Congratulations, Class of 2016! We made it!
Well, Class of 2016, we have finally made it. It is remarkable that the weary freshmen who set foot on campus for the first time just four years ago are the same people who are on their way to the next step in life, eager to make their marks on the world.
This weekend is an experience we have long been waiting for: graduation, a small step in our journeys at Pacific but a giant leap in our lives. While writing this editorial, I had the opportunity to reflect on what I have learned during my time here and how it has truly impacted me.
We have all learned several things in our experiences on campus: how essential a breakfast burrito from the UC is on a Saturday morning, how to adjust our nap schedules around the infamous leaf blowers and even how dreadful getting a parking ticket is. I, for one, have received a few too many (sorry, Mom!).
All jokes aside, Pacific has given us an education and an experience we will take with us for the rest of our lives. That horrendous bio lab practical, OPS exam or even that one assignment requiring public speaking all seemed scary at first, but you learned from those tough experiences and gained knowledge. But what makes the knowledge that we developed at Pacific so unique?
When reflecting, I found that Pacific gave us three very important gifts:
1) It taught us who we are. We had the ability to grow on our own and discover our own opinions and what values are truly important to us in life.
2) Pacific helped us figure out what we really want to do with our lives. Even though some of us changed majors two, maybe even three, times, without the trial and error of choosing classes and careers, we wouldn’t have been able to realize what we’re actually passionate about.
3) Pacific gave us each other. It all started when we were thrown on a camping trip and forced to bunk in tents with one another, but seriously our friendships with our roommates, hall mates, classmates, teammates, brothers and sisters have blossomed and grown into lifelong relationships, and we have Pacific to thank for that.
When you step out into what everyone calls the “real world,” and you find yourself “adulting,” you may look back at your college experience from time to time. What will stand out most to you? You may not remember the long stressful all-nighters or how hard it was to balance everything from classes to all the extracurriculars, but you will remember the people. You will remember the people who made sure you stayed awake during your all-nighters. You will remember the people with whom you laughed all day and danced all night. You will remember the people who gave you a shoulder to cry on and a hug when you really needed it. Most importantly, you will remember the people who showed you what true friendship is.
For me, I never thought I would be writing an editorial in the final issue of 2016, signing off for the last time. I never expected I would be here, pursuing journalism and a career in sports broadcasting.
I came to Pacific with the intention of being a biology major and pursuing a life of medicine. Halfway through freshman year, I changed my mind and felt I would be better suited to a different profession. I started writing for The Pacifican my freshman year as a hobby, and soon after it became my duty. The obstacles, people and opportunities we come across that completely change our minds and our hearts are the most interesting of all.
My advice to you is to embrace change and allow it to influence you. Without a subtle change in my own life, I would not have found a way to channel what I am truly passionate about. It is said that if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life.
Some of us learned the importance of hard work in the classroom, while others learned how valuable our connections with others are. Nevertheless, we all gained those three very important gifts from Pacific, and our lives will be forever changed.
So, Class of 2016, our time at Pacific has come to an end, but graduation day is the first day of the rest of our lives. I will leave you with a lasting piece of advice: Take advantage of every opportunity, give your all in everything you set out to do and lastly, always remember those who have helped you get to where you are. Once a Tiger, always a Tiger.
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