Senior Reflection: A Memorable Ride


Victoria Ritter. Photo courtesy of Victoria Ritter.

Within the last month or so, Moravian released letters to the graduating class, ones we wrote to ourselves at Freshman Orientation, and I couldn’t help but chuckle. Reading the words from my past self felt like bumping into an old friend you haven’t seen in a while.

This letter caused me to reflect more on my life here at Moravian: the good, the bad, and the unforgettable. 

Looking back, I didn’t know where I fit in.

The first half of my Freshman year was the worst, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t contemplate dropping out or transferring almost every day. I lost people who I thought were friends, felt homesick even though my home was a short car ride away, and my classes were harder than I thought they would be.

I struggled with balancing my schedule and  didn’t know how to talk about it with anyone, but I eventually found people who also felt out of place at this school, and began to rid myself of the daunting term, “introvert.”

Things began to turn around during my sophomore year, which I would easily say was the best year of my college career.

I was finally feeling comfortable with people, enough to join more clubs and do volunteer work that I really enjoyed.

I joined Gamma Sigma Sigma, the National Community Service Sorority, and I felt that I had found my people. Everyone in the sorority embraced the new members and I felt myself grow more confident and feel like who I was meant to be. I was able to slow down and enjoy contributing to something bigger than myself.

I realized that I truly felt at home in the history department and declared my major in the spring, and I felt a weight lifted off of my shoulders. I fell in love with the field of Public History and found what I wanted to do with my life. 

I continued to meet people and make connections throughout the school and the community, but unfortunately, much like everyone else, my junior year was abruptly thrown into turmoil due to the pandemic.

I felt lost about the unknown future, with both the pandemic and my career. I threw myself into school work because that was the only thing I knew I could control.

I found comfort in my medieval studies and art history courses, because they were the only things that made sense to me at the time. After a few weeks of endless papers and tests, I used my free time to learn who I was outside of my education.

I learned skills that I will utilize for the rest of my life, so sometimes I think being thrown into quarantine was a blessing in disguise for me. I learned how to set boundaries with people in my life, learned how to cook better meals, and learned how to relax while gardening. Having time to myself made me reconnect with my introverted side that I sometimes missed.

I have learned so much about myself, and I continue to do so with every passing day.

I can’t believe it has been four years since I stepped onto this campus as a nervous freshman who just wanted to fast-forward to graduation.

In just a few short weeks, I’ll be considered an educated alumna with a full future ahead of me, but all I can do is reminisce over the memories I have made, while trying to soak up the last few moments with my best friends. I appreciate the experiences and opportunities I was given while being a student here, the professors who believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself, and the people who made my bad days brighter.

I’m thankful for my family and friends who’ve supported me through my emotional breakdowns and rants, and will continue to do so (because they’re never going to stop).

Don’t get me wrong, when I look back, I remember the professors and people who didn’t believe in me, and made me question my own worth as a person and student. But honestly, I became stronger because of them. Their names will fade away, and I will be left with the growth that spawned from the aftermath.

To other students, who feel like their life is a constant rollercoaster ride that never ends, I want you to know that it’s normal to be scared. I don’t think I will ever stop being scared of the future, and that’s okay. Say hello to that person in the hallway, they might just end up being your best friend. Take that random art class, because you might just find a passion you never knew you had.

But above all else, take the time to grow and learn who you are, and become someone who you are proud of.