In The 'Cac
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11 Schools, One 'Cac

11 Famous Speakers Combined Into One Commencement Speech

just in time for graduation, ‘Caclets

Premature Reflections on Seniority

They keep telling us we’re graduating. At Tufts, the senior class celebrated  “76 Days till Graduation” on Sunday (the actual event was supposed to be “100 Days till Graduation,” which makes much more sense, but unfortunately was scheduled the weekend of the nor’easter and, thus, had to be re-scheduled as the less graceful sounding ceremony). The event included “heavy hors d’oeuvres” (which, for whatever reason, translated to Italian, Pan-Asian, Picnic-style, and Southern finger-food), miniature stuffed Jumbos with the already-set date for our one year reunion (people have those?), and very official looking pad-folios (pads + porfolios = pad folios) as the visible symbols of our impending maturity.  For some of us, today started to hammer in the idea that, 76 days from now (including weekends) we will be thrown off our hallowed Hill and into the real world. For others, it was merely free food. In the spirit of 76 days left, here is a list of some of the uniquely NESCAC-ey things we can do now that we may or may not be able to do upon entrance into the post-grad lifestyle:

1. Get real loopy in the library. At some point, I’ve heard, you are expected to actually do more than 1 hour of work/4 hours spent sitting with your laptop open. That, however, could be a myth. Further, I have it on good authority that G-Chatting someone sitting next to you is still acceptable in the workplace, so no need to worry about that.

2. Paint/Decorate statues/emblems. E.g. the Tufts cannon. I don’t think spray painting the exterior walls of your apartment or your subway station is quite the same.

3. Be on first name terms with the President of your organization. While we affectionately (and not so affectionately) refer to our college presidents by various nicknames, I do believe we will have to call our superiors Mr. & Ms. So-and-so once we do, theoretically, become employed.

4. Live 4.5 feet from all of your friends. Unless you get a job in NYC.

5. Drink, unashamedly, from plastic containers. And I’m not talking about Nalgenes or soda bottles. Rubinoff is cost effective now, a year from now its still cost effective, but much more privately so.

6. Dress in theme. Now, people say this, but I have seen “adults” all in theme on bar crawls. So I refuse to give up any of my denim clothing (for Canadian tuxedo theme) or eighties workout gear (for Call On Me theme).

7. Have access to late-night common spaces (campus/student centers) that do not require you to buy something in order to exist in them.

8. Free gym membership.

9. A plethora of outdoor space that you have a unique claim to (sounds ridiculous to say in February, when no one in their right mind wants to claim any of that outdoor space, but spring will come!) Front lawns are not the same as quads, unfortunately. And you can fit far fewer people when you want to sled/tan/climb trees/play Frisbee/participate in Holi/play corn hole/throw water balloons.

10. Dining halls. Where else can you see and be seen, and have access to unlimited pizza, soft-serve frozen yogurt, and coffee? You might get two of those four things at one venue, but never all four.

76 days, seniors. Soak it up like so much soggy green space and get excited for the warm home stretch.


"A year ago, yesterday, I graduated from Hamilton College, a member of the Class of 2011. That day, for the first time—perhaps ever—I had no set plans or commitments. Senior year had been so unbelievably busy, and I had made the decision to live entirely from moment to moment, as fully in each as possible. Aside from the wonderful feeling successfully committing to each moment brings, for me, the moment to moment approach was necessary as a means to my diploma. And so, as I drove down the hill after graduation, with four years of Hamilton packed around me and undeniably in me, I entered more of an unknown than I wanted. I was uncomfortable. That discomfort did not fade off quickly, as I hoped or tried to convince myself it would. Indeed, a part of it still lingers. Maybe it always will.

The last year has been an important one—not one I could or would have imagined at graduation, though. I faced more continuous and steady rejection than ever before, from the afternoon I learned I would not travel the world on a Hamilton grant through just days ago when a possible summer internship fell through. It is easy to lose sight of your self worth when the resounding answer is “not this time” for months on end. At times this past year I did. I lost loved ones, and I was no longer sheltered by the rigid structure and fast-paced nature of my Hamilton life, so I had plenty of time to think on each loss. It is easy to wonder what living is worth when people, and the best of people at that, go so suddenly. That is, until you realize that this suddenness itself is the reason for living as fully as possible in each moment you are fortunate enough to have in the first place.

I persevered, surrounded and encouraged by the love of family and friends. I grew to more fully appreciate the breath in my lungs, the people in my life, and the chance I have to live. I made countless life lists, even though it was overwhelming at times to dream and set goals, especially during emotional bouts. When I felt fear and irrationality creep in as I pondered a future possibility I knew I was hitting on something worth my time, so I moved it higher on the list. I kept Hamilton close all the while, trusting my four years there and how they had shaped me. I also trusted the person I was becoming post Hamilton. And with time, opportunity and I met. Dodging many rejections, I bounced from one victory to the next, often frustrated by the seeming disorganization and smallness of it all—the lack of trajectory. I reassured myself that all the interesting and various experiences I soaked up would weave together elegantly over the course of my life. Above all else, I did my best to remain grateful. I am stronger now.”


-My friend Alison originally shared this on FB, and agreed to let us print it here!

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