A letter to the senior class of 2022-2023

RayLynn Chraston, Staff writer

To the senior class of 2022-2023:We’ve made it; whether this is your last semester or second to last, we have come a long way together. Throughout our years we have had the ability to experience and learn many lessons and have memories that we will carry with us through years to come. Our aptitude for our studies and our dedication to extracurricular activities have helped shape us into the young adults we are and are continuing to become.As freshmen, coming to Mercyhurst we were filled with so much excitement, eagerness and a little bit of nervousness. This was a new beginning. We made friends, took some classes we didn’t love, maybe changed our majors, experienced our first parties, had our first Hurst Day, went to sporting events and went through life-changing experiences. Due to the pandemic, our freshman year was cut short. We had to endure the unfortunate setbacks COVID had caused and were sent home during our second semester. For many of us, there was fear of the unknown. Were we ever going to be back on campus again? Were we going to see our friends in person again? Is this the end of the world? So many thoughts had been going through our minds, but we made it to the other side.The year of masks… sophomore year. This year consisted of virtual classes which then soon led to the “A/B” days. We experienced things we never had before. Yes, we had the ability to be back on campus, but it was hard not being able to see one another and be with all our friends. Soon, we were able to recognize people with masks and that became our new normal. For most of us, we only knew what people looked like with a mask. For athletes, our seasons were not the same; we were unable to play against our opponents from the previous year; we wore masks during practice and conditioning and had to be separated into “pods.” But again, we made it through.Our junior year, I would consider this our first most normal year on campus. Although we still had to wear masks within the classroom during the first semester, the campus felt happier. We began to see change and were eager for progress. We began to socialize more and be more involved on campus, which in turn brought happiness to us. Then during our spring semester the mask mandate was lifted. This is the year everything began to feel so real, and the time felt as though it was going by with a blink of an eye.Fast forward to today, we are finally here, our senior year. For some we have been waiting for this to come, and for others, we have been wishing that it had not gone by so fast. Some of us do not know what the future will hold, whether with life in general or our career after we graduate. However, we have to make the most of this year. We cannot let the fear and anxiety of the unknown block our perception, we have to remember to stay in the moment. This year, enjoy your time with your friends, be kind to one another, and have hope.Our graduating class has endured so much, and we will always be remembered as making it out on the other side. I will leave you with this: everything happens for a reason, whether for a blessing or a lesson. We are where we are supposed to be at this moment; it is okay to not know what the rest of your life will be, so do not get frustrated by the mistakes and setbacks as they happen to us all.