It’s been a week since graduation. My four years at Exeter culminated last Sunday, when in the company of my family and friends, I walked across the stage to receive my diploma from Principal Hassan. I’m an alumna (not an alumnus as my classics-taking-friends corrected me).
The morning began with a trip to d-hall, as had almost every morning preceding it. But instead of my standard greek yogurt and fruit, I walked into Elm to see a Sunday brunch spread I had never seen before: bagels and lox! As I noshed, my friends walked into d-hall, wearing the typical Exeter graduation clothes: white dress for girls and blazers, bow-ties (or ties) for boys. As I had yet to change, I made my way back to my dorm, when I got ready before the 10:30 ceremony started.
Grad began with a procession. The seniors, all 299 of us, lined up alphabetically as we proceeded towards the Academy lawn. Our families, our teachers, and many of our underclassmen friends applauded us as we walked in, sitting before the audience.
Grad lasted about two hours. We sang, we listened to speeches. We applauded as our peers were called up to receive their diplomas, waiting for our turn. It was the happiest and most excited I had seen many of my classmates since prep (freshmen) fall. This day was ours. We had done it, we had graduated.
Now, it’s strange. My class has scattered across the world–to go home, to go on a trip, to go to work–but I like to believe our friendships will beat the distance. For four years I was told Exeter friendships are unlike other friendships. I’ve been told Exonians will continue to play a role in my life, as will Exeter, if only I let them. And I hope to do so. Because though Exeter had its ups and downs, I can’t imagine my life without those four years. As I prepare to go to college, I’ve mourned for my time at Exeter. From Saturday-night Pad Thai runs, church basement ukulele sessions, bridge jumping, and hours spent in the library, I’ll miss not only what I had, but who I spent the time with. At the same time, I’m excited to see Exonians outside the Exeter-bubble. I’m ready to meet new people while maintaining connections with those I already know. I think it was Rev who told this to me shortly before graduation, but my attitude throughout the entire process has been this: the end is just a new beginning.
Here’s to the Class of 2015! And to those of you looking at Exeter or preparing to start in the fall. Welcome. You’re about to start an amazing journey.