COLUMN: Blakely looks back on time at SBU; leaves underclassmen with departing message

photo: Jeff Uveino

By Isaiah Blakely

First and foremost, congratulations to the Class of 2020. We made it! Today is very special for all for us despite the circumstances. We have worked very hard to get to this point and I hope everyone enjoys the day.  

Today is bittersweet. I want to be overjoyed and excited about the accomplishments and the great feat I have achieved of finishing college. And I am happy and grateful that I have made it this far, but I had this feeling last night that I just had a little bit left in the tank. I didn’t get to just go all out and enjoy the final stretch of college before getting thrusted into the real world. 

It’s clear that I haven’t been able to find a sense of closure since I left campus for the last time on March 23. I’ve just acted like it never even happened and that this whole time being a way from campus is like an extended vacation. But today, the Class of 2020 becomes a part of the fantastic alumni of St. Bonaventure University. I’m excited for that. 

I’m excited to eventually come back to campus and see what has changed and see old friends at the place we once called home. All of that will be great, it’s just tough that we didn’t get the swan song we deserved.  

I know coronavirus has taken the entire world by storm. And that there are much bigger issues going on than schools losing out on graduation. My main message is to everyone who isn’t graduating to really live it up and enjoy every moment. I took for granted the end of my time at Bonaventure. I assumed I had almost two months left of college, and then it was taken away.  

I know it’s a cliché that every senior tells the freshmen, but your four years at St. Bonaventure University really fly by. All I’m saying is to just be grateful for the time you have and enjoy the moment because you never know what could happen, and your college career could be over.  

I am forever grateful to all my friends, professors and Bonaventure community as a whole for this unique experience. We created a lot of memories, and I’m going to miss everyone a lot. It’s a family like atmosphere that is tough to find anywhere, and that is what I will cherish the most. 

Congratulations to the Class of 2020 again. We’re going to do spectacular things in the real world, and I can’t wait until we all get back together. 

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