By: June Wambua
This is my final story as a contributor to The Buzz. Professor Anderson asked me to write a goodbye letter to SU. But that is harder than it sounds, because it is difficult to put my entire SU experience into words.
If someone told me that I would finish my last semester of undergrad isolating at home, attending class lectures online via Zoom during a global pandemic, I would have thought they were crazy. But here we are.
My journey at this school is almost over. I remember my first day at SU like it was yesterday. My time in the Shenandoah community is different from most. I came to this school as a transfer student. I always knew that SU was the school for me. Moving into the residence hall in August 2018 was a day that I won’t forget.This was my first time moving away. I didn’t know what to expect. New school. new experiences, new people. Once I settled into my dorm and adjusted to life on campus, I realized that I did not need to be nervous. Although I spent only two years at SU, they have been the most memorable two years of my life.
When I began my search to transfer schools, I knew that I wanted to be at a smaller university. I was immediately drawn to SU because of its size. The small campus was a perfect place to spread my wings. During my first week, someone told me that SU is more than a school. It is a community. Truer words have never been spoken. The sense of community is felt everywhere: in the classroom, the campus events, the sports games, and conservatory programs. I had never experienced the sense of community until I started here, which makes saying goodbye so difficult.
When I think about the last weeks of my senior year, I feel sad. I am sure that other graduating students feel the same. I will miss out on many lasts. The last walk through the quad, The last late-night study session in the library. The last breakfast for dinner during finals week. The last apple blossom. The last shift at the Mosaic Center.
SU has become my home away from home. The friends that I’ve made have become my family.
My experience at SU impacted my life in many ways. I learned to ask for help if I needed it. Members of the Shenandoah community are always eager to help one another. I am more independent now than when I entered SU. I have faced experiences that pushed me out of my comfort zone. I am lucky to have supportive professors in the MCOM department, who have helped me develop my communication skills and expand my levels of creativity in ways that I didn’t believe were possible.
My final semester at SU was not ideal. I missed experiences that I cannot get back. I did not get to say goodbye to my friends, peers, and professors. Sometimes, it is difficult to find positives from the current situation. But I am trying to be grateful for my overall experience in the last two years. I am grateful for the opportunities given to me that I couldn’t have had anywhere else. I am grateful for my growth, mentally and academically. I am grateful for the people I’ve met who have made my SU journey so special.
But most importantly, I am grateful to myself. My SU experience would not have been nearly as memorable if I did not come here with an open mind. Because of that, I am a different person now compared to my first day here in August 2018.
Shenandoah, I will miss you. The beautiful spring flowers blooming on the trees. The serenity in Sarah’s Glen. The conversations in the student center. The long and grueling walk to HHH. The free food on campus (sometimes). The SU sign. I’ll even miss the annoying speed bumps. Even the small things made a huge difference in my SU experience.
I know this isn’t goodbye for good. After all, the commencement hasn’t happened yet. The last two years went by incredibly fast, faster than I would have liked. I am eternally grateful for it all. Even after I receive my degree, I will always be a Hornet; and I know that the SU community will always welcome me with open arms.