Amy: I have a notebook called a five-year journal where each day has a question and I answer the questions over a five-year period to see how I’ve changed. A recent question was “If you could go back in time, what would you change?”
I racked my brain for a response and I realized therein lay my answer. I didn’t want to change anything. Sure, there were a few embarrassing incidents that I would rather had not happened but overall, I didn’t want anything to be different. I am me because of my experiences just as you are you because of your experiences, and no one can take that away from you.
Realize that you have a long journey ahead of you and if you become discouraged, stop and think about how far you have come.
Becky: While pondering an experience that could apply to everyone’s lives, we thought of the time we went white-water rafting one summer. We were fearful about falling into the rapids, and our fears were not placated by the speech given by the guide. His basic message was this: the more scared you are of falling in, the more likely it will happen.
Relating this to the years that lie before us, the more scared you are of taking risks, the more likely you will miss opportunities. Have the courage to step out of your comfort zone because it leads to new and unexpected experiences.
This past spring, during Easter break, Amy and I traveled on a school-sponsored trip to Vienna, Austria. Although we were nervous about immersing ourselves in a new environment and stepping out of our comfort zones, we quickly came to the realization that this experience was a tremendous opportunity.
Through meeting students at SSND sister schools in Vienna and Budapest, we recognized that although we were separated by an ocean, our worlds were not so different. The technology today allows us to stay in touch with each other despite the distance.
We encourage you to take advantage of this interconnectedness to communicate with each other. If the emotions at the Marian Prayer Service were any indication, we will keep in touch long after our graduation. We have become sisters who are willing to help each other, similar to the guide in the rafting boat.
There were two instances where I started to fall in. Each time, however, I felt the reassurance of the guide as he pushed me back to the safety of the raft. Look around you at your friends and family, for they will be the ones to support you and keep you from falling in or pull you out if you do happen to fall in. But let’s be honest, sometimes falling in is the best part.
Amy: We never have to go far for advice. A mural painted on Harford Road that we passed daily on our way to cross country and track practice offered a point of reflection. It stated “No matter how far the stream flows, it never forgets its source.” Take time to thank your source: your family and friends who give you never-ending love and support. Our hope is that IND has become part of that source. Inspired by reading senior messages in the yearbook, we believe that many seniors include their time at IND as years that shaped them into the young women they are today.
Becky: One last lesson white-water rafting taught us was to work together and to challenge ourselves. As an added challenge, we paddled into the rapids against the current. This took extra energy and teamwork in order to avoid capsizing.
Do not be afraid to work hard and to ask for help if you need it. We wish you the best in your future endeavors and want to leave you with this last thought: the only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.