by Lauren Roth ‘22
“You’ll wish you spent more time with me when you’re older!” I remember my parents yelling that to me every time I jetted off to another practice, game, or to be with my friends. My eyes were rolling, always thinking that day would never come, but man were they right. It’s so natural to look at each moment and just think of the next: the end of a season, a semester, a job, to graduate. It’s easy imagining, but not so much when it finally happens.
Senior year is just one long farewell. This past fall, I said farewell to field hockey, a sport that was a part of my identity for over half my life. This spring, I have to say farewell to the environment I have known for the last four years, the most formidable years in my life. It’s a surreal experience being on the other end, no one really prepares you. Roanoke College does an excellent job keeping you in this bubble and then after your four years shows no mercy and throws you out into the world. Perhaps some students find aid from career services, professors, or internships, but nothing really helps. Everything is theoretical for four years, and then you are just expected to go figure it out. I would think there should be a better process, but let’s be honest there isn’t. Life is truly about living and learning. College made it easy for us. There will no longer be syllabuses and due dates. There won’t be email reminders of upcoming deadlines and check-ins with coaches. It’s all up to us now. It is confusing and daunting, but it is also a blessing.
We are now given the opportunity to close the door on something we once loved and open it on something new, whether that is a career, a commitment, or a relationship. The horizon is so far away that we can no longer see it. At Roanoke, we could always see the horizon, the ending of the season, semester, or graduation, but now we can’t. I have never faced more uncertainty in my life, and I would be a liar to say I wasn’t scared. But there is a time and a place for each thing, and my time at Roanoke is just about over. I had some of the best opportunities from this school, from writing for the Brackety-Ack, playing a collegiate sport, going abroad, and getting internships, to meeting with faculty and finding support and love in the most unlikely groups of people. Each semester I discovered more about myself than I had ever imagined. I thought I was going to be a children’s minister four years ago, maybe now I’ll be a sports reporter.
Wherever I go and whatever I choose, it’s time to say farewell to Dear Old Roanoke and lean into the uncertainty of my new life.