I would never have thought back in freshman year that a pandemic would be changing the direction of my senior year. I had all of the same expectations the seniors before me did: prom, our class trip, senior events, spring sports, but most of all, walking across the stage for graduation. This is a perfect example of how we have to be ready for anything. We take so many things for granted. We can plan, but situations can change just like that. The Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, “change is the only constant in life.” He’s right. For those of you who will still be at Dominican, be ready by being ready to change.
It doesn’t matter what type of student you are because your class work and homework levels will change. There will be a lot more homework every night, and the teachers expect you to do more and become a better student every year. Take things seriously right away. If you don’t understand something, ask. I know it’s not always easy to do that, but get out of your comfort zone and find out. You’ll be glad you did. There will also be times that you’ll feel lazy about your work or doing something just to get it done. Don’t let this happen either because it won’t help your grades or attitude. Sometimes this just means you need to take a break and do something fun. Sometimes when you walk away you’ll be able to come back with a better focus. You also need to do your best. We’re human beings, so we make mistakes and can’t be perfect. If you can say that you did your best, then be happy about what you did. If you didn’t do as good as you could’ve, change what you can and do better the next time. Of course, follow the rules Dominican has, because if you don’t, Mr. Murray will let you know which ones you violated.
You will go through many changes from your experiences at Dominican. Not everything will be easy and mistakes will be made, but that’s part of change. We grow and we learn. That’s preparation for life. Have friends who you can have fun with and who will support you when needed. Check in with the adults and teachers who believe in you and keep encouraging you. Know that your family loves you and supports you too. When I look back to my freshman year, I know I’m not the same person. There are many changes I’ve gone through, but I have especially grown in my thinking and independence. I see things differently and think about some situations more deeply. All of my experiences these past four years have prepared me for college, the next change in my life.
We, the Class of 2020, have made history, and will continue to make history. We are flexible and creative. We are strong. We are prepared for change.
Photo found at: https://orrinrudolph.com/about-orrin/a-journey-of-trust/