And while it was uncomfortable trying new things, meeting new people, learning from mistakes, it was all worth it. Because now we’re content here. We worked through the discomfort and we overcame the fear. Things became certain. We’ve found a home here.
And that comfort, that certainty, is why it is time for us to leave.
Time makes us comfortable. Our four years have done just that, but they’ve also prepared us for what’s next. We’ve learned how to make new friends, how to adjust to a new place, how to explore. We’ve learned how to be comfortable with ourselves, but not complacent. Every day over the past four years has prepared us for this moment. Look around at this support system. Your friends, family, faculty and of course, your fellow Laurentians.
There is one song that has stuck with me throughout my time at St. Lawrence. While we all associate it with a fun weekend night, I find it applicable today. As Semisonic said:
Closing time. Open all of the doors and let you out into the world. Closing time. So gather up your jackets, move it to the exits. I hope you have found a friend. Closing time. Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end.
Hearing this song at the Ticker is always a bummer. But it also signals that maybe its time to get a Mikey’s special, or head back to watch the Office with your roommate, or even that you’re one step closer to mac n cheese bites at Sunday brunch.
Today is no different, its closing time. Despite the discomfort we experienced four years ago, we have proven that we can make a strange place home. Today, we are challenged to become uncomfortable once more. Whatever it is, the end is an opportunity for a new beginning.
Class of 2019, welcome to your new beginning. Grow. Experience. Learn. Thank you.