Farewell Hofstra by Logan Grasso (Right)
It's been four years apart from myself now, and so it's become hard to recognize that person anymore. I was asked what I would tell the Freshman version of me now that I'm graduating. I'm sure there are plenty of ways I could prepare that kid. There's advice I could give like I gave so many others that weren't myself. And yet, if I had the opportunity to tell him something, I don't think that I would say a single word.
There's a difference between foresight and hindsight. It's easy to look back at something after the fact, regardless of the experience being a difficult one even, and appreciate that for helping you to grow as a person. It's not so easy looking at hardship ahead of yourself and thinking it'll be all worth that trouble when you finish enduring it.
I wouldn't be able to tell myself it'd be okay in the end, not for the sake of lying or giving a shred of hope, but because that isn't my decision to make. Who I was then and who I am now are different and it would be a crazy thing to ask that kid to go through what I did for my sake.
But I'm here at the end waiting should my past self decide to go through it all. I'm here waiting to not say congratulations or to express how proud I am. Rather, I'm here to say "thank you" for making that tough call and never giving up. Because I never did it for myself and I know neither did he.
Dear Freshman Me by Rida Shah (Middle)
Dear Freshman Rida, I would like to start and congratulate you on accomplishing a great feat that many do not have the privilege to do. It will be a bittersweet journey in which you will face many challenges and question yourself but don’t worry, those you meet along the way will help you more than you can ever imagine. These friends, peers, and mentors will push you to explore your interests and achieve many accomplishments that will help you down the line in real-world experiences. You will have to wake up early in the morning and stay awake until late into the night, pushing yourself to your own limits and passing them- creating new ones, to achieve your dreams. Do not worry if you feel lonely because the next moment you will have an abundance of people who care, surrounding you with that warm fuzzy feeling that made the Grinch’s heart grow. It has been a long journey with many ups and downs but all your hard work has paid off and you have acquired a degree from a prestigious university, one that you may share with pride. I wish you all the best and hope you will always believe in yourself- as I believe in you. Best, Graduating Senior Rida <3