Fitting in and Finding Yourself
I’ll Miss (Most of) You, PC
I think Providence College is a difficult place to feel like you fit in.
The first week of freshman year, I felt like I was drowning—not in Honors Civ homework (yet), but in a sea of unknowing. Not knowing any person or place (I asked an orientation leader to help me find all of my classrooms Sunday afternoon, and I spent half an hour trying to find Smith with my new friend Sam—how did we get so lost?), strange new terminology (what in the world was a “darty”), and a major culture shock (I was homeschooled, and it’s not like I had zero socialization before coming to college, but still).
I like to think I’ve changed a lot as a person in my four years here, but not radically so. I still don’t go out past 10 P.M. (with the exception of Thursday night bingo), and I still get way too excited about discussing poetry in my literature classes. I still have an addiction to Dunkin’ donuts. But I’ve changed, too. I don’t wear skinny jeans anymore (thank God they fell out of style), I drink coffee despite my caffeine intolerance, and I voluntarily go to therapy. I make friends (really, really good ones) and I stand up for myself. I learned patience and confidence and vulnerability. There are ways you change in college that aren’t just getting older, getting a degree, and getting alcohol poisoning (I still don’t drink; you never got me there, PC). Now that my biggest fear is out of the way (getting a job), it’s hitting me how much I’ll miss this place, for all its scariness and strangeness.
When I see groups of tours strolling around campus at the pace of a tortoise while I’m buzzing to class at the speed of a hare, I slow down for a second and consider how some of those people might be where I was, who I was, and how they might change here, too. How they might feel like they don’t fit in. How maybe, hopefully, they find a place like The Cowl, a place and a people where they feel like they can be themselves, whoever that might turn out to be.
Most of the time, I still think PC is a tough place to feel like you fit in. I mean, I’m writing this as hundreds (thousands?) of students are wearing overpriced preppy clothes they’ll never wear again, trying to look like they belong at a golf course, when instead they’re huddled together like penguins on a pavement iceberg. Some things about you I’ll never understand, PC, and I’m okay with it staying that way. You have your fair share of problems. But that’s what The Cowl’s Opinion section is for.
Not a Goodbye
by Mariela Flores ‘23
This Poem is for my best friend.
A goodbye is near, it lingers in our air.
I feel the goodbye when we share a meal in a comfortable silence––
I feel the goodbye during late nights when all I want is to absorb any time
I have left with you.
It is dramatic to say my life will change when you are off
seeing, feeling, experiencing all new things,
you will have a new rhythm, a new song.
I will not know the words.
You will grow into the person I’ve always known you could be
and you will meet new people whom you will dance with
until your feet are tired, and your cheeks are flushed
with the feeling of this new life. And I will watch from afar.
This is not a bitter end. You are not going far.
But I will miss all the nights, mornings, evenings, minutes, days
hours, seconds, all the time we had together in this place that never quite felt
like home until I knew you were in it. Friend.
Here’s to you and all lines you’ve crossed.
Here’s to the cries, the fights, the feeling that kept you in bed
and the sun that took you out of it. Here’s to it all.
I will not say goodbye.
But I will say I miss you.
with your head held up high, I will smile.
And I will capture the moment and keep it pressed to the inside of
my mind. I miss you. The world is lucky to have you in it––
I am luckier to have known you for a lifetime, for a moment, for a time.
PC Plans to Celebrate In-Person Commencement
by Max Waite ’21
On Thursday, May 20, commencement exercises for the class of 2021 will be celebrated with an in-person ceremony at Hendricken Field. As much as this past year has been uncertain, it is remarkable to see how far the Providence College community has come in order to make this event as memorable as it can be.
Despite COVID-19 regulations easing up in the surrounding communities, as well as vaccine availability increasing, parents and guests will not be able to attend the outdoor ceremony. Father Kenneth Sicard, O.P., announced, however, that the ceremony will be livestreamed.
In the past several weeks, students have received their caps and gowns and have taken the time to get their senior yearbook photos done. There is a palpable excitement in the air throughout the community. Michael McGreal ’21 stated, “I’m sure our entire class was wondering what commencement would be like this year. I felt that it was on us to do whatever we could to prevent the spread of the virus. I’m ecstatic that we’re able to have an in-person ceremony.”
The ceremonies will start with a commencement mass for the senior class, which is scheduled for Wednesday, May 19 at 4 p.m. Additionally, there will be a separate, in-person ceremony for graduate school and School of Continuing Education graduates on Friday, May 21 at 6 p.m. Parents and guests will not be able to attend this ceremony either.
The College also announced Dr. Laurie Santos will be the commencement speaker. A Yale University psychology professor, Dr. Santos is the host of a widely acclaimed podcast called The Happiness Lab, where she dives into the factors that can impact our overall well-being. This will certainly be a memorable part of the ceremony, during which the class of 2021 will be sent off with a positive message that we can carry with us on to the next chapter of our lives.
Students will be notified of graduation honors and class rank before the ceremony as part of their academic transcripts. Students who have been studying remotely for the past year are encouraged to join their class for the ceremonies, and, of course, they must provide a negative COVID-19 test before the ceremony. This past year has not been easy, and it is amazing to be able to celebrate the class of 2021 with an in-person commencement ceremony.