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As a Spartan...Reflections from Tony Nelo, Class of 2020

November 30, 2020
Tony Nelo stands next to the rock, where his name has just been added in white paint
Tony Nelo, York College of Pennsylvania Class of 2020

Written by: Anthony Nelo '20 (Political Science)

Oh man, where do I even start?

I guess the proper place to begin is to say congratulations. Congratulations to all my classmates and peers who are calling early December of 2020 the end of their academic journey. To everyone who had to overcome major obstacles; to everyone who doubted themselves; and to everyone who was told that maybe this just isn’t right for them- congratulations. Even though the finale may not have presented itself in the way we all hoped, this is nothing short of an incredible accomplishment, so again, let me be the first to say congratulations to everyone.

The next thing for me to say is thank you.

Thank you to everyone who was a part of this journey with me. From my professors who had to deal with my stupid questions, to my coaches who had to deal with my lame excuses for missing practice — thank you. To my family that had to deal with my rants about professors who had the nerve to make us do work, to my friends who ranted with me about those professors — thank you. From the valley of the writing center, to the hill of the admissions office, thank you all. None of this would have been the same without you.

Now the unfortunate reality sets in.

We all must face the dreaded "real world" that so many adults have advised us to avoid if possible. Evidently, we didn’t do a good job on that one, so let me speak for us all when I say that growing past the age of 12 was a mistake. [Cue head nods of agreement]

With the real world, only a few things prove certain: death, taxes, and Dr. Altman’s outfits (if you know, you know). At the same time, another that can be added to this list is the ever-so-oxymoronic concept of change. If there’s anything our graduation year has taught us, it’s that everything can change in a moment’s notice, for better or for worse. And while this change seems scary at first, especially considering the year we just had, I just hope we all remember that we have the ability to make the change into something we want it to be.

We wouldn’t have been able to get through what we just did if we weren’t ready for what’s to come.

I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m excited to see where the change takes me. And just like everyone else, I have no idea what it’s going to entail, but isn’t that part of the fun? We just overcame a huge obstacle that no one saw coming; what’s to say anything can stop us now?

While I don’t know where everyone’s roads lead, as I don’t even know where my own does, I know one thing for sure. At the end of the day, through all the struggles and difficulties we now know we can overcome, we go home. Where that is, is all part of the fun.

Thank you for your time, and congratulations to the YCP class of 2020.