Four Years of Throwbacks
From the first day on campus to donning their caps and gowns, the past few years have been an adventure for the Class of 2021.
Picture this, Class of 2021: It’s Move-In Weekend 2017. Friends and family gather to help decorate your dorm for your first semester of college. Heat courses through the halls of the Manors, or if you’re lucky, you had air conditioning in Northside Commons. Facing the unknown is scary; are you going to fit in? Make friends? Are you in the right major? And who is putting those bubbles in the fountain, anyway?
Looking back on the last four years, you’ve grown, explored who you are, and discovered a path in life. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could tell your first-year self to take a deep breath, and that everything is going to work out? Your college experience may have been challenging, and the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic certainly did not help — but Spartans, you powered through to the ultimate celebration. Your graduation day.
Let’s take a walk down Memory Lane, starting way back in August 2017.
During your first few days here, you were given a small green rock, a tribute to “Ol’ Spart,” the rock you get to sign during graduation (bonus points if you still have it!). This little rock, while small, had mighty significance. It was a blank slate, and only YOU got to decide what it would look like.
Fall 2017 was an interesting semester.
- The last few mannequin challenges were wrapping up on Instagram, and the transition into the invisible box challenge was just starting.
- Piper Kerman, author of Orange is the New Black, spoke on campus about her experiences at a Federal Correction Institution in Danbury, CT.
- Hot air balloons were brought to campus in October, and students got a sky-high view of York, PA.
- The Center for Community Engagement (CCE) opened in downtown York City, offering students the opportunity to use classroom lessons to engage in real-world projects with community partners.
- In December 2017, York College’s Theatre program brought Alice In Wonderland to life.
- And we can't forget about Winter Storm Stella! She covered campus in nearly two feet of snow.
There were milestone moments.
You may have had a front row seat to the 21 Savage concert, or been “caked” by Steve Aoki. The Music Department opened YCP Studios and the Graham School of Business launched programs like Cybersecurity Management and a Master of Accounting.
YCP’s women’s rugby team made it to Nationals. Eight players from the men’s lacrosse team were placed on All-Capital Athletic Conference squads and their coach, Brandon Childs, was named CAC Coach of the Year.
Global news peppered the headlines.
- The world celebrated the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.
- The U.S. women’s national soccer team won its second consecutive championship.
- The famous Notre Dame Cathedral went up in flames.
- Prince Harry and Meghan Markle welcomed their first child, Archie.
- The first all-female spacewalk happened at the International Space Station.
(Just to name a few.)
And then 2020 hit. You know what happened then. As a community, as individuals, as families, and as humans — we were tested.
That year, and everything that came with it, changed so much. It shifted your story. But keep in mind, it was not your whole story.
As you look back on your college years, yes, you will remember a pandemic, news stories that terrified our nation and our world, and a time of great uncertainty. It’s normal; those aren’t the kinds of things you forget.
Still, take some time now to commit the rest to memory, too.
The time spent with friends after class. The movie nights. The Fritter Fridays. The late-night trips to Rutter’s when it didn’t seem like there was anything better to do. Remember the times you cheered for something that made you proud. Remember the moments when you accomplished something meaningful, and others cheered for you. Those are memories worth holding, memories that make you who you are.
You have overcome a year of historic struggles, and the lessons you learned along the way will serve you for a lifetime...but that doesn’t mean you can’t also smile when you think of all those bubbles in the fountain.
Congratulations, Class of 2021, and cheers to memories that last a lifetime.