It’s too easy to look at a graduating class and see it as simply part of the four-year cycle at a university. While the traditional path of college is a four-year journey, the graduating class of 2023 is an exception. You were the last class to experience a normal senior year in high school, followed by the first COVID college cohort.
As a professor, my first introduction to some of you was not in person, but socially distanced in remote classes. For the longest time, my only physical image of a few of you was a black screen. For others, I met you and your favorite dog or cat at the same time. All we saw of each other was from the waist up, like Elvis’ first TV appearance.
Even after we came back to campus, we had to reintroduce our masked selves. Apparently, I sounded taller on video! How many people did we finally meet in person and found they looked different than we expected?
I look at our time together with a surprising sense of nostalgia and joy. We got through all this together and survived to some sense of normalcy. There are some of you that I had as “puppies” four or even five years ago. I’ve had the privilege of watching you grow up before my eyes.
You are the last graduating class that will be the same age as my youngest child. I got to share my bad Dad jokes with you as a Dad as well as a professor. After this, I truly will start aging right before your eyes. Luckily, I get better looking every day, so my new students might not catch on!
I’m going to miss you all. Graduation is a rite of passage with joy and loss. More than anything else, I look at you all with a sense of pride. How many of you have made permanent indentations on the comfy seat in my office? You dropped in for a chat, even when it had nothing to do with classes.
How much have you taught me about life and being a twenty-something today? These are the moments of the journey – our journey – that I will treasure long after we’ve all moved beyond SNHU. There are so many of you that deserve shout-outs, but there’s not enough time or space to give it justice.
We’re about to kick you out of the nest for your first solo flight. Know that we’re still here supporting you and rooting for you. Our conversation can continue, now on a more even level. It’s easy to tell you to follow your passion, but the property owner prefers a check (not even Venmo). Hang in there; it won’t always be easy, but you made it through these last four years. You’ve got this!
With love and respect,
Jon Boroshok (JB)
Instructor in Communication