Legacy and Leaving
Blogger: Aviva Alvarez-Zakson
Well friends, it’s here: my final week of college. I have found myself more emotional than usual. Music is making me cry; my hugs have gone from 10 to 15 seconds long; and every coffee at the Green Bean feels like a mini goodbye. Every class, meal, and quiet moment in the quad is just another tick away at my college career. It is unbelievably easy to get caught up in whirlwinds of nostalgia, sadness, anxiety, FOMO (fear of missing out), and fear, but I am also in a sea of love, appreciation, and joy. Yes, I am leaving behind a lot, but I am leaving it with the best people possible.
Folks, today I am going to talk to you about legacy. Everything I have had the opportunity to accomplish at Oxy was never my own: it was all passed down to me by a long line of driven and dedicated students before me. Now, as a graduating senior, it’s my turn to pass things on. For those of you whose Oxy adventures have just begun, I have one HUGE piece of advice: leave this place better than how you found it. Helping this campus grow and develop is the most rewarding thing you could do for yourself and the Oxy community. When I look back at what I have done here, I can confidently say I am proud and content; but when I look towards Oxy’s future, I can’t help but wish I could be part of it.
I keep joking around with my younger friends about how I should somehow find a way to not graduate and stick around for longer. But that’s not exactly what I want. No, I want to re-enter as a first-year student and watch all of my friends take on their new leadership roles and responsibilities. I want to go on a tour with all of the wonderful guides I have helped train and see what the new Tour Guide Coordinator does (shout out Maddy Farkas!). I want my O-Team grandchild (shout out Reed Foster!) to be my O-Team leader and see how he blossoms as a mentor and ambassador for Oxy. I want to experience the Orientation the current O-CORE will put together and see how they improve on my generation’s changes to the program (shout out to my ladies on O-CORE 2015!) . I want to meet the already amazing Class of 2019 that the Office of Admission worked so hard to put together. I want the current juniors on the Swim and Dive Team to be my captains and inspire me to be a better athlete and person; I want to be a product of their leadership. I want to be here when the Marketplace opens up a smoothie bar! Oxy just keeps getting better, and words cannot describe how much I would love another four years to do it again.
But, I’ve already left my pawprints on this campus and earned my stripes. So I will carry and cross that stage with my tail held high. Oxy is in the best of hands (or paws), and I am beyond confident that when I come back for a Homecoming Weekend or just just to say hi, I will be amazed by how much this upcoming generation has accomplished. Though there are tears in my eyes (and on my keyboard… and in my coffee), I am happy. I am ready to relinquish my responsibilities, involvements, and contributions to the next generation of Tigers. It’s time for the next chapter of my life, and it’s their turn to continue the legacy.
Oxy, it has been an honor.