This week of the year is always a little bittersweet for me and I suspect for many of us. Of course there are bitter moments in an academic year for students, faculty, and staff alike. Each year has its own set of challenging situations, relationships, disappointments, and setbacks. We are ready to move on and let those particular pieces go.
But there are also countless moments of sweetness, and we have hopefully savored them along the way. Aha moments in a classroom when it is evident to both student and professor alike that the concept suddenly makes sense, the lesson becomes relevant, the dots are connected, and the hard work is all worth it. In residence halls and red chairs on the dell, in meals at the caf and late night trips to Sheetz, relationships are built, nurtured, struggled through, and made to last. On fields and courts, in gyms and fitness centers, on courses and tracks, coaches and athletes alike push themselves to the limit and learn that the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat are all both shared together and teamwork creates lessons for life. In concert halls and on stages, in practice rooms and studios, the arts are celebrated, lifting artist and spectator alike to heights of greater appreciation for the beautiful and the sublime. Scenarios such as these and so many more have provided us with seconds and even seasons of sweetness this past academic year. This week is a good time to slow down a bit to recall and recollect, to reflect and remember both the bitter and the sweet. May we learn to grow from the bitter and celebrate the sweet.
As we journey through these last few bittersweet days, I share with you excerpts from a recent Facebook post by Katrina Brooks, campus pastor at Lynchburg College:
For college and graduate students everywhere we, as parents, pastors, faculty and staff, pray for peace, calm, tenacity, strength, recall, perfect words, centering, outrageous presentation abilities and the ability in your seemingly dark abyss to KNOW you are loved.
Know that not only are you loved, KNOW you got this.
Because we know you.
We’ve watched you.
We have seen your effort and your ability to overcome major obstacles.
We have seen you soar and we have seen you fail. In both you learned so much.
We have seen you dig deep inside as everything you held true seems to explode. YOU caught what you needed, tweaked what needed to be tweaked and boldly let the rest go.
You are phenomenal and we are so very proud of you.
Today we invite you to dance, laugh, sing, tell jokes, and be silly. Then dive into your quest refreshed.
YOU GOT THIS!