Over the past four years, I have come to learn that home is not a place but rather a feeling. It’s how you feel when you share a big laugh with your closest friends. It’s how you feel when you are engaged in your favorite activity—playing a sport or performing on stage. It’s how you feel when you get a good grade on the project you stayed up all night working on. It’s how you feel when you help someone in need. I have experienced that feeling at Moravian more times than I can count.
While Moravian has provided me a great education, which I hope to continue to develop for years to come, it has given me so much more. It has given me a chance to connect with faculty in and outside my major and build meaningful relationships that I hope to keep long after I leave. It has given me the chance to continue my passion for dance and find a new, loving dance community. It has given me a diverse, intellectual, and inspiring group of friends that I now call family. And Moravian has given me the chance to grow as a person, the opportunity to be a leader, and the confidence to be who I am today.
The personal connections and relationships that I have developed will stay with me for a long time. That’s the beauty of Moravian College. It is a true community. Of course, not everything is perfect, but everyone at Moravian wants to help you, see you flourish, and learn from you. And that’s been the hardest part of not being there this last semester.
I am one of the millions of individuals in this world who are missing out on their last semester of college. And while I am forever grateful to the wonders of technology for keeping me connected to my friends, having a Zoom lunch meeting with them cannot compare to sitting together at the same table in the Star. I miss the in-person connection with others, engaging in conversation, talking about anything and everything. I miss walking around campus in spring, taking in the fragrance of the many flowers and plants, saying hello to fellow Hounds as we pass each other. But as sad as I am that I don’t get to enjoy any more of those moments, I am grateful that Moravian has given me those experiences.
To the entire Moravian College community, thank you for welcoming me with open arms and giving me a place to call home for the past few years and beyond. I look forward to coming back to visit Bethlehem, especially around the holidays, for years to come. I am lucky enough to call myself a Hound, but now I also get to call myself a Spartan, as I will begin a PhD program in the Department of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University this fall. I am forever thankful to Moravian for preparing me for this next step.
To the Class of 2020, I am just as sad and annoyed and frustrated and confused as you are about missing the last weeks of our semester and our undergraduate experience. All of the celebrations and last moments were taken right out from under us. But I think it’s time to look at what we still own. We should be thankful for everything that Moravian has given us— friendship, family, community, tradition, and memories that will last us a lifetime. So, yes, we missed a lot of the senior activities, and, yes, our graduation may look a little different—or a lot different—but no one can take away the past 3.75 years that we had at Moravian. No one can take away the fact we are forever Hounds. No one can take away the friends or the education or the many memories that we have made. And most importantly, no one can ever take away the fact that Moravian was our home and always will be.