To the Class of 2022,
You did it. We did it.
Joy. For some of us, this feeling has eluded our individual experience in the last few years. It has hidden behind grief, burrowed itself deep in the depths of tragedy, and faded into the abyss of despair brought to us by It is a challenge for us to take on.
Four years ago, I started my college career both optimistic but scared. I was terrified of what the future would bring and what trials I would face day-to-day. I was unsure of the connection I was able to make and if I would change for the better. I took this challenge head on and, looking back, I am beyond happy with the connections I was able to make. I thank each and every person for their partnership in this journey.
However, to the class of 2022, I don't want to just offer thanks but instead tell each of you it is okay. The future is beyond uncertain. Our next steps are a mystery at times until they happen. The ability to know the future is something none of us learned in any of our courses or extracurricular activities. Comparatively, the resilience we all had to learn as the "COVID undergraduates" will prepare us for whatever is next for us. Remember what you learned.
And to all of the people who didn't graduate yet: you're still where you need to be. You are healing, reorienting yourself, and doing what is needed for the stage of life's journey you are currently faced with. I am proud of you and you should be as well.
You are where you need to be now. If that isn't what you want, you are an expert at taking control over your destiny. You've done it before and in your quest to be the you who you want to be remembered as, you will do it again and again. You will make yourself proud.
Thank you all for partaking in this experience with me and I cannot wait to see what the future will throw our way.
Myles Maxie is a Middlebury College graduate. A Southern California native, Maxie works to positively influence the communities he finds himself in to instill hope and empower those around him to advocate for change.