Senior Year: Here I Come!
(June, 2011) The drive from the Mount back to my parent’s home in Pennsylvania is always bittersweet. The year has ended, and my summer can officially begin. My exams are over, and I am ready for the opportunity to
spend time with my family, but reality always hits me as I drive north. I will not be able to see my Mount friends for three months. I will not face the challenge and excitement of classes, papers, and tests each day, and I will
have to face added responsibility when the summer ends as I enter into another year of college.
This year the drive home was no easier than the others; in fact, it was even more difficult. I left the Mount for home right after graduation so I would be able to see my senior friends walk across the
stage and receive their diplomas. Everyone looked sharp in their cap and gown, and from where I sat, I could see each graduate’s foot tapping nervously as he or she listened to various remarks and words of wisdom given at
Commencement and waited for his or her name to be called.
Once everyone’s name had been called and all had received their diplomas, the newly-commissioned Second Lieutenants were called up. All five of them were wearing their brand new dress blues and the new
rank that they had received just two days before at their commissioning ceremony. The crowd stood in appreciation and recognition of the sacrifice that each young man had chosen to selflessly undertake. As I watched them
proudly, the Sergeant I was sitting next to jabbed me in the ribs and reminded me that in just one short year I too would be standing on that stage in my dress blues as a Second Lieutenant. I must admit that a shiver went down
my spine as I contemplated how quickly the years had passed.
After the ceremony, we went outside into the sunshine to wish each graduate well and congratulate their proud parents and relatives. Seeing each family gathered around their daughter or son made me
realize how pivotal community is for each one of us. Not one graduate had gotten to where he or she was without the help of a strong and supportive community. Looking around I could see just how important family was to each of
them. I could see just how big of an impact mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers had had on these young adults.
As I continued to observe the graduates, I noticed many professors pouring out of the ARCC to congratulate their students. Even watching them during the ceremony, I had seen many of them wiping their eyes
and beaming with pride as their students were handed their diplomas. It is clear that they too are part of the community that helped every graduate obtain their diploma. Mount professors are some of the hardest working people I
know, and they are truly dedicated to each and every one of their students.
After many photos and tearful goodbyes, I climbed back into my car and began driving home. As I drove, I thought about how different this upcoming year will be for me and for all of my fellow classmates
who are now officially seniors. No longer do we have a class above us to look to for guidance and direction. Instead we have become the guiding class. We are finally seniors. We finally made it.
I cannot believe that three years have already passed. Just three years ago at this time I was driving down to the Mount with my mom and dad practically bursting with excitement and nervousness. We were
on our way to Freshman Orientation, and I had no idea what to expect. I was worried that I would not be able to make friends or that my classes would be too difficult. My parents had to continually assure me that I they would
always support me no matter where I was or what I was doing.
Then a few months later my summer was over and I was moving into my dorm room with my parents. I watched them drive away and knew that my mother’s tears matched my own. After a few days, I called them
gushing with stories about my new friends, my exciting classes, and all of the neat things I had already experienced at the Mount. They were excited for me, and I knew that my happiness put them at ease.
My freshman and sophomore years passed quickly, and soon enough, my parents were dropping me off at the Mount for the third time. My junior year brought with it more classes and more challenges than I had
ever before experienced, but I knew that my parents would continue to support me. And support me they did. Every Sunday after church I would phone them and tell them about my week. Likewise, they would fill me in on all of the
things that had occurred back home in my absence. It was through this web of support that I was able to survive the busyness and stress of the year.
My Mount professors, too, provided a community in which I knew I was cared about as an individual. They provided a place in which I could thrive as a young adult. Every Mount professor that I have known
has taught me so as to aid in the development of myself into a person who has the power and the knowledge to go out and change the world.
As I think about entering my final year at Mount Saint Mary’s, I know that my family, friends, and professors will continue to support me. I know that they will continue to provide a community for me in
which to flourish, and I know that one year from now I will see all of their beaming faces at Commencement. Senior year, here I come!
Julia is a German and Theology double major.
Read other articles by Julia Mulqueen