Dear Senior, Take Heart!
Losing your last few months of college isn’t supposed to be easy. There are memories you wanted to create, adventures you hoped to find, and people you desired to get to know. It’s going to be hard, but there are others in your shoes. In these months ahead, choose to reflect on what you have experienced, how it’s changed you, and how you will carry these moments with you. Going forward, may you find a new kind of connection, growth, and togetherness with the people of Grace that you will never forget.
As we move forward together, we want to create a space for seniors to share their heart, their losses, and their memories here at Grace. In this time of reflection, our seniors share the joy and the pain of the moment, while looking forward to a hope-filled future.
“The Friday we found out that all classes were being moved online felt surreal. I was not expecting this to take place since we had just returned from Spring break a few days before.It took me a while to process what this meant for my last session. Once I realized we would not be returning to school, it was very difficult because it meant I wouldn’t be able to have closure and final memories with friends I had grown very close to.”
“However, even though COVID-19 has brought a lot of disappointments, I walked into this new season of life with a lot of excitement for what God was going to do. When is the next time my schedule would be completely freed to follow the Lord wherever He led? I honestly didn’t know where I was going to stay or how I was going to spend my time. During this unique time, God has taught and shown me things I would have not seen otherwise. Even though I greatly miss the Grace community and the remaining moments I would have had to spend with dear friends, I am comforted that the God whose timing is perfect is in full control.”
“I wasn’t ready to process things being over for my time at Grace. It came too abruptly for me to be ready. There is a lack of closure – a lack of goodbyes, a lack of ending your degree…”
“I’ve been learning that I need to give myself room to grieve. Just because everyone else is grieving, doesn’t mean that you can’t. But also, celebrate! Celebrating my three years at Grace is important. As a senior, my time at Grace is over…There was a lot of growth and learning and transformation and that makes it really weighty. It’s the end of a really significant chapter. And I wasn’t ready to end that chapter.”
”During this time, there’s something so cool about hearing from other people, and to know that they’re thinking about you. Reach out to each other and share the memories. It helps you find a little bit of joy rather than just frustration and pain. Friendships can continue. The challenge is, how can we love each other without being around each other?”
“The cancellation of the rest of the semester has come with many emotions. Personally, I am very disappointed. I do not get to spend the final eight weeks with my classmates, some who I may never see again. I do not get to finish my tenure in Beta which has been my beloved home for the last four years. There are so many “lasts” we did not get to do. However, I feel like this comes with a valuable lesson: never take your time for granted.”
“This applies to everything. When you spend time with a grandparent or friends or anybody, make it matter because no one is guaranteed tomorrow. When you get a job, put 100 percent of yourself into it because you do not want to leave with regrets. If this virus has taught me anything, it is to value every moment, every memory, and every relationship. I encourage you to cherish the people and experiences that life throws at you. God blessed us with an incredible college, and I know He has so much more in store for His followers; cherish those blessings. Remember it is not goodbye, it is only until we see each other again!”
“It’s been a wild ride since I heard the news from Dr. Katip’s chapel that campus would be closed for the rest of the school year. While I guessed it would happen and was expecting it, I hadn’t realized truly what it meant to say goodbye seven weeks early. Saying goodbye to a time that is so limited, especially because I’m a French major, so I already lost a year of being on campus. Sometimes, I’m perfectly content to be home with my family. Other times, I want to bang my fists and cry like a child (which I may have done, at least the crying part), asking God why it had to be taken from me. And that’s okay. The Bible is full of people who turned to God in honesty. They were just normal people like us and it’s okay for us to ask God what is happening. When the crying and questioning is done, we can rest in the arms of our loving Heavenly Father who is sovereign over all things.”
“I am sad. I am scared. I wish I could have these last few weeks to spend with professors who have loved me and formed my mind, Resident Life staff who have sat with me in hard times and laughed with me in joyful times, and friends who have been with me for this past year or all four years. I wish I had a few more weeks to hang out with the RAs, ARD, and RD I worked with this past year, who have shown me the truth about myself in ways I never knew and who have impacted me beyond words. I wish I could walk through Alpha and Westy’s halls and say goodbye to places that have been so joyful. I wish I could see the women from my hall and tell them in person how special each one is and how they have taught me so much. I wish for a lot of things. And I will continue to lament these wishes and losses to God. But I will also thank Him because He led me to a school that grew me and to people who will be part of my life forever.”
“Class of 2020, we have made it! The ending of our senior year did not go as planned, but COVID-19 will not diminish the accomplishments each one of us has made. Three to four years ago, we all arrived nervously anticipating what God had in store for us. Through our journey, there have been late nights, due dates, tears of both sorrow and happiness. There has been laughter, learning, and many relationships. But most importantly, we have gotten closer to God! Our education has been about training for our careers, but our first purpose in life is to serve God alone.”
“However, I challenge each one of you to be good stewards and have good character in whatever God has planned for you. Be a lifelong learner and always follow God’s leading. Our time at Grace was never about a finish line. Although, it was always the training leading up to the starting line of life. Follow the example of what the Apostle Paul says in 2 Timothy 4:7, ‘I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have kept the faith.’ Paul is at the end of his life when this letter was written. Yet, it was Paul’s wish to encourage Timothy, and us today, to live life focused on God. Though our time at Grace has ended and we may never cross paths again, I hope and know that I will see most of you in heaven one day. Until we meet again!”
“The sudden ending of the session has completely turned my life upside down.”
“I am feeling a lot of loss, a lot of pain, and a lot of panic. And I know that I am not the only senior in this position. We have been forced to suddenly worry a lot more about our lives than our schooling and that’s hard for someone who wasn’t prepared.”
“To other seniors, I recommend spending time with God. It’s more important than anything else going on right now. Despite the chaos that the world is in and the sadness that everyone is feeling, God is still in control. This is not the end; it may be the end of our school career, but it is not the end of our lives. God will provide. He will see this through. He will prosper at the end of it, and we will too if we stand by Him.”
“Make my joy complete by thinking the same way, having the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves.” Philippians 2:2