Hillsdale College

This past month has been one of lasts.

Last assign­ments, papers, to-do lists. Last late-night gath­erings, con­vo­ca­tions, well wishes.

As grad­u­ation approaches, we, seniors, are moving on. There will be new cities, new jobs, new friends — so much to look forward to as we clutch our degrees and show the real world our best brave faces.

Yet, I find myself holding on tight to the lasts.

It’s not dif­ficult to drag myself up the hill to class each morning. Not anymore. I regret every com­plaint, because now, heading into my final week of classes, I wish I had more. Just a little longer. Just a few more weeks to learn, to grow, to study alongside like-minded people who adore the things that make this life so rich.

Learning is a lifelong venture for which Hillsdale has pre­pared us well. But I will miss these class­rooms, lec­tures, and pro­fessors, who give us every­thing in hopes of planting a seed that will one day flourish. Here, we begin to learn what things are. Out there, we will under­stand why that matters.

I grew up here. In just four years, I have lived and loved alongside people who are now lifelong friends. I am not the same person I was when I walked into Olds dor­mitory, and they know that. I’ve learned much from Hillsdale, but I’ve learned more from my friends. They have shown me what faith­fulness, kindness, and ded­i­cation should look like. I will carry that with me wherever I go. Perhaps we didn’t realize it in the day-to-day mundane, but we are none the same for knowing each other, and we are all better for it.

These next two weeks could be the last time we, seniors, are in the same place with the friends Hillsdale brought us. Cherish the lasts — the last laughs, soulful con­ver­sa­tions, and heart-warming fel­lowship. We will see each other again soon, but we will be dif­ferent, just as we are dif­ferent now than when we first met.

It’s dif­ficult to put into words how much I owe Hillsdale College. In truth, I owe it every­thing. I still remember the sense of awe and wonder I felt walking these halls as a student for the first time, the pride I felt wearing the white and blue. I wish I had not taken that for granted, that I had kept my love for this school in the fore­front of my mind, that I had cher­ished it more when I had the chance. I have that same pride now, but it is a dif­ferent kind. Because now, I under­stand the mission of Hillsdale more fully, and I rec­ognize that it is my duty to further it, even after I walk across that stage. Seniors: This place is our respon­si­bility. No matter where we go, it is ours to keep, ours to bear.

Four years is not enough. But no time here would ever be enough. I envy the under­classmen who have the long col­le­giate road before them. Cherish it, because soon your time will be up. It comes quickly, leaving you with little time to prepare for the loss of a home, this place, Hillsdale. Strive for knowledge, nurture lasting friend­ships, and treasure your lasts, whatever they may be, here beneath banners of white and blue.