See You Next Fall

Kerri Shea, Advertising Manager

In about two weeks, I will be a college graduate. This issue is most likely full of seniors reflecting on their time at Iona. There are so many things I appreciate about being here, and there are some that I don’t… but that’s not the point of this piece. All of my friends are experiencing their final weeks at Iona, yet I can’t entirely celebrate in the same way. To clarify, I’m in a five-year program to get my master’s degree, which means I will be back at Iona next semester. (Surprise!) Of course, I don’t want college to end, and technically for me, it doesn’t, but it’s not the same. 

The majority of my friends today are the people that I met living on the same floor in Loftus in 2019. In high school, the friend groups I had were not a constant in my life. Until senior year of high school, my social future was very uncertain. Not to be emotional, but I got very lucky freshman year, as my first roommates became my best friends, and I hope they’re in my life forever. Corny shoutout aside, college was very new for me. There are so many things about the past four years of my life that I will never be able to entirely express to anyone who wasn’t there. This period of my life coming to an end is extremely hard for me to come to terms with, but I am so lucky to have irreplicable experiences in. 

Though many people tell me I am taking the “smart route” to get my next degree, I envy my friends who are going to a separate school for a graduate degree. Iona will not be the same without the people I’m surrounded by now. I can’t imagine eating in Spellman without my roommates, or not being able to come back from class to my boyfriend searching my fridge for juice. I guess I’m worried that continuing my degree in a place that I have some of my favorite memories at might rewrite how I remember my time here.  

In all honesty, I wish I had time to feel the relief of being done with school. I don’t have a gap year, a career plan after college, or a new setting for school like my peers do. Though I want to have a giant weight off my shoulders after I walk across the stage, I know in the back of my mind that I have a second thesis waiting to be written. In a way, it feels that I can’t enjoy graduating from Iona in the same way that my friends can.  

I’m proud of my work at Iona. If my high school self could see me now, I really believe that she would be proud. I spent the majority of my experience in high school anxious and backing out of any opportunity that was handed to me, and being at Iona, I see that I have grown from that. I know everyone believes they are different people than they were four years ago, but I truly never would’ve imagined I would be where I am today. I can’t predict how next year will be, but I am working harder than I ever have, and I am so lucky to have Iona as my home for these pivotal years in my life.