Everyone always says, “Enjoy every single second, because these four years go by fast!” Here I am, a rising junior, wishing my friends the best as they embark on a whole new journey to the “real world” and already I am shocked that time has passed this quickly. To the seniors: You did it! Late nights in swem up until 5am writing papers, finishing up presentations and cranking out theses. Leading organizations, heading up campaigns, hosting events, volunteering in Williamsburg and making a mark on the William and Mary campus. You should be incredibly proud. I watch you all, full of ambition, charisma, and curiosity of what’s to come and I can’t help but think of the incredible things that you are going to do in this world. You all are the next generation. The generation to lead, inspire, create, challenge and grow. Although I can imagine that you all are feeling somewhat sad about leaving this tight-knit community, I hope that you look at this time as a time of celebration to rejoice in the many things that you have accomplished over the course of the past four years. You survived your freshman seminar, experienced the last day of classes, met lots of different people, and completed the triathlon (If you haven’t yet, don’t worry! You still have a couple of days left…) Orientation, the first day of school, getting lost on your way to class and wondering if it was appropriate to raise your hands and ask questions in a 200 person lecture class. Today, you look back and laugh on those moments thinking how naive you must have been as a freshman. But all of those unsure moments and hesitations pushed you to the place that you are at today. Remember, as you go out into the world, that there is nothing that you can’t conquer. William and Mary has provided you with the tools and skills to not only succeed, but to question the norm, think outside the box, and make this world a better place. Seriously. Time passes; things and people change, but the memories that you hold of this campus will forever remain the same. Each of you is unique in your own way, and the college has represented something different to each of you. My hope is that on some level William and Mary has given you a gift, of intelligence, community, family, leadership or exploration. I hope that you will be able to look back on the past four years and be proud of the person that you have become. You may think that your time with the Tribe ends here, but the truth is that you will be one of us forever.
As you begin the next chapter, my greatest wish for you is that you find happiness in whatever it is that you choose to pursue and live with passion and enthusiasm always. That you challenge yourself and ask the difficult questions and that you never settle. I hope that you interact with people that bring out the best in you. I hope that you never forget how much the William and Mary community has been touched by your presence and will forever remember your legacy. The real world awaits… go out with a bang and SHAKE THINGS UP!