Seniors say goodbye to Gettysburg College
By Sarah Van De Weert, Staff Writer
As the spring semester comes to a close, Gettysburg prepares to lose the class of 2013, and those seniors prepare to say goodbye to what they called home for the last four years. Current seniors took the time to reflect on their favorite memory from the past four years and what they will miss the most about Gettysburg.
“My favorite Gettysburg memory is hard to pinpoint,” said Senior Briana Stetler, “But overall, I would say all the fun times I’ve had with my friends.”
“If I had to choose, Snowball was always my favorite time of year. I just love how for one night, the campus comes together in a classy way to eat, drink, and dance,” said senior Riccardo Purita.
Senior Alyssa Bosold said, “It is hard to pick a favorite [memory]. I really enjoyed staying here over the summer between my sophomore and junior year as a Melon scholar. I lived with a great group of people with diverse interests and it was so much fun to get to know them. I also really enjoyed the immersion trip that I took to New Orleans with CPS, and of course, I will never forget the fun times I have spent with my wonderful friends here!”
“My favorite memory is hanging around my apartment until 2 a.m. with five of my close friends just laughing, playing games, being silly, and sharing our hearts with each other,” said Senior Melissa Dorrance.
“It is hard just to pick one memory as a favorite. I’ve really enjoyed cooking large pasta dinners with friends over the years,” said Senior Paul Di Salvo. “Another great memory is when my freshman floor—Rice 3!—decided to be crazy freshmen and go to JMR’s inauguration like it was a sporting event. We made signs and put pictures of her face and the letters JMR on our cheeks. It was by far the most ridiculous thing I’ve done at Gettysburg.”
Many said that what they will miss the most once they leave Gettysburg will be the community.
“I will miss my friends in particular, but never again will I have the chance to live in a community like this,” Dorrance said.
Senior Linnea Goebel said, “I will miss being surrounded by such a large number of people who believe I can do anything and who are eager to help me achieve my goals.”
“I will miss the community feel that Gettysburg has to offer, whether it be my friends who are always so supportive or the kind faculty and staff,” Di Salvo said. “Gettysburg has always been there to try to give me everything that I can ask for and build me up to be a responsible adult.”
“Servo cookies!” Stetler said laughing, “But in reality I will miss the community I’ve been a part of for four years—my friends, professors, and the people I work with.”
As far as how they are feeling about graduation, there are a lot of mixed feelings.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” Senior Kevin Lugo said.
“I am sad, but also excited to start the next phase of life,” said Bosold. “I think Gettysburg has prepared me well for the future—whatever that future may be.”
Stetler said, “It’s bittersweet, especially handing over the club I co-founded—SASA—but I have great confidence that it will continue to grow under the wonderful and dedicated new leaders. I’m ready to moe on to the next step in my life, and I’ll be glad not to have homework anymore!”
“I am definitely sad to leave Gettysburg as I feel so comfortable here and have made so many great, lifelong friends,” said Di Salvo, “However, I know that I will be moving on to a great graduate school, career, and life experiences that I couldn’t have acquired without Gettysburg’s guidance the last four years.”
These seven students are all going different directions after graduation.
Melissa Dorrance is planning to work in full-time campus ministry with DiscipleMakers. Riccardo Purita will be a City Year corps member within AmeriCorps in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Goebel is going to Bosnia to work with a women’s organization that helps widows of war find ways to generate income for themselves before continuing on to work as an Au Pair in Moscow, Russia.
Bosold is hoping to work doing something related to public health or in the NGO sector. Di Salvo will be pursuing his Masters of Professional Studies in Conservation Biology at SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry. Lugo will be biking across the country and then trying to find a job on the west coast. Stetler plans to work for a year or two before going to graduate school, probably for a degree in School Counseling.
These seniors also shared advice for those remaining at Gettysburg for another few years.
“Besides the cliche advice about balancing work and play, I’d say definitely seek out as many of the opportunities Gettysburg provides you with, especially the CPS Immersion projects and research opportunities with professors,” said Stetler.
Lugo urges students to “Make the most of it and never, ever, ever settle for anything less than exactly what you want.”
“Definitely take advantage of all the opportunities and help that Gettysburg has to offer. Utilize your professors and staff,” said Di Salvo. “While you may be extremely busy with classwork and other activities, make sure you leave some time in to have fun and get to know and appreciate where you are. The Battlefields are such an awesome resource and extremely close by.”
“There are a lot of great opportunities here for you to do what interests you, and to step outside of your comfort zone as well,” said Bosold. “Take advantage of both, and enjoy it while it you can!”
Goebel urges students to “Put in the extra effort to find the hidden resources this campus offers. If you want to do something or be part of something there are people and funds to help you make it happen. So tell people what you want to do and ask people if they can help you. There are some amazing opportunities available to you if you are proactive. Don’t waste your time here!”
“Redefine your ideas of success and failure, especially academically. Failure is not always bad. Your success is not defined solely by your grades,” said Dorrance.
“You know yourselves better than you think you do,” said Purita. “Go with your instincts and do what you want at college as often as possible. You only have a limited amount of time here, so never forget to make the most of each experience and to take advantage of the plentiful opportunities on campus.”
“Don’t think about not being able to do something because you’re too busy. 10 years down the road, you’re not going to remember much about your academic work, but you will remember a lot about the other things you did.
Also, remember to challenge yourself. College is about self-reflection and learning new things about yourself. Don’t be afraid to try something different. We’re only crazy college kids once.”